The Rewards of Good Behavior.

JoeJoe and I were watching TV tonight when Dot went into her bedroom to start getting ready for bed.

Joe:  “Where’s Dot?”

Me:  “She’s getting ready for bed.”

Joe:  “Maybe I should go join her…”

Me:  “You think so huh?”

Joe:  “I don’t think she’d be opposed to me breaking into the bedroom.”

Me:  “Well, I don’t know about that.”

Joe laughed:  “Well I know about that, and I don’t think that she’ll have any reason to send me away.”

Me:  “You feel like you paid your dues today huh?”

Joe:  “Yep.  I was mostly good, and I was only ornery a couple of times, so that all evens out in my favor.”

Me:  “You’ve got a good point there.”

Joe:  “Although there’s a risk that she might see me breaking into her room as me being ornery…”

Me:  “That’s true, and that would tip the scales back a bit.”

Joe:  “Let me tell you something:  There’s a fine-line between me and that bed, and I have to tread it very carefully.”

Me:  “I’m sure you’re right about that, Joe.”

The Apple Tree.

joe_dotDot was telling me about her first crush, when she was in high school.  She said that he’d walk by her house everyday at the same time, so she’d go out to the apple tree closest to the road and pick apples just so that she could get a glimpse of him.  After a few months of flirtation via apple tree, the boy finally built up enough courage to walk up to her front door so that he could ask her parents for permission to ask Dot out on a date.

When Dot saw him walking up the steps toward the front door, of course she took off running toward the house so that she could eavesdrop on their conversation from the kitchen.

Dot’s dad answered the door.

Suitor:  “Good Afternoon Sir, I was wondering if it might be okay for me to take your daughter, Dot, out on a date sometime…?”

Dot’s Dad:  “No.”

Suitor:  “If you don’t mind Sir, would you mind telling me why not?”

Dot’s Dad cleared his throat:  “I’ll let her Mother explain it to you.”  He called for Dot’s mom to come to the front door.

Suitor:  “Good afternoon Ma’am, I was wondering if I might be able to ask your daughter, Dot, out on a date, and your husband told me ‘no’, and now he wants you to tell me why…?”

Dot’s parents gave each other a look like, “what should I say?”

Dot’s Mom:  “Well Son, you seem like a very sweet boy, but see…we are a Catholic family.”

Suitor:  “That’s ok, I like Catholics!”

Dot’s Mom:  “That’s very sweet of you to say.  But the problem is not whether or not you like Catholicism; the problem is that Catholic girls aren’t allowed to go out with Lutheran boys.”

Dot’s heart was crushed, and her Suitor looked like he wanted to cry.

Suitor:  “That just doesn’t seem right to me, but I will respect your wishes.”

Her suitor looked defeated as he walked back down the front steps, and poor little Dot went into her room and cried and cried.  She said that she never did discuss it with her parents; she just trusted that they knew what was best for her.

Me:  “Awww, that’s so sad!”

Dot:  “It just wasn’t meant to be.  I read in the paper a couple of weeks ago that he and his wife were celebrating their 60-something year anniversary, and they were celebrating it at the Lutheran Church, so apparently he went on to marry a nice Lutheran girl, and I went on to marry a nice Catholic boy, and that’s the way that it’s supposed to be.”  She patted Joe on the leg and said, “Isn’t that right, Joe?”

Joe laughed:  “All I know is that that guy must’ve thought that you really liked apples!”


JoeJoe and Dot ate the last of the crab that their son brought home from the Oregon Coast for lunch today.  When lunch was over, Dot told Joe to go wash his hands.

Joe:  “I don’t need to wash ’em.  They’re already clean!”

Dot:  “How could they be clean?  They have crab juice all over them!”

Joe:  “I washed them already.”

Dot:  “No you didn’t!  I was sitting right here.  I would know if you went to the sink and washed your hands.”

Joe:  “I didn’t go to the sink.”

Dot:  “I know you didn’t!  You need to go wash your hands at the sink now.  Go!”

Joe:  “I don’t need to go to the sink.  I washed my hands already.”

Dot:  “Oh yeah?  What’d you wash them with?”

Joe:  “I licked my fingers.”

Dot:  “You can’t just lick your fingers.  That’s not the same as washing them in the sink.”

