Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)
TITLE: Fresh Bread and Meatloaf
By Leah Nichols
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Day one. Investigation of Lollie Parker, age 91. Son concerned about recent behavior, worried about Alzheimer's. Not my favorite work, but with the economy the way it is, I'll take what I can get. He warned me she gets up early – I didn't realize HOW early. Guess I'll arrive by 4am tomorrow.
What the heck is she doing? She hasn't moved for the last hour. Just sitting on the bed, reading a book, then looking up and talking out loud. I don't need the son's concerns to formulate my opinion at this point.
Finally! She got up, showered, then headed to the kitchen. She took like a zillion pills, before grabbing flour and stuff to bake something. Who really starts baking at 7:30 in the morning? Other than bakeries, that is. My stomach is growling. Better find my cereal bar.
The old lady is officially kooky. While her bread was baking (which does smell heavenly), she danced around her living room and sang for an hour. I AM NOT JOKING. The only old people I've known just sit around, doing crosswords or knitting. She has yet to pick up a needle. Now she's headed to her car. Time to follow her – what next?
She's back, making a sandwich with that fresh bread. I may rethink my opinion about early morning baking. I spent three hours following her around to essentially every thrift store in town. All she bought was kids' clothes. Granted, she only bought nice ones, maybe one or two per store, but that seriously took all morning!
She's been working in her garden for two hours, between washing and pressing those clothes. Got a little worried there a couple times when she glanced up. I know she can't see me through this hedge, but it is a bit nerve-wracking. Can't make out the words, but she's been talking and singing the entire time. If that's a sign of dementia, she just might qualify. I'll need a few more definite signs, though.
A young girl came over from across the street with her two kids – and I'm fairly certain it's not Mrs. Parker's grandkids. They sat, talking, in the kitchen for an hour or so, while she gave them all at least ten cookies apiece. Then she goes and gets all those clean new clothes, and gives them to the girl, who's sobbing and hugging and thanking her all at once. I take back my statement about her being kooky. I kind of wish I had a granny like her.
After they left, she went back to her bedroom for round two of this morning's action. She's back on her bed, reading and talking out loud again. For TWO HOURS. Maybe those twilight years aren't too bad, if you like reading and talking to yourself. She certainly does a lot of that.
For the record, no subject has ever discovered me. I began this career because I can be silent and still for hours. Secondly, I rarely have empathy for my subjects, which keeps me objective. Maybe the giving clothes to the kids thing broke me down today. But I still have no idea how she discovered me!
In the middle of making dinner, she stopped, walked out to the porch, and asked if the person that was observing her would like to eat dinner and “get the real inside scoop”. I almost laughed aloud. The old woman was persistent, though. She was out for twenty minutes. Finally I gave in, since she was so sure of it. But when I asked her if she had seen or heard me, she said no, “God told her”. Yikes.
I had a great meal of meatloaf and potatoes, even if I had to sit through her yakking about God this and God that. So I'm not very religious. Sheesh. I've been to church once or twice in my life. Just didn't figure people actually prayed all day, or did nice things for people without strings attached. Apparently she only recently started this – she went on about “getting saved” a few months back.
Rounding up my report for Mrs. Parker's son. She doesn't have dementia. She's just one of those religious nuts who likes to go around talking to God. Not my type of fun. She did invite me to come over again, however, for more food and conversation.
Maybe I'll think about it. It was pretty good meatloaf.
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