Last month, Elder Bubbe's residence was flooded. All the seniors had to be evacuated to a nearby hotel, where they lived for a week until the residence dried out and had power restored. Bubbe, true to form, regarded the event as an Adventure Vacation. She's back at home now, and busy as ever.
I visited Bubbe after work on Thursday. She's allowed to have dinner guests in the common dining room. The rule is that Dinner Starts at 5:30 pm On The Dot and one mustn't be late! The last time I went there I was delayed at work, and then I had to eat really fast to catch up with everyone else. The kitchen staff is keen to serve all the courses, whisk away the dishes, and kick everyone out of the dining room so that they can go home.
Bubbe is assigned to a table which she shares with three other senior ladies. When she has a guest, the staff sets aside a separate table for her, but she always insists on squeezing me in on a corner at her regular table. I don't mind. I don't need a lot of space, and her table-mates are good company.
Patricia has a plummy British accent, and most of her stories start with "During the war..." She used to live on a largish estate, with horses. Elizabeth is a friendly local. Francis used to be a social worker. Bubbe is the oldest among them by far, at 97, however she doesn't like to let the other residents know her age. The younger seniors avoid making friends with the senior seniors, because they figure that just when they start to get attached to you, you'll up and die. Sad, but true.
Dinner was potato-onion soup, followed by fish sticks with corn and french fries. The portions are modest. For dessert one could choose one of fruit cocktail, applesauce, or stewed prunes. Bubbe went for the applesauce, because it makes her pills go down more easily. At one point I looked over, and she had stuck a big, white capsule into the top of her applesauce cup, as though it were a maraschino cherry. If I'd been prepared, I would have taken a photo of it.
After dinner we went up to Bubbe's room. Despite the fact that we had just eaten a three course dinner, topped off with a cup of the world's most watery coffee, she immediately offered me refreshments. I said that I was fine. She managed to restrain herself for all of five minutes, but then she just had to put the kettle on, and go digging in her cupboards for biscuits. She laid out a plate with a variety of cookies, biscotti, and chocolates. I guess the habit of being the hostess has not worn off yet.
I noticed she had a project in her knitting basket. I asked what she was making. She showed me this pattern, which she is executing in sage green yarn.
OMG - so 80's! This was the back of the pattern. It actually looks pretty good once you add arms.
As usual, Bubbe was wonderful company. She's clever, funny, and down-to-earth. Before I left she had me promise to register on a particular website so that we can play Scrabble online. I don't know what she's doing to be such a super-senior, but I hope she keeps doing it for a good while yet.