For once in my life I took the right turn at Albuquerque!
The Gloria, 7,565 miles older and bug-ridden, but still ready to rumble.
The Gloria, Mr. Bones, and myself arrived home Friday afternoon, October 1st, and the first thing I did was kiss this man...
Having no idea who he was I hustled into the house to kiss The Boyfriend in the Basement next as that seemed more appropriate.
Kidding! Just kidding!
I didn't kiss The Boyfriend in the Basement at all.
Haha! Now for reals, folks...
The trip was amazing. From the the grandiose cities to our beautiful countryside, from the caregiver friends that I got to meet for the first time to the strangers who gazed, gaped, and grilled us on just "What in the hell...?" we were doing in that dementia mobile, the whole experience was thrilling.
A super-duper shout out to my never-met friends who opened their homes and hearts to us while telling their caregiver stories!
Allyson Schrier, of ZinniaTV fame, graciously agreed to be our filmmaking guinea pig, hosting us in Seattle at the beginning of August so we could work out the kinks for the big trip in September. We still had kinks! But much fewer ones due to her generously agreeing to go first.
The sister caregiver act of Grace and Ashley shared their stories of dementia devotion as we battled Al Capone-style mosquitos in Chicago that had me swollen and itchy for days!
Matt and Lindsay Perrin told their tales of double-duty dementia caregiving to two parents, while raising their young daughters in Amherst, NH.
Rosanne Corcoran, who hosts Daughterhood, The Podcast, made sure we were very well fed before sitting down to swap dementia yarns of sacrifice and satisfaction in caring for our respective mom's. (Then I totally got Mr. Bones and myself lost on foot in her town for 2 1/2 hours!)
Veronica Shanklin, founder of the non-profit Dementia Care Warriors, and I sweated through a 95 degree evening in Dallas, TX, regaling each other with yarns of the laughter and sorrows we've experience in dementia caregiving.
One thing I discovered on this trip? I'm much more articulate with the written word! But I tried to hold my verbal own with these smart, concise, hilarious, and perceptive caregivers - their words helping me process unexamined thoughts and feelings about my own dementia family caregiver journey.
I was also on cloud nine whenever a Stumped Town Dementia reader and I met up on the road!
It didn't happen much because we were on a tear across country every day to stay on schedule, and you guys, well... you are dementia family caregivers - not always in charge of your own schedules. Still, it was a pleasure spending an hour with Patty in Massachusetts, an afternoon with Kristi in Alabama, and hosting Tess at my RV campsite one evening in Berkeley! To those we missed, maybe next fall a screening tour coming to your area? We shall see!
And now for the most exciting part of filmmaking - post production! Where, with the help of a new team of collaborators, I will get to craft the film out of all the footage we've amassed.
And about those collaborators, if any of you have a recommendation on post-production professionals you know (assistant editors, documentary editors, post-production producers/supervisors for independent films) do let me know! I'm currently working on getting the clips ready for transcription which I'll do myself so I know every inch of the footage by the time I'm done, then I'll hand it off so our caregiver stories can reach their full potential with professional guidance.
Have a good day, my caregiver friends, and if it can't be good make it great! And if dementia won't give 'ya either, well make it spectacularly awful, pour yourself a glass of wine tonight and punch that sucker in the face tomorrow!