Monday, May 01, 2006


On Mondays and Thursdays I try to take my mother out to Bob Evans for lunch. My mother was born July 1, 1915. I am a late child. My mother has dementia, which is a polite way of saying she is senile, although she doesn't seem to have Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or any other specific cause for it.

She loses odd things. Today I watched her eat her meatloaf and mashed potatoes with a long-handled ice tea spoon. Sometimes the array of silverware baffles her (although she has never eaten with a knife--in fact, as far as I can tell she does not use a knife at all these days.) She sorts through her silverware, arranging and rearranging it. Moving it on to her napkin on the left side of her plate. A moment later, moving the fork to the right side and carefully inserting it between her iced tea and the plate, even though this means shoving it under the lip of the plate.

She is sorting. Sorting. Sorting. Making sense, I think.


Anonymous Austin said...

Bob Evans with a parent/grandparent is one of those things...

This reminded me of an awesome New York Times article I read way back:

* * *

The goal at every Bob Evans restaurant is to be the same as every other Bob Evans restaurant. ''We want to make sure the experience someone has in New Martinsville is the same as the one they'd have in Orlando, St. Louis or Baltimore,'' said Tammy Roberts Myers, the P.R. director at the Bob Evans headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The company's guiding principle is simple: consistency, in everything from ambience to the distance between tables to the arrangement of food on your plate.

''Going out to eat is risky,'' said Steve Govey, the Bob Evans regional manager for the Ohio Valley. ''You never know what you're going to get. But at Bob Evans, that's not true. Our strategy is being completely predictable, something people know they can count on.''

* * *

I'm wondering, if you're literally losing your mind, if Bob Evans isn't comforting in some way...because it's always the same?

May 01, 2006 6:07 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

It might be, Austin. In our case, it's the same Bob Evans every time. I know most of the waitresses and they know mom and they understand about her and take really fine care of her. She lives in an assisted living place and about a month ago the ladies from the assisted living went to Bob Evans on an official outing. Rosie, the waitress, explained that my mom like the chicken pot pie and hot tea.

The next time Rosie was my waitress, she was tipped a bit high.

May 03, 2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

I was a late baby, too, although my mother was a little older than yours (born 1911) and I'm probably a little older than you.
Your mother looks lovely--I love how she is sitting up so straight, and her puckish, closed-lips smile.

May 03, 2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger alannajoy said...

Well, someone has to make sense of it all... Glad she is trying.


May 04, 2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Lucette is right, the picture is wonderful. Your mother looks content to be there, perplexing utensils or not.

May 04, 2006 6:32 PM  
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^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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