On Alzheimer’s and lentils

This post was written and dated 9-JUL, but is only being posted on 23-JUL

9-JUL-2017, Cleveland Pass – I don’t suffer from depression, but Jennifer can and is.

Yesterday we sailed up from Stedman Cove in Rocky Pass. Our friend Heath anchored near us and came by for dinner. I need to teach Heath to make bread. It will change his life.

Our friend Ray Penson, last year, mentioned that he basically lived on Stag-brand chili. I thought of this as an interesting curiosity. Then, Heath talked of buying $400 worth of Amy’s organic chili to live on. He also buys organic canned condensed soups that he uses as a sauce on quinoa this year, previously rice. But he no longer enjoys rice.

When Heath joined us for dinner, we served lentil soup and fresh bread. Heath, surprisingly, asked whether I used green lentils (no, brown). I don’t expect most people to even know there are different kinds.

[The lentil soup recipe comes from Maria LoPinto’s Art of Italian cooking: Boil lentils until done. Cook together tomatoes, onions and celery, then mix with lentils. She has ratios she likes, I use whatever looks good. We had no celery, so I left it out.]

Jennifer has great joy when Heath is here. They talk about navigating, charts and anchorages.
After a while Hilary started to ‘‘spin up.’’ Her psychosis gets louder and she will become somewhat difficult to be around unless all attention is focused on her, so we called it a night.

While not having guests this year is sound, dilution of the number of people who are mad is a great help on board. But, I would not be the most pleasant journey for our guests. I wonder, are we using Hilary as an excuse for not doing things? We don’t leave the boat that often, we don’t go walking that often, though we took Hilary into El Capitan cave where she had to climb almost 400 steps and crawl on her hands and knees in parts of the cave.*

A lot of the soul of this trip is missing, in part because we’ve been here before. In part, because we are spending more and more time talking about when the trip is over and what we will do next year when it is just the two of us. (Songs with lyrics that are catch lines from our conversations are caught up in our heads and quoted or sung: Just the two of us, we can make it if we try. Just the two of us.)

Jennifer concluded yesterday that we are halfway through. Last year, it was a time of sadness: there is so little time left. This year it is a bit of relief.

At the Ketchikan Yacht Club, we spent time with a nurse, Marianne, and her husband, Doug. One morning in the club house, when Marianne and I were alone, she gave me the eye and said regarding Hilary’s care, ‘‘This has to be a team: More than two people.’’

We can do this, just the two of us, but at what cost. Jennifer has dissolved into tears and cried, ‘‘I hate her.’’ And then explains who her mother was and the closeness of their relationship. This woman is someone else.

On Caro Babbo, Alzheimer’s is The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, played in 100 square feet with no intermission and a script written by a psychotic.

Among the things we don’t do is sail as much. At my request, we are making shorter days. We also try to spend multiple days at docks rather than at anchor so we can easily get off the boat with Hilary.

Yesterday we motored for 37 miles in a windless, low-clouded day. This morning, the weather forecast – we are getting weather reports again – says 15 knots from the south, so a good day wing-and-wing running northward for another 30+ miles day.

We may start seeing more whales, but it is earlier in the season that last year. So we may not see them until we pass by again on the way home in less than a month.

The current starts running northward in ninety minutes. We have things to do. It has rained continuously all night. We have to get foulies on preceded by some breakfast.

* The wonderful Genna sat with Hilary in a dark cave when Hilary decided she had had enough and wasn’t proceeding any further.

Author: johnjuliano

One-third owner of Caro Babbo, co-captain and in command whenever Caro Babbo is under sail.

2 thoughts on “On Alzheimer’s and lentils”

  1. Hi John,
    Today is the 23rd of July.

    Tomorrow is the anniversary of the scariest day of Mom and myself’s lives. We became parents of a most wonderful child. A young man who grew to be the child who was beyond our fondest hope of a man.

    Pretty high praise for a guy who runs around the pacific ocean in a hole in the water and a sheet on a stick!!!!

    Were we and are proud of you? you betcha!

    Happy Birthday John!!!

    and many, many more!

    Be careful not to too close to the edge. …….Contrary to scientific thought..the world is flat….Just ask dopey Donald!!!

    Again Happy Birthday John!!!!

    Love you


    1. Thanks, Dad. We’ll be in Juneau for the next few days while we replace the depth sounder. A few friends are here, so we’ll see them as well.

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