July 17, 2006
The rest of the weekend at my mom’s went pretty well. I spent a lot of time on paperwork: opening mail, rounding up all the bills I could find, writing out checks so Mom could sign them (she could have written them out herself, it was just easier for me to do it), filing receipts and statements and drug information sheets, taking junk mail out to the recycling bin, and other stuff like that. I also went out for lunch with my niece, just the two of us, and our conversation reassured me that she’s doing okay now that Mom has perked up some and is doing more things for herself. I didn’t have as much of an opportunity to talk to my brother as I’d hoped. He and his wife accelerated their plans to move into Mom’s house, so I mostly had to catch him when he was taking breaks from unloading stuff out of the U-Haul truck. That was okay, though; it’s good to know he’ll be on site now to help out.
Another thing I did while I was there was fix the remote control for the tv. Mom said it hadn’t worked since the dog sat on it, so she’d put it away in the cabinet the television sits on. I went to look, figuring I’d find pieces that maybe I could glue or tape together until I could get a replacement online, but it seemed to be intact. Just for grins, I pointed it at the tv and pushed various buttons–no response. Hmm, what else did I know how to do with a remote? Replace the batteries, of course. I found the right size in only the second drawer I searched, popped them in, and just like that we had a working remote. I think Mom appreciated that a lot more than getting caught up with the bill paying, actually.
I left Mom’s yesterday with several pages of notes for myself about things I want to do between now and the next time I can get over there for a visit. One of them I’ve already taken care of: ordering an I-Pass. I know I said I wouldn’t get one until it was cheaper and less intrusive. Well, nothing has changed about the I-Pass, but my circumstances have. I’m going to be making much more frequent trips to Chicagoland, and I’ll have enough stress without adding to it by having to sit in the big backups to pay tolls (backups which now are much worse than they ever were–thank you open road tolling). I could avoid most of the tolls by taking the Dan Ryan, except that’s got even worse backups on it these days (see avoidtheryan.com). Thus the I-Pass. I like to think it’s a good sign I can change my position on something in response to new data.