Receiving Home Delivered Meals #WednesdayWords #WeeklySmile #Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago, on a Friday, I received some disparaging news. When my Schwan driver delivered my order, he told me that the local depot is closing down. I could still order online, but because of the cost of shipping and packing the food in dry ice, it would be more expensive.

I can cook, despite my limited vision. When my late husband Bill was alive and partially paralyzed by two strokes, I did a lot of that, since he preferred home-prepared meals and didn’t like many Schwan’s ready-made food. But now that he’s gone, I don’t see the sense in cooking for just me. So, this news was such a disappointment.

When I told a friend that weekend, she suggested I receive home delivered meals from the senior center. I’d always thought those meals were for people like Bill, who, after his two paralyzing strokes, found it difficult to get out. You can read more about that in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. But I digress.

My friend told me that last summer, when her air conditioner wasn’t working, and she didn’t want to cook, she had meals delivered to her for a while. Although my friend, like me, is over sixty, she’s definitely not shut in.
For years, I’ve eaten lunch at the senior center and have always enjoyed their reasonably-priced, nutritious meals. I’ve wished I could eat there more often, since they have such good food.

According to the senior center’s website, home delivered meals are for people over sixty who find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals at home and get to the store. I’m over sixty, and because of my visual impairment, I find cooking and grocery shopping a challenge. Bingo!

On Monday, I called the senior center, from which I’ve also been receiving housekeeping services and assistance with checking my blood pressure once a week. I left a voicemail in the Home Delivered Meals department.

Although I had plenty of food from Schwan, by Tuesday when my housekeeper arrived, I was concerned and asked her what she could tell me about the program, other than what I learned from the website. Not knowing any more than I did, she called her office and was told that at present, the Home Delivered Meals program had no coordinator but would have one soon. Since I’d explained the situation to my housekeeper, she told the person on the phone to whom she was speaking what was going on and was assured someone would call me soon.

That night, I found out that I had possibly been exposed to COVID the previous weekend while attending a writers’ conference. After I called the Help at Home office Wednesday morning to let them know, I didn’t hold out much hope of anyone from Home Delivered Meals calling me back at that point. Once it was safe for me to be out and about without possibly infecting someone, I would inquire in person at the senior center.

On Thursday, I was working in my office, minding my own business. It was around eleven o’clock in the morning. According to the senior center’s website, meals are usually delivered between eleven and one. A knock sounded on my front door. Could it be, I wondered, as I grabbed my mask and hurried to answer.

It was! On the other side of the screen door stood a woman holding a plastic tray and a paper sack. She introduced herself as Jane and said she had my lunch. Surprised, I said I didn’t think I’d been signed up yet.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. The website also says they give first priority to those who must quarantine as a result of COVID. Since Jane showed up on my doorstep with barbecued pork ribs, friendly volunteers have brought me delicious meals every day. I’ll always look forward to and enjoy the smiles and food.

How about you? What made you smile this past week? You can share in the comment field below or click here, if you’re a blogger, to learn how you can participate in this weekly feature.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor. After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents. Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding. Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request? ***
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Five Favorite Things #Writing Prompt

              1. My Computer. I recently switched screen readers. I’m now using a program called JAWS, which I like a lot better. The software I was using, NVDA, is good, and it’s free. But because of some quirks it was developing, with which I won’t bore you, I was becoming disillusioned with it. So, when I heard that a home annual license for JAWS is $90.00, I figured I could afford that. After trying the demo for a few days, I was sold, especially after seeing how well it works with braille in Microsoft Word.
  1. My braille tablet. This device runs Android 8, and I can do just about anything with it that anyone else can with a smart phone or tablet. This includes word processing, email, surfing the net, reading books, and more. I can also use it as a braille display with my PC.
  2. My Smart Speakers. I have three Amazon Echo devices: one in my bedroom, one in my living room, and one in my office. I primarily use the 3rd generation Echo Dot in my living room with the Audible Clock skill, which plays the Westminster chimes every fifteen minutes, just like the clock we had in our home when I was in high school. On the 2nd generation Echo dot in my bedroom, I’ve programed routines where news broadcasts, weather forecasts, and music are played to start and end my days. My Echo Tap in my office is portable, and I often carry it to my kitchen where I play games with it while eating. I use all three devices for playing music, listening to news and weather and podcasts, adding items to my shopping list, and other tasks.
  3. My Victor Reader Trek. I use this to listen to books, podcasts, music, and Internet radio. It not only plays recorded audiobooks, but I can also hear books in various text file formats with synthesized speech. This device can download books and other material directly from the Web and has a built-in GPS system, which I occasionally use when out walking. It also has a recording feature, which I’ve used to record music and other material for this blog.
  4. Frozen Meals from Schwan. When my husband Bill was alive, he preferred home-cooked meals. Since he could no longer prepare them after his strokes, I had to learn to cook. At the time, we ordered meats and other items from Schwan. Now that he’s gone, I don’t see the sense in doing much cooking just for me. So, I order a lot of ready-made meals I just heat in the oven or microwave. My favorites are macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli, and chicken chili with beans. I also like their breaded blue hake, chicken cordon bleu, and various frozen vegetables plus some of their breakfast sandwiches. By the way, you can learn more about me and Bill by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

***

Thanks to Moondance Pages for inspiring this. Now, it’s your turn. What are five of your favorite things? Please tell me about them either in the comment field below or on your own blog with a link to this post. I look forward to reading your responses.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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