Autumn 2017 A friend’s elderly mother unexpectedly died. My friend is the only other person I know who lived in her mother’s house. It was a bond, a commonality, that is broken now, and I feel the loss. Her mother died well, two days after making marmalade, with time to say goodbye. I want that […]
About Gretchen Staebler
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Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Gretchen Staebler contributed a whooping 67 entries.
What do we do with the stuff our parents left behind? And what about our own stuff? A year ago I wrote a post on this website about cleaning out my parents’ house of more than fifty years (a condensed digest of an ongoing series on my other blog). I’m still at it. Because I’m […]
The Story Mama developed a serious sweet tooth as she aged (not uncommon in the elderly), though she complained about cookies being too sweet. One of the first things to go when the brain gets old is sense of taste. Given the same thing twice, one time she will love it and the next time […]
The Story: Meat was hard for Mama to chew and to digest, but pork tenderloin passed all the tests. We both loved this recipe. It’s soft (if not overcooked) and tasty. And it’s easy to prepare! It continues to be my favorite meat recipe. The Recipe: Ingredients: ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. ground coriander […]
If you are the primary caregiver, you are doing a lot. You may want, even expect, your sibling to do whatever you need them to do. Unfortunately, some siblings are going to resist. They do nothing, you get (understandably) resentful, and relationships fall apart. In the story below, a reader describes how she got her […]
“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” ― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room __________ The rural house sat at the end of a fork of the south bay of Puget Sound. It was an unremarkable house, but exiting the backdoor, like the closet door into Narnia, my first childhood home was anything but ordinary. […]
What is your sibling story? Do they participate or not? If so, what role do they take? Have you done anything to bring reluctant ones around? How do you cope? Send your story on the contact page here. The oldest of four daughters, I was on disability and living in a house with my […]
The Story As I’ve said, Mama loved soup. One of her favorite past-times, when she could still see what was in the refrigerator, was to put all the dribs and drabs of leftovers into her ancient Revere Ware pot with the cracked handle and add water (or maybe canned tomatoes if she was feeling especially festive […]
The sink is leaking. I stopped Michelle from pointing it out to Mama this morning just as she opened her mouth to repeat what Mama, thank God, didn’t hear the first time. After dinner, Rebecca and I notice there is water puddling in the cupboard under the sink. While Mama gets ready for bed, Rebecca […]
A story of long haul caregiving. I finished reading Mother Lode this week amid a hail storm of memories. My mother is 96 and living with Alzheimer’s. I have been her part-time caregiver for about fifteen years. Like so many mothers of the Greatest Generation, she is a survivor. Having fought life-threatening cancer three times, […]