The Hanky.

I overheard the following conversation between Joe and Dot while I was cooking dinner last night:

Dot:  “Joe stop picking your nose!”


Dot:  “Well at least use your hanky then…!”


Dot:  “Joe!”

Joe:  “…you know, I can leave here whenever i want to…”

Dot:  “Oh yeah? Where are you gonna go?”

Joe:  “Anywhere I want.”

Dot:  “You’re too old.”

Joe laughed: “I am not!”

Dot:  “Joe…you’re 92 years old.  You’re not going anywhere…”

Joe laughed again: “Well if I’m 92 then you must be at least 100!”

Dot:  “Here, just use my hanky…”

(sounds of nose-horn honking ensues.)

The Damned Dryer.

This morning I was helping Joe get dressed and I picked out one of his western shirts with the snap buttons.

Once he was all dressed and ready to head out to breakfast, he let out a huge sneeze and six of his snaps came undone around his little pot belly.

He said, “Well would you look at that! My shirt must’ve shrunk.”

I laughed and helped him get all of his buttons snapped again and we headed out to breakfast.

During breakfast, he sneezed again and those same six snaps popped open.

Joe said, “For the love of God! What the hell’s wrong with my shirt!”

Dot said, “You’ve been eating too many sweets Joe.”

Joe said, “Well what the hell do sweets have to do with my shirt shrinking up in the damned dryer?!”

Dot just looked at me, shrugged, and went back to eating her raisin bran.

I finally convinced Joe to change his shirt after he flopped down on the couch and every single snap popped open on his shirt except for the one closest to his neck.

He shouted, “For God’s sake! I don’t know why, but this shirt’s too damned small!”

Dot started to say something and I told her that it wasn’t a good time.

Joe whispered to me, and knowing that Dot doesn’t hear very well, he said, “She’s gonna tell you to stop giving me ice cream…whatever you do, don’t listen to her!”

The Cane.

Dot was just walking her laps around the living room for her physical therapy today.

Joe turned to me and said, “Oh god. She’s walking with a cane now.  You know what that means…”

Me: “No, what does it mean, Joe?”

Joe: “Now she’s got something to hit me with!”

The River.

I took Joe out for a drive today and I said to him, “Look at the river over there – isn’t it pretty?”

He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Did you just say that the sliver looks slivery…?”

I said, “No, I said the river looks pretty.”

“Oh,” he said, “Well that’s a relief because that other thing you said didn’t make any sense at all!”

Good Side.

Joe’s wife, Dot, is going to be coming home from the rehabilitation center next week so Joe was trying to give me tips on how to get on her “good side”.

I asked him, “Should I make her some cookies?”

Joe:  “Well, yeah she might like that…”

I said, “I heard that she likes to be the boss around here, so I should just say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no ma’am’…”

Joe: “Oh yeah, you definitely should do that!”  But he still looked kind of confused.

Then he said, “No, you just always talk to her right side because that’s her good ear – she’s totally deaf on the other side…”

The Longest Nap Ever.

President Obama was on the news the other night while Joe had dozed off on the couch.

Joe woke up for a minute and said, “Who is that, Dot?”

Dot: “Huh?”

Joe said, louder this time, “WHO’S THAT GUY ON THE SCREEN?”

Dot: “That’s Barack Obama.”

Joe: “Hmmm the name sounds familiar…”

Dot: “Barack Obama. He’s our president!”

Joe: “President of what?”

Dot: “He’s the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES!”

Joe laughed: “Oh no he isn’t.”

Dot: “Yes he is.”

Joe: “He can’t be…”

Dot: “Why not?”

Joe: “Because he’s black.”

Dot: “Well…that’s what happened.”

Joe looked at me: “Well gee-whiz – I must’ve been asleep longer than I thought!”


The Hearing Aid.

Joe and Dot’s daughter, Shelly, just picked up Dot to take her to her doctor’s appointment.  Joe was really disappointed that he didn’t get to go with them, but I told him that they needed to have some “girl talk”.

Joe said, “Well I don’t want to get caught up in all their girl business.”

