Collaborate2011

Granny Mansion Moment #24: Daily Agenda – Alexandra Susan

In Alexandra Susan, nonfiction, photography on July 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Like many people who wonder what their cats are up to while they are away at work all day, I often wonder about what Olga’s up to all day at home. Once in a while I get panicked visions of her falling down, letting strangers into the house, getting robbed, or running out of adult diapers… but Olga’s not really the one who’s a cause for panic, as she is generally too half-awake for any kind of crisis.  It’s Sophie who’s the flight risk since she’s still able to get around outside the house and even hop cabs to places outside the city.

More often than getting panicked visions, though, I sometimes just think about how Olga must be so bored in her apartment. I think about how every day is the same for her, and how it must feel to come to terms with never getting out anymore. But then I remember how great it must be to be able to hang around home all day, to have no obligations, to nap whenever you please.

Thankfully she’s got the company of Mrs Fruehauf and her sister Sophie (when they’re on good terms and not fighting), as well as her daytime home health aid. Olga’s also very entertained by  listening to DJ banter on pop radio stations and watching the anchors on Fox News. She once asked me if one of the anchors, his name was Harry Fairweather maybe, was the President of the U.S. (She still has trouble understanding “Americanish,” as she says).

Anyway, the thing I take most comfort in when concerned about Olga’s boredom is her astute ability to find little ways to pass the time throughout the day. She has her jobs, like reminding me about the garbage, locking the doors at night, and sorting our mail, but she also has a number of other daily agenda items that she diligently completes.

Aside from changing the pictures in her photo frames, she also changes her outfits at least 5 or 6 times a day. She rearranges her china in her cupboard, she leafs through coupon fliers or a stack of German newspapers from 1982, and she sits by the window looking out at the sidewalk. On warm days, she asks her heath aid to drag a chair out to the front stoop and sits there with the door open. On cold days, she opens the door of her oven and turns it on to heat her kitchen. And about every hour, she snacks and boils water in her electric kettle to make a cup of instant coffee or tea.

She goes through like 100 bags of tea a week.

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  1. Touching, to think about all those little rituals. Especially the coupon fliers and the stack of German newspapers!

    I’m a little worried about the oven though…

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