Joe held up his hands:  “Look at my hands.  Do they look dirty to you?”

Dot:  “They don’t have to LOOK dirty to BE dirty.”

Joe cracked up:  “Shows how much you know.”

Dot:  “I know plenty about it.”

Joe:  “Okay then, it’s all settled.”

Dot:  “Yep, it will be all settled once you go to the sink and wash your hands!”

Joe:  “I don’t need to wash my hands.  I already licked ’em!”

2 out of 3.

joe_dotI just tucked Joe into bed for the night.  Dot likes to sit with him until he falls asleep, so I came back to the living room to give them some privacy.  Dot had turned the TV off, so unfortunately I did not have any noise to distract me from hearing their conversation.

Joe:  “You’re going to stay in here with me?”

Dot:  “Yes, is that okay with you?”

Joe:  “Well sure it’s okay!  Why don’t you close the door and come lay here beside me…”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, we’re too old for all that!”

Joe:  “Too old for what?”

Dot:  “We’re too old for THAT.”

Joe:  “Who’s too old?”

Dot:  “WE ARE!”

Joe:  “Speak for yourself!  I’m not too old!”

Dot:  “Oh you are too!”

Joe:  “I’m only 90.”

Dot:  “You’re 93.”

Joe:  “So what?”

Dot:  “So you’re too old.”

Joe:  “Why don’t you give me a chance to prove it to ya…”

Dot:  “That’s what you said the last time, so I gave you a chance and you didn’t do anything.”

Joe:  “When was that?”

Dot:  “Oh I don’t remember.  It’s was a while back.”

Joe:  “Well don’t you think it’s about time that we tried again?”

Dot:  “No.”

Joe:  “Can’t we try for 2 out of 3?”

Dot:  “No.”

Joe:  “Well you can’t say that I’m too old if you don’t even give me a chance to prove it to ya!”

Dot:  “Okay you’re not too old.”

Joe:  “That’s what I said!”

Dot:  “Goodnight Joe.”

Joe grinned:  “Goodnight Dot.”

Alcohol Content.

JoeWhile we were sitting at the table eating lunch today, I was telling Joe and Dot about meeting my friend Faith at Portland’s Bridgeport Brewery on Saturday for dinner.  Their son had brought them home some fresh crab from the Oregon Coast so Joe and Dot were both busy using a wrench to break open their crab legs while I was telling my story.

Me:  “They had the BEST beer there too!  It was called ‘Stumptown Tart’ and it’s a beer brewed with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.”

Joe:  “What the hell is this?!”

Dot:  “It’s crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Okay.”

Dot:  “Did the beer taste like fruit?”

Me:  “Well kind of.  I mean, I could taste the fruit but it wasn’t a sweet beer.”

Joe:  “Is this a rock?  Why are there rocks on my plate?!”

Dot:  “It’s not a rock.  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it.”

Joe:  “Oh crab, okay then.”

Dot:  “I’ve never had a fruity beer.”

Me:  “Oh it’s good, I’m sure you’d love it.”

Dot:  “We usually drink beer with our crab.”

Me:  “I think you’ve got some beer downstairs, would you like me to get one for you two to share?”

Dot:  “No, not now.  Maybe with dinner.”

Joe:  “Are we having rocks for dinner too?!”

Dot:  “No, we’re having beer.  And that’s not a ROCK!  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

Me:  “So yeah, it was pretty much the best beer I’ve ever had.”

Joe looked at me:  “What’s the alcohol content in it?”

Me:  “Alcohol content?  Oh, I think it was 7 percent or so.”

Joe:  “So like a beer then.”

Me:  “Yep, exactly like a beer.”

Joe:  “It’s easier to get drunk off of beer if you like the taste of it.”

Me:  “That’s very true, Joe.”

Joe:  “I mean, you can get drunk off of regular beer too, but it’s more fun to get drunk off of beer that tastes good.”

Dot:  “Joe!  Eat your crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

The Right Stuff.

imagesJoe is pretty much confined to either his bed or his wheelchair these days, and he’s not happy about it!  Last night, he told me that he had to “take a leak” so I got his portable urinal ready for him.

Joe:  “What the hell is that thing?”