Me:  “Yeah, I didn’t figure you’d want to be part of all that.”

Joe:  “What’s Dot going to the doctor for?”

Me:  “She’s going to her ear doctor to get fitted for a hearing aid.”

Joe:  “Dot’s getting a hearing aid?”

Me:  “Yep I think she’s going to try it out to see if it helps her to hear better.”

Joe:  “Well be sure to let me know when that happens.  I’ll have to watch what I say around her…”

Me:  “You don’t have to watch what you say Joe, just be yourself!”

Joe:  “No, I’d better not.”

Me:  “Why is that?”

Joe:  “She might not like me anymore.”

Me:  “Of course she’ll still like you!  She just might roll her eyes more often…”

Joe laughed:  “I thought you said she was going to her ear doctor?”

Me:  “Yep, that’s what I said.”

Joe looked concerned:  “Well maybe she’d better see her eye doctor while she’s at it if her eyes are rolling around in her head…”

I laughed and explained to him what I meant about “eye-rolling”.

Joe totally cracked up laughing, “Is that what it’s called?  I just thought that’s how her face looked.”

Me:  “Well that’s something that you might not want to say around Dot.”

Joe:  “See?  I told you that I’ll have to watch what I say…”

Me:  “Joe, you guys have been married almost 66 years.  I’m pretty sure that you can get away with anything at this point.”

Joe:  “66 years you say?  How the hell did I convince her to stay with me that long?”

Me:  “It must be your good looks.  And your charm.”

Joe thought about it and looked serious when he said, “Yeah, that’s true.  That must be it.”


When I first started to take care of Joe, Dot was recovering from a broken pelvis in an assisted living facility, so it would just be Joe and I at the house.

He was not happy about Dot being gone and it really confused him.  He would ask about her every five minutes, and I would explain again and again that she would be coming home once she got stronger.  The nights were pretty rough especially because he’d wake up and realize that Dot wasn’t there and he’d try to go looking for her.

One night, at about 2am, I heard Joe open the front door of the house.  I jumped out of bed and took off running to find Joe outside, in the rain, in only his Depends, t-shirt and slippers (this was in the middle of winter).

Joe was trying to take off through the field to head to town.  I hollered out at him, “Joe!  Get back here!”

He stopped and turned around.

Me:  “Where are you going??”

Joe:  “I’m going to find Dot.”

Me:  “It’s the middle of the night and pouring down rain!  We’ll go visit Dot in the morning.”

Joe:  “Well you can do what you want, but I’m heading there now…”

I realized that I needed to try a new tactic.

Me:  “Joe, if you don’t come back here in 5 seconds, I’m calling the police!”

Joe stopped in his tracks and turned around slowly to look at me.  “You wouldn’t do that…”

I went and grabbed the phone so that I could show him.  “I’m calling the cops right now, Joe, if you don’t come back inside.”

Joe laughed, “I’m not doing anything illegal!”

Me:  “Yes you are.  It’s against the law for a man to run around in public in his underwear!”

Joe looked down at himself:  “Is that right?!  What the hell…?  Where’d my pants go??”

Me:  “3 more seconds til I call the police…”

Finally Joe relented and started to walk back.  As he came through the door, he looked me square in the eye and said, “You really think they’d throw an old man in jail for running around on his own property?”

Me:  “If he’s running around in his underwear and all soaking wet they would.”

Joe came to his senses and said, “Yeah, you’re probably right about that.  Well we might as well go back to bed then.  It’s cold in here!  Turn the heat up, would ya?”

I think I must’ve scared him about calling the police, because he never pulled a stunt like that again.  Thank God!

Strange Bedfellows.

It was a rough night last night with Joe.  He’s usually a good sleeper, but for some reason he just kept waking up every 15 minutes, between the hours of 1am to 3am.  The caregivers sleep upstairs and we keep a baby monitor in his room so that we can hear him if he gets up during the night.  So at 1 in the morning, this is what I hear:

Joe:  (shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)

Dot:  “Where are you going, George?”

