Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy 82nd Birthday Mom

Mom is celebrating her 82nd birthday today.  And the great news is that she went to her Dr and he gave her a clean bill of health.  She is very healthy and to keep herself in that manner, she started learning Taichi this week.  She is also learning water colour painting.  They are both 10 week courses and she had her second class of water colour this week. She is also part of a lunch club that meets twice a month.  All these activities are offered through a 55+ group in the south end of the city called PAL (Pembina Active Living).    

Mom and her great grands

Mom at Terrace 55

She said that since she was a little girl, she wanted to learn to paint and draw but her parents did not have the financial resources to send her to learn so she learned on her own.  How?  She taped a lot of painting shows from PBS TV and taught herself.  She is a pretty good artist using acrylic paints.  I have one of her paintings hanging in my front hallway.  I think Bena and Sophie also have one each.  Karran wants one too so when she's done with one of the water colours, she may give that to him. 

She is also still driving very efficiently now that she has a more manageable sized car (Nissan Versa) rather than the previous one which was almost the size of a small plane (okay I am exaggerating a bit... but only  a bit).  The driving gives her a sense of independence as it allows her to attend her Taichi and painting classes as well as meet her friends for lunch, attend church and be able to run errands and have a schedule that pleases her.  It also takes some of the pressure off me not having to drive her everywhere.

I just have to say that I hope that when/if I get to 82, I'll be in good health and still be learning new things and have my independence.  Of course I heard her telling someone that "my daughter said that I can't sit at home and do nothing all day so she made me sign up for some activities."  I did say that I didn't want her sitting at home all day doing nothing but didn't MAKE her sign up.  I strongly suggested -  by bringing home the brochure with several classes highlighted and told her to pick the ones she wanted to do - that she would LIKE the Taichi, painting and bi-weekly lunch group activities.  

I have to tell you about PAL.  A few months ago, I contacted them about activities they offer and the schedule and location of such activities.  They started this organization last year and there has been tremendous response from people 55+.  Well, one day they sent out an email with an attachment in Microsoft Publisher.  Apparently most people could not open the document, so they sent out another email saying that the document was not theirs and they were only forwarding in on someone else's behalf.  Since I had MS Publisher software, I converted it to a PDF file and emailed it back to PAL with a note that they could send that one out as most people would have a PD'S reader.

That started a chain of interesting events (PAL asking me to serve as a Board member, as a committee, or as a volunteer).  I offered my services for Program Development, facilitating focus groups or whatever skills they may need that I would be able to help with.  So in persuading Mom to sign up for activities, I find myself also signing up to HELP with those. How did that happen exactly?  Haha... the joke is on me. 

This is my weekend: I'll be meeting with Alanna on Friday to discuss my role at PAL in whatever capacity we think is a good fit.  We'll also be taking Mom out on Saturday for a birthday lunch at Terrace 55 in Assiniboine Park and the rest of the family will be coming over for Oreo cheesecake in the evening.  Sunday Mom and I are going to the Red River Ex grounds where they have a weekend for people 55+.  All the activities means that I'll have to ride many more kms this weekend to burn off those cals.

Have a great weekend,