Scavenger hunt

I visited Mom Sunday afternoon. I left myself lots of time this time. I often visit shortly before a meal so I don’t have to stay long. Not nice, but a sanity-maintaining strategy at times. This time, I arrived more than an hour before dinner and figured I’d just visit for awhile.

Mom was in the lobby with her friends when I arrived, but we went to her apartment to talk and visit. She had left me a voice mail earlier about pennies and coins. In her apartment, she showed me a small box she has that is full of pennies. She’d like to wrap them and turn them in for cash. She thinks she has so many that she’d get a substantial amount of money. I’m thinking there are, say, 150 pennies in this box. But I don’t want to spoil the fun. She didn’t have any wrappers, but we have some at home. Next visit, we’ll wrap pennies together.

Meanwhile, she had a hangnail and wanted some nail clippers to cut it off. She tried using a big binder clip to cut it off, but of course it didn’t work. I looked in her purse because I recall that at one time, she did have clippers in there. This time, no clippers. I also noticed, with some chagrin, that her keys weren’t in her purse, either. She usually keeps them in a red and black makeup case. The keys are attached to a plastic stretchy bracelet so she can keep them around her wrist. There was no sign of keys or the makeup bag in her purse. Similarly, I recently decided I should take her credit card out of her wallet, just for safekeeping, as well as her Medicare and insurance cards. I would have taken her driver’s license, too, but it wasn’t in her wallet or anywhere else in her purse.

With the driver’s license and now her keys missing, I decided to just casually look around her apartment for one or both of these critical items. I looked in drawers, cabinets, under the bed, under the couch, on her dresser, on her bathroom counter. Nothing. She also was going through a drawer in her bedroom, pulling out pictures and pens and putting them on her bed, to help with the search. I am pretty sure she had no idea what to look for. I know she spends time going through pictures, coins, boxes of papers, etc., without any real purpose. So at some point I need to plan for a longer period of time to spend at her place just searching until I can find these lost items, which probably got put away or hidden with other miscellaneous items. I am fatigued by the thought.

And speaking of scavenging, Mom has started a new behavior. She has lots of candy and sweets around her apartment that have been gifts or give-aways at various activities at her facility. Twice while we were looking around, she found stray single M&M candies and tossed them in her mouth. I didn’t think it was a big deal, necessarily, but it was just so out of character and showed such a complete lack of judgment – they are probably dirty, but also, they’ve got to be stale and just not taste that good. But apparently for Mom, there is some reward in any little morsel of candy she can find.

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