Joy ride.

“It’s the little things,” was another of my husband’s “old granny” sayings. Peter repeated the phrase often as a way to dissect any quarrels we had. We’ve never argued over the big stuff, but his whiskers in the just-cleaned bathroom sink sets me off, and he hates the way I coil up the garden hose.

Nowadays it’s the little things we do that he enjoys, although he doesn’t want to do anything that will mess up his routine. Our horizons have become limited.

Yesterday I forced myself to do errands, really boring stuff — buy dog food, find special batteries, get wood to replace clothesline poles. I figured Peter would want to go with me and, yes, he was ready within minutes. He misses being able to run the errands himself, and I miss that he can’t do them anymore. Even though I would’ve liked to come home after the last stop, I took us to lunch at a restaurant where he’d never been. That threw him for a loop because the menu was unfamiliar, as were the beer choices. I encouraged him to order a burger. Good thing it was excellent, because the beer I suggested was only so-so.

After lunch, I realized we were just around the corner from a car wash, so I whipped in there. Peter’s eyes were like a kid’s at Christmas. I had to laugh. I pulled the moon roof back so we could watch the giant mops swish over us. After his initial, childish delight, his engineering persona took over and he marveled how the washing system was set up. “How’d they do that?” he asked, as he always does of anything that smacks of good engineering.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.24.43 AMFor Peter, it was a perfect day out. For me, I’m glad such a little thing made him happy…I still hate to run errands though.


There are two types of people in this world, those who would take an Alzheimer’s patient on a joy ride and those who would say it was
a waste of gas.”

Header photo: My sun roof gets washed.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 


9 thoughts on “Joy ride.

  1. Two kinds of people in this world…..those that roll up their sleeves and put their smiles on and those that complain and wear their frowns. You are the very best of the first!

  2. That is so sweet! A nightmare to me but glad P enjoyed the “wash”!! It IS the little things that count!

  3. The “little things DO mean a lot”–but can bring both the most joy or the most frustration. I continue to marvel at your strength and commitment, Judy, and those stars in your crown are sure increasing each day! cj

  4. I love your stories. Your love for each other comes through every story. Keep going for those joy rides!

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