Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sandwich Tasks

My, my, June has been a busy month.

Here are some of the stranger or more laborious tasks of the past few months, tasks which are all part of being in the Sandwich Generation.  Only a few are awful.

The newest addition to the Common Household:
our very own owl!

- birthdays, graduation, a college tour, driving lessons, and more birthdays.  For Younger Daughter’s birthday we went to an escape room and successfully saved the world from a deadly disease, in only one hour!  The puzzle was cleverly put together, and it was lots of fun.

Sovietskaya balalaika

- Tuning my aunt’s Soviet balalaika. A few months back I was surprised to learn that my aunt acquired a balalaika but was at least relieved to know that it was given to her for free.  She has not played any musical instrument since playing violin in high school, but she says she wants to learn how to play “that song from Dr. Zhivago.”  The chance of her doing that is about as likely as an overbearing reality-TV star with a comb-over becoming US President.  In other words, never say never.   My aunt and mom were unduly impressed that I found the “Online Balalaika Tuner.”  It was necessary, because I don’t know the first thing about balalaikas.

- orchestrating a rather complicated series of medical appointments for my aunt.  The whole thing was made blessedly simpler because my brother is able to take her, rather than me having to arrange transportation.

- having my own medical procedures discussed at length at the Old Folks’ Home by people I don’t know while I wasn’t even there. My aunt called and said, “Did you have surgery on your eye? I think maybe you did, but I can’t remember.”  I said, “Yes, I had a very small growth removed from my eyelid.  It wasn’t really surgery.”  My aunt said, “Well, my friend is very concerned about your eye.  What’s her name?  It’s that Chinese woman.  Oh, yes, Sherry Ottley*.  She is very concerned about your eye.” 

I have never heard of Sherry Ottley in my life.  I certainly have never met her.

- duties as the junior member of the band program committee, which merely (ha!) puts together the paper on which your son or daughter’s name is listed, along with the musical selections the bands will play.  Despite that simple description, it isn’t simple.  But okay, it’s easier than chaperoning a band trip.

- moving Son out of his college dorm, and into his first apartment! 
Moving into one's own apartment is likely
to mean a trip to Target.  This Target had
an escalator for the shopping carts.
- leading book club discussion.  The book was David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell.  The person who started the book club, my husband, insists that there be snacks.  What kind of snacks should there be?  I decided on slingshots constructed out of pretzels, fruit by the foot, and cemented with melted chocolate, only to have Son tell me that David used a sling, not a slingshot.   I only made four of them because I thought no one would actually want to eat any.  I was right.  Fruit by the foot is edible, but it is hard to classify it as food.
Edible slingshots.  They didn't look like
 this on Pinterest.  Also, they are not biblical.

* Name has been changed to protect the identity of meddling old ladies.


smalltownme said...

The moving of our son into a place on the other side of the continent in February involved 2 trips each to Target, BedBath&Beyond, and Home Depot, plus waiting for an Ikea delivery. On our recent June visit, after delivering the truckload of stuff we drove from CA to MA, we also went to Ikea, Home Depot, and the local Ace Hardware. Hopefully he will stay in place at least 3-4 years now.

I have also been sandwiched. My elders are gone now, no balalaikas but I do have a zither.

Cassi said...

I love the owl. Does he bring messages?

I hate moving myself, I can't imagine having to help my kids :-)

The Crislers said...

The owl is wonderful. I hope it makes you smile every time you walk into your house.

All of those other things sound so tiring. So much responsibility heaped onto you! I know that's kind of what the whole sandwich thing is about, but man. I'm exhausted for you. I have never so much as heard of a balalaika, let alone know how to find a tuner online. Color me impressed! I'm glad to hear you're taking time for book club, and hopefully other things that fill you back up when you're feeling otherwise depleted.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Dh and I, plus the 23yo, helped our oldest move his little family into a new-to-them abode. It's so much bigger and quieter than their tiny college town apartment. My job included holding and entertaining the baby and wiping out some cupboards before we filled them at teh new place. SuperDad, EB, and The Engineer did all the heavy lifting with many trips in the pickup truck. The Author, when she wasn't chatting with me or feeding the baby, packed a box or two. It was the easiest move EVER (for the females).

I'm glad your brother was able to step up and do some of the transportation for your aunt. You are truly living the sandwich generation life. I'm grateful for the respite currently being experienced on my end, and I hope you can fit some respite in there for yourself, too.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My, I am exhausted by this list. You've been wicked busy helping all the people. Kind hearted, that's what you are.
Cute book club treat--I hope you had fun discussing.
That owl is adorable.
And I never knew about that instrument, thanks for educating me today!