Niilo this week very clearly said, “Hello,” looking with interest at each member of Chena Ridge Friends Meeting who visited and shared in silent worship with him in the Pioneers Home library. They now join him every first and third Monday evening at 7:30pm.
Joan and Alex visit Niilo every Tuesday & Thursday, when they also go bowling and to the Noel Wien Library and to eat out. Heather & Joan – and often Rob – join Niilo for a meal, visiting, and sometimes Ice Cream Social at the Pioneers Home on Saturdays. Niilo also attends other social and musical events at the home and other residents and nursing aides tell us they really like him for his smile. Wonderful friends – especially Richard F. – visit frequently.
Joan has been reading more and doing a few painting projects in recent months, cooking and enjoying meals with friends, many of whom were close neighbors in years past. Cards and other games with family members and fellow rummy-fiend Nancy are Joan’s passion, as is knitting. With seed and suet feeders hanging in front of the living room window, Joan enjoys watching the many chickadees, redpolls, woodpeckers, occasional other small birds and Canada jays that gather to eat; as well as grouse on the nearby crabapple tree. It has been a while since seeing a moose by the house, but their tracks are there! Other tracks were recently explained when Dane saw a lynx in the driveway.
November had some quite-cold weather, hitting -36 F on the homestead while setting a colder record in the valley for some dates. The weatherization done on the house in recent years has made a Big difference in heating costs! Then the first week of December brought a Chinook wind with temps in the 40’s, causing roads that look like they may be icy all winter like last year, though not as bad.
Best Wishes for all.
I look forward to visiting Niilo, Joan, Heather, Chena and Gary, Alex between the 9th and the 14th of January, when I’ll be coming up to catch a few ice-rays. If anyone needs anything from down this way,
or Oregon in particular, please let me know. And do check out our
nonprofit where we take an antique bookmobile to outlying areas and give books away for free. See http://www.bookstothepeople.org. See you guys in a few weeks!
Art (Ezra) Tishman
I am sorry to hear that Niilo is struggling with Alzheimers, though I think the operative word here is “struggle”, which is how I remember him as a boy when my mother worked for Project Homestart in Fairbanks in the early 1970s. Please know he and your family are in my thoughts. Niilo, Westine Holmes and a few others from those days represented for me what it means to continue a tough political battle with what Comrade Dorothy Day called this “wretched, wretched system”. I do my best in the education wars of now, as we hold the line to build a resistance to the privatization effort now overwhelming our urban schools everywhere. But we will win. Hang tough, y’all, and peace to you now and always.—Michael Hureaux, Seattle
Thanks, Michael, for the message.
I will make sure Niilo (Dad) gets it.
I’m sure Dad would say, “Onward!”
If there is any way to whisper Danny Bloom says BIG HELLO to Niilo from Juneau-Tokyo-Taipei cave, age 63, Capital City Weekly long ago, please do. L’chayim!