When my carpool and I arrived at our coffee stop this morning, and everyone was out of the cars walking in, I had this overwhelming feeling like…ahh…this is exactly why I do this. All morning as we drove along, our discussions were so meaningful and friendly. This group is well matched in their desire to share stories and listen to each other, and assist each other. In my car we talked about a recent support group session that two of them had been to, and a day program that a couple of them go to. They expressed their feelings and laughed and joked and related – related is the word I’m looking for – the back and forth between them as they talked about their lives was pretty powerful to observe today. I started our program years ago specifically to serve this demographic, people who are curious about life and want to stay engaged and active and have full lives and relationships, and are coping with the frustrations of some dementia that has forced a detour in their plans. It was a day full of that friendship and relating today.
After our coffee break  we were pulling away,  and I said my usual corny line, “do we have more or less everyone?” And A’s quick and funny answer was “with us, I’d say everyone is less then more!” Ha!
I mentioned here that I like how this group is curious about life and our surroundings. A couple of examples from V today. One was when we were in Thornton, approaching our 11:30 tour, he observed, “I used to go on Sunday rides when I was a kid and we’d come out this way, but there was nothing here in those days”, and later when we saw a small house standing strong amongst taller buildings, “I bet that used to have a whole farm around it.” We aren’t passively spending our day, I’d say it’s much more about being engaged with our environment, and with each other.
D was one of the first ones I picked up and I said to her, “Sorry, I have this package here. I thought I’d see a mailbox for it, but I haven’t seen one yet. I’ll move it out of your way.” And HOURS later, as I was bringing her home she said, “Look Mary, a mail truck!” Yay! So I  pulled over, jumped out of the car, got the package from the back of the van where it had been out of sight and out of my memory at least, and I handed it right over to the driver.  Thank you D.
S made a joke today which was perfectly appropriate but he apologized and said, “sometimes I can be a smart ass”. D said, “hey, it’s ok, we’ve got a car full of that!” She laughed a bunch today, it was obvious how comfortable she was. And I kept calling her “ballerina” as she gracefully got in and out of the car, and Brian even did some ballet moves for her!
Before our lunch at Olive Garden, we had a full one hour tour and visit with the dogs being trained for hearing impaired people. Hearing Dogs International is  now in their 35th year and are doing wonderful work. Not only do they place their well trained dogs in the homes of the hearing impaired, but when they have dogs who don’t pass the test they still place them in homes where they can be therapeutic. Please check out their website, such a great organization: https://www.hearingdog.org