Joe:  “I’ve gotta find my horse.  He ran off!”

Dot:  “You were just dreaming.  Go back to bed…”

Joe:  “You want me to just let my horse run away?”

Dot:  “There’s no horse, George.”

Joe sees me walking down the stairs:  “Here comes that lady.  Maybe SHE will help me find my HORSE!”

Me:  “Hi Joe.  It’s the middle of the night.  Let me help you back to bed…”

Joe:  “I can’t go back to bed without my horse!”

Me:  “I think I saw your horse go into your bed…”

Joe:  “The horse is in my BED?  How the hell did I not notice that?”

Me:  “Yep.  Here he is, let me show you…”  I lead Joe back to his bedroom.  “See?”

Joe:  (giggles) “Well by-golly, you were right!”

Me:  “Here, let me help you get out of your wet clothes before you get back into bed…”

Joe:  (noticing how wet he was) “Well, how the HELL did I get so wet??”  Joe looked at the bed and said, “Did that damned horse climb into my bed after he was running around outside in the rain again?”

Me:  “It sure looks like he did…”

Joe:  “Oh well.  It’ll dry.”

I changed his pajamas and sheets, tucked him in and went back upstairs.

15 minutes later…

Joe:  “Well old boy, you ready to go for a ride?  Just wipe your feet off before you get back into bed this time…”

(shuffle, shuffle, shuffle)

"The Help"

Dot got a bunch of new movies as gifts on Mother’s Day from her daughter, and she asked me if we could watch one of them yesterday.  I read through the titles for her, and she chose “The Help”.

She asked Joe if he wanted to watch it with us, but he was fully reclined in his chair (all we could see were the bottoms of his feet) and sound asleep, so it seemed as though he didn’t care.  This was the first time that I had ever attempted to watch a movie with Joe and Dot, and it turned out to be a less than enjoyable experience.

First of all, Dot is completely deaf in her left ear, so I had to pause the movie every fifteen minutes in order to shout at her about what was happening.  Joe is not nearly as hard of hearing as his wife, so he would practically jump out of his recliner every time I gave my running commentary of the movie.  When George came flying out of his chair, he opted to add his own thoughts throughout the movie as well.  The entire event can be summed up like this:

Me (shouting):  “The curly-haired girl wants to write a book from the perspective of the maids.  This is during the Civil Rights movement and it’s based in Mississippi…”

Dot:  “So the white girl is writing about the black women…?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Joe:  THUD THUMP THUD (the sound of his recliner closing down) “Oh God…”

Me:  “The mean red-headed lady is trying to get all of her friends to build separate bathrooms for their maids.”

Joe:  THUD THUMP THUD “What the Hell is all this…?”

Me:  “The red-headed lady fired her maid because she used their toilet.”

Joe:  THUD THUMP THUD “Oh Hell, this again?!”

Me:  “The maid got back at her by making a chocolate pie and getting her to eat it.  Turns out, she put poop in it…”

Dot:  “That’s disgusting!”

Joe:  THUD THUMP THUD “What’s so disgusting, Dorothy?”

Dot:  “Never mind Joe, we’re talking about the movie…”

Joe:  “What movie?”

Dot:  “The Help.”

Joe:  “Oh…is that the one you’ve been watching here?  With all the black people?”

Me:  “Yes.  It’s about the Civil Rights movement.”

Joe:  “Is that right?  Oh I remember all that…  Portland was a scary place back then.  A scary, scary place…”

Dot:  “Oh, it was not Joe.”

Joe:  “Oh yes it was.  We were outnumbered…”

Dot:  “Just never mind Joe.  (Looking back at me) – So what happened after she ate the pie…?

Joe:  “What pie?”

Dot:  “The one lady ate pie with poop in it…”

Joe:  “Well what the hell did she do that for?”

Dot:  “The black maid…she put poop in the pie to get back at the white lady…”

Joe:  (Laughing) “Is that right?!  Well that’s one way to make a point I guess…”

THUD THUMP THUD – and we were back to looking at the bottoms of Joe’s feet again…