These notes are from the first week in December. Sam said,
“I remember as a child, growing up, I was going to the local church. During the war (WWII) we had somebody smash watermelons in the foyer of the church. It was a German church in Longmont, Colorado.”
I’ve always known Sam was of German stock – how could one not, with a last name like Achziger? 🙂 What I didn’t until this story, was that his parents were actually born and raised in Russia!!
Apparently, during the time of Catherine the Great, a bunch of Germans located to farm on the Volga. (No idea if this was a voluntary or involuntary thing.) The community(ies?) maintained its German cultural and linguistic heritage. Sam’s parents were married here in the US, Sam doesn’t know if they had previously met there or not. So all the kids were born here, and they grew up speaking German.
“Mom told me they used to bury their food in manure piles to keep it from being stolen by the soldiers.”
This was back in Russia, when she was growing up I guess. WWI? My notes aren’t clear.
“I feel sorry for immigrants. I remember how I was treated and I didn’t have any telltale marks. School is another culture.”
Sam did have some “marks” though: “I didn’t have my own clothes until high school, it was always hand-me-downs. I remember my dad would put my shoes on a shoetree and cut out pieces of material and patch them.”
Then we got into some other stories and current events. I didn’t note where they saw each other. Maybe at Walmart? Debbie, who used to work 3rd shift, has quit and gone to work at Walmart. And Jennifer had taken Sam there while she was visiting over Thanksgiving. I’m not sure Sam had a grand time; hard for him not to be able to motivate under his own power. But he told me he always wonders if they’ll recognize them or not, because he once “made out like a bandit” there exchanging a vacuum cleaner. 🙂 Did you know Sam is a scam artist? Surely you’re not surprised…!
I saw Betty Worden, one of the best nurses who I hadn’t seen in awhile. Got a big hug. 🙂 Sam said, “Betty is quite a gal. I call her Booper.” He refers to her that way to and expects other staff to know who he means. I’m sure they figure they it out. There’s no dim bulbs there, even if they’re all underpaid and overworked.
He really liked his Dunkin Donuts hazelnut coffee.
Oh, that Walmart story? It must have been awhile ago, because I don’t think you could get away with this today. He had a defective sweeper that he hadn’t purchased there. Marched right in and asked to see the manager. (No messing around.) He wanted to tell him he had poor taste. !! But the clerk working the counter said there wasn’t a general manager available, but she could “fix that” for him, and told him to go pick out one he liked. Sam selected the most expensive model, exchanged it and got “a few bucks” back as well! What a sly dawg!
Other tidbits from this visit:
Bill McKim took Sam to church.
Jennifer left the Friday after Thanksgiving. She bought him TONS of flowers and gifts.
When I arrived Sam had just woken up. He was in good spirits but harder to understand than usual. He was also pretty slumped in his chair. He eventually let me muscle him around to a more comfortable position. (He is a lugger!) We talked about his energy and ability to articulate (that dysphasia thing, or whatever it is). He says its always harder for him to speak in the afternoons. Even if he stays in bed throughout the morning, he’s “used up all my energy” by lunchtime. Sam usually wakes up around 7 am, and even lying down at some point doesn’t seem to preserve his strength or give him much of a boost. However, after I told Sam I was having a hard time understanding him, his speech improved a lot, but interestingly, it still sounded “unclear” to Sam himself. %-/
Sam really liked the Hungarian music given him by David. (And, if I must say so, he “performed” really well the day David and I visited, waking him up from a deep nap!)
And that brings me (and you) up to date! Except (!) for the jokes from George Carlin on aging that Sam really enjoyed when I saw him on Christmas Eve. There. If you click through on those, you’ll be all set.