We picked her up at the Chateau Renoir.
The three of us got in the car but not one of us had an idea of where we should go beyond the usual suggestions of Dairy Queen or MacDonalds.
I don’t know why we did just keep driving north, east, south or west. But food was on someone’s mind and we settled in to a Mexican Restaurant.
“I will have a quesadilla,” said Vernetta.
“That is the only thing not on the menu,” said Wyona. "That is the trouble with these Mexican fast food places. They have a limited selection of food."
I have no idea how we could have had more fun. Vernetta took us back to show us the spacious interior of her retirement home: the Chateau Renoir. I was all agog at the sight of the hotpool at the end of the swimming pool. Vernetta showed us the exercise room, the games rooms, and the do-it-yourself laundry room, out of which her iron had disappeared. There is a generation beneath me for whom an iron is an appliance to be ignored. But apparently 80 and 90 year olds still value its use. “Purchase another and I will refund the money to you,” the manager had told Vernetta. But she still sleuthed it out, asking the cleaner if she had seen the iron. Sure enough it had just been moved one laundry room over.
We hung out in Vernetta’s beautiful suite, saw her kitchette, her spare room, her bedroom, and we hung out in her sitting room, exchanging stories that had their genesis over 50 years ago. Wyona could remember Grandpa Reed living with them. I can remember Vernetta’s sister, Audrey.
We tried to figure out what it is that keeps Vernetta young and decided it is her schedule: she watches the news in the morning and the evening. She gets exercising in, both with someone who leads the group and by walking. She knows the names of everyone who lives in the facility. She knows how to take the Chateau’s bus when she needs to get out.
|Apple Peeler - Williams Sonoma|
"I like to eat an apple that way," she said when I asked her why she kept that piece of equipment.
Of all of the things a person has to give up when they downsize, I can see why she would keep that kitchen tool.
Next time we go back we are taking Moiya along and a deck of Rook cards.