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In the continuing saga of how the system has infiltrated our lives in ways we shouldn’t allow, I am watching Wilson and his mother. They have formed a pact that I can only liken to Bonnie and Clyde. She and Wilson are “on the lam” from Social Services. No one is going to tell them what is best for Mary.

The other day, in the height of the storm, Wilson drove down and retrieved his mom. She has central heating, he heats with wood. Spending the storm at his house meant his pipes wouldn’t freeze, though it is a bit rustic there. I heard from him around 8am when they had arrived back at his cabin and were hunkered down by the roaring stove. The wind was whipping; sub-zero windchill didn’t register on my outdoor thermometer, but even my sturdy home shook.

I checked back in with them when the storm abated and said I was headed to the next town for basics. Did they need anything?  I wrote out my short list and headed down the road. Secondary roads, OK, back roads to most of us, were not plowed or sanded. This time of year the potholes and frost heaves have changed every mile into an olympic giant slalom course. If the trucks drop their plows too low, they will shave the festering pimples off the heaves, resulting in more holes. It’s a no win situation. The main roads, those with a number as opposed to a name, were somewhat better since the plows had at least passed to scattered sand and salt.

When I reached Wilson’s,  Mary was sitting by the wood stove patting Slinky the wonky-eyed dog. The Chicken was happily scratching in her cage and all was right with the world. I brought two soups, chicken wings and sausages. I basically cleaned out the fridge and we dined in style.

Mary spent the night at the cabin. She said there were some who would not approve of “camping.”   Wilson replied, “No one in their right mind would live like this on purpose.” But they played checkers, read to each other, went through old photo albums; warm and happy.

The next day Wilson took Mary out again, much to the chagrin of Social Services. They drove to George and Mary Iselin’s Earth Haven Farm. The sugar house was buzzing with activity as they fired up the boiler for the first time this season to make Maple Syrup. Mary sat in the sun as the steam poured from the sugar shack.


Wilson cut wood for the boiler. The workers adjusted the lines so the sap would run best with the gravity feed.


Later, Wilson took Mary to meet the new lambs, feed the rams and view Mary Iselin’s paintings in the farmhouse where she sat with George, in the cosy kitchen having tea.


I don’t know what Elder Care is supposed to look like. We, the Baby Boomers, are the largest aging population this society has ever seen. I hope all those protests and hard-won values of our youth, result in uncommon acts of kindness such as this man is doing for his mother.


10 comments on “Uncommon acts of kindness

  1. Touring NH says:

    I’m glad that Mary is getting to spend some quality time with Wilson, even if they are on the lam! Every day our lives are getting shorter and this time together is probably the best medicine Mary could get!


    1. Every parent should have a child like Wilson, for better or worse…


  2. mariekeates says:

    Seems to me, if I was Mary, I’d rather be camping with Wilson and having adventures than sitting in a hospital or an old folks home. Long may it continue.


    1. Right? We should all be so lucky at 85 years old!


  3. This is the best elder care. Checkers by a wood stove, sounds like part of my childhood. Warmth and interesting situations are a joy at both ends of the life span.
    Nice post


    1. Thanks for dropping in!


  4. CindySheaNH says:

    I want to be as spry as Mary is at 85! Please ask her to share her secret.


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