Me:  “It’s a urinal.”

Joe:  “Well, what am I supposed to do with it?”

Me:  “Well…you urinate in it.”

Joe:  “Urinate?”

Me:  “Yeah, you know, take a leak…”

Joe:  “Oh!  Oh yeah, that makes sense.  I don’t really need something fancy like this though.  Next time you could just bring me a coffee cup or something.”

Me:  “Okay, I’ll keep that in mind for next time…”

I helped him to get all situated, and then Dot came in the room.

Joe grinned:  “Well I guess I’ve got an audience now!”

Dot:  “We won’t look at you.  When I was in the nursing home, they tried to have me use a bed pan and then everyone just stood there and stared at me.  How are you supposed to go when people are staring at you?”

Joe:  “You didn’t use one of THESE things, Dot.”

Dot:  “Well, it was sort of like that…”

Joe laughed:  “Well no wonder you couldn’t go!  You don’t have the right stuff.”

Dot:  “The right stuff?”

Joe:  “Yeah, you know, the right equipment…to get the job done.”

Dot laughed:  “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right about that.”

Joe giggled:  “And I oughta know…”

Dot:  “Huh?  What’d you say, Joe?”

Joe winked at me and smiled:  “Nothin.”

The Goodnight Kiss.

imagesDot was helping me get Joe all tucked into bed and when she leaned down to give him a kiss goodnight, she stumbled and just about landed on top of him.

Dot: “Whoa, I just about threw myself on you, Joe!”

Joe grinned from ear to ear, opened up his covers, and patted the tiny area of mattress next to him: “Come on in, the water’s fine…”


imagesJoe has recently been admitted into hospice care, and poor Dot is really struggling to come to terms with his rapid decline.  We are still caring for him in his own home, but now we have a hospice nurse that checks in once a week and a bath-aid that comes in twice a week.  Joe is in bed most of the time now and he is very weak, but he has not lost his sense of humor.

Dot comes in every morning and gives Joe a kiss square on his lips.  After they share a smooch, Dot asks him:  “How did that feel?”

Joe has different reactions depending on how lucid he is feeling on that particular day, but he always gets a giant grin on his face.  Some of his reactions include:

“Pretty good, I guess.”

“I didn’t feel anything.  Maybe we should try again…”

“Is that you, Dot?”

“What was that?  Was that a kiss?  I hope that was Dot…”

“Well it was better than a shot in the arm…”

“It wasn’t nothing to shake a stick at, I’ll tell you that much!”

However Joe responds, and no matter what time of day it is, Dot sweetly strokes his face and says, “Good morning Sleeping Beauty!”

Joe:  “Mornin’ Honey.”







Pedal to the Metal.

Joe was having a moment of clarity this afternoon, so I asked him if he would tell me how he and Dot first met.  Dot was sitting next to him on the couch.

Joe:  “We went to school together, didn’t we?”

Dot:  “No, we met at a dance.”

Joe:  “At the school?”

Dot:  “Well yeah, but at my school.  The boys from your school came to our dance.  I went to an all girl’s school.”

Joe laughed:  “Oh yeah, now I remember.  There were so many girls there!”

Dot:  “And out of all of those girls, you decided to ask me to dance.”

Joe:  “Well, either that or you’re the only girl who said ‘yes’.”

Dot:  “No, no.  You only asked me.  I know cuz I was watching.”

Joe:  “You were watching me?  What were you watching me for?”

Dot:  “Because I thought you were kinda cute…”

Joe burst out laughing.

Me:  “I think you just made Joe a little shy.”

Joe:  “Not me!  I’m not shy.”

Dot:  “Oh and tell Whitney about when we had our first date.”

Joe:  “Which one?”

Dot:  “There’s only one, FIRST date, Joe.”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right.  I must’ve lost count.”

Dot:  “Well my sister brought her date along so that we could have a double date, because that’s the only way that my parents would let us go out with boys.  My sister and her date drove behind us, and Joe let me drive his car…”

Joe:  “I remember that!  That was a bad idea letting you drive, Dot.”

Dot:  “It wasn’t my fault that the gas pedal got stuck!”

Me:  “Wait…What happened?”

