My mother lives at an assisted living facility these days. When she goes out, people she knows will greet her and tell her how lovely she looks and will then say, "How do you like your new home?" She puts on her best public smile and says, "Well, it's hard to call it home, but it's where I live." She refuses to accept the place as home even though she was desperately lonely in her own house and felt awkward and lonely when she lived with my sister. It's just the way she is. But when I spent some time with her a week ago, I saw how all the residents looked after each other, and they were all so friendly. And I thought how assisted living isn't such a bad idea. Granted, I fantasize about living in a commune or owning a big inn I can fill with people who could use a little help, a little assistance. In response to my visit with my mother, here is today's column for Small Town Newspaper.
And if you've got five minutes, watch this video of a "flash mob" event at my mother's "home." The man who slept through the whole thing and wakes up with painted nails is Carl. My mother is in this as well—the woman in pink who walks away at the end.