Dot:  “Well I was driving pretty fast, because I must’ve been trying to show off or something, and the next thing I knew, the gas pedal was stuck!  And I couldn’t get the car to stop!”

Joe laughed:  “Yup, I remember that.”

Me:  “So what did you do?”

Dot:  “Well, my sister and her date were driving behind us, and they said that they could see sparks coming out from under the car and everything!  I didn’t know what to do.  But lucky for me, Joe was there.”  She reached over and patted his leg then.

Joe:  “Yeah, lucky for you.  Not so lucky for me!  You darn near crashed my car!”

Dot:  “We didn’t crash.  You told me to turn the engine off and just focus on keeping the car on the road.  Eventually the car slowed down.  And do you remember the best part of the story, Joe?”

Joe looked confused:  “Better than you almost wrecking my car…?”

Dot:  “Do you remember where the car finally came to a stop?”

Joe:  “On the side of the road somewhere I guess…”

Dot:  “It stopped RIGHT in front of Mildred Johnson’s house.”

Joe:  “Who’s Mildred Johnson?”

Dot:  “Your ex-girlfriend.”

Joe laughed:  “Oh yeah…I thought that name sounded familiar.”

Dot:  “You’re not fooling me.  I know that you remember who she is.”

Joe looked all starry-eyed:  “Yeah, I remember Mildred…”

Dot cracked up:  “Yeah, I just bet you do.”

Joe:  “But I remember you best of all, Dot.”

Dot:  “Yeah, you’d better say that.”

Joe looked at me and winked.

Nice Weather We’re Having…

I had a difficult time getting Joe to wake up the other day.  He just didn’t want to get out of his warm bed, and who could blame him?  I bribed him with breakfast, and the newspaper, and his favorite; a hot cup of coffee, but he just wouldn’t move.

Dot hollered out from her bedroom, “IT’S TIME TO GET UP, JOE!”

Joe laughed, still all snuggled up in his covers:  “Mornin’ to you too, Dot.”

Joe finally rolled over to look at me with his adorable grin and said, “Well, I guess it’s about time I got these ol’ creaky bones a’movin’ before Dot gets any madder.”

Once Joe decided to sit up, I helped him to put his bathrobe and slippers on so that we could make our way to the shower.  I always walk in front of him so that he can follow me, and when I looked into Dot’s room I noticed that she was changing.  It didn’t take long for Joe to notice the same thing.

At the sight of Dot, topless, Joe froze in his tracks.  She hadn’t even noticed us standing there yet.  I motioned for Joe to keep moving, but he clearly had a one-track mind.

I’m not kidding at all when I tell you that Joe (92 years old) walked over and leaned against Dot’s bedroom door, all seductive-like, and opened the top of his robe a bit more to expose his chest back to her.

Joe offered a small grin, and with a low voice he purred, “Well good morning there, Pretty Lady!”

Dot looked up then, startled momentarily, and then when she realized what Joe was gazing at, her face turned bright red.

Dot smiled:  “Follow the girl to the shower, Joe.”

Joe was not deterred, and with his eyes locked on her chest he added:  “Nice weather we’re having today, huh…?”

Dot couldn’t help but giggle then, and she reached for her blouse.

Joe was trying to be helpful when he said, “Do you need a little help with the buttons?  I’m pretty good with my hands…”

Dot offered a shy grin:  “No, I can get ’em.  Go on now…”

I tried to lure Joe away by saying, “All right, Joe, time for your shower.  Follow me!”

Joe completely ignored me:  “Hear that, Dot?  Time for OUR shower.”

Dot started laughing at that point because how could she not?  Joe was being so charming, and completely adorable.

Dot:  “It’s time for YOUR shower, Joe, now GO!”

Joe shrugged his shoulders, looked at me, and finally decided to follow me to the bathroom:  “Can’t blame a man for trying, right?”

I laughed and said, “Nope.  Not at all.”

Joe:  “One of these days she won’t be able to resist me.”

Me:  “I’m sure you’re right, Joe.”

Joe shuffled along behind me:  “I think I need a new robe.  This one sure didn’t help me any.”

Me:  “Okay, I’ll be on the lookout for a new robe for you.”

Joe:  “Yeah, that’d be good.  As you can tell, I need all the help I can get!”