We ate lunch before going to pick Mom and Dad up, and we brought dinner with us, so there was no issue about eating on the road going in. We got to the house around 6PM, and it was...well, pretty much as you'd expect a house to be after being unexpectedly abandoned for three weeks (remember, they were on their way there when they had the accident.) Stuffy, dusty, a bi musty and damp, plus her patio plants were very dry and while there was a nice crop of cherry tomatoes, a fair number were overripe.
We put away food and they picked tomatoes and she got her computer set up (she keeps a monitor and keyboard in both houses, and travels between with a Mac cpu and power supply. Works very well for her.) and eventually, we had dinner. And then they both collapsed.
Normally, when we are up there, Mom makes rather fancy breakfasts - eggs and such - at least a couple of times, and she started on Friday. BIG mistake - she was exhausted and in pain afterwards. I talked her out of making French toast on Sunday. I took Mom shopping afterwards - just for fruits and vegetables, really, plus a couple of sale items, and a trip to a drugstore for stuff we all needed. She insisted on making a turkey breast covered with pulverized vegetables and wouldn't let me help, and we were getting tense about Shabbat.
The candle thing solved itself - they didn't go to shul that night since it was too short to put someone out driving them there and back - so we lit at the normal time and *she* offered to let me light my own candles. So I got my tea lights, which solved the problem of not enough candlesticks - she had two extra, not three - and lighting happened. They left on sufficient light for us - a light in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, the hallway and a lamp in the computer room, and we had a timer for our bedroom lamp. Dinner was delicious, and there were lots of leftover turkey. This proved to be a good thing, as it would.
Their ride arrived around 8AM. We would have the morning and part of the afternoon to ourselves. Jonathan davened (he'd also led his parents in kabbalat shabbat before dinner, hiding behind the fridge to avoid seeing his mother's hair.) I made a salad for lunch - keeping it pareve in the salad bowl, but adding goat cheese in our own bowls. We had salad left over, so this was also a good thing. They were dropped off at about 2PM. The service was extra long, comprising a group adult bat mitzvah plus services by the beginning and intermediate Hebrew groups.
This will sound terrible, but we're pretty glad we weren't there. Yes, it was a lovely thing, but it's...not something that would happen in the shuls we attend.
Anyway, there was a large kiddush afterwards, so they ate there.
Spent the rest of the afternoon quietly, with a suedat shleshit (ritual third meal, had late Shabbat afternoon) of turkey and salad,and then Shabbat was over and there was some computer time (it's a dial-up) and I got out my knitting and we even watched some tv. The knitting was key. See, in the past, I would hide out in our room with a couple pounds of pistachio nuts, but that's not allowed anymore. Knitting works much better, and I'm downstairs, too.
Next morning, I put breakfast together and helped prep for the giant pot of soup that was her project for the day. We had lunch and then just got out of the house for a few hours - we went to the little town of Margaretville, and to the little kitchen store there, where I got a funnel for loading pepper into a pepper grinder and a new pepper grinder, plus a new stone mortar and pestle and three little prep dishes to use for honey during Rosh Hashanah.
Then we went to a diner to have ice cream and coffee, and watch them make flavored soft-serve. This was fun - they filled a cup with vanilla soft-serve, squirted on the flavor/color syrup, and took it to a machine. One part mixed the ice cream and syrup, the other, with the help of a special cup, pushed it out to make the swirls you need for soft-serve.
We stopped at what had to have been the most pathetic flea market ever. I bought a Parker fountain pen, though.
I came home in time to pick chicken from bones to put back in the soup (there was also turkey frame, veal and beef bones. Extremely rich. I think she made a mistake by making all of it into barley soup, which she did. She shoud have kept some as stock, because it would have been wonderful as the base of other soups.) Dinner was soup and salad. More tv, and I finished my sock.
I made breakfast the next morning, and we chatted for a long time, and then there was nothing much until Jonathan and I had lunch, and then we went driving off to a used bookstore. This was fun - there was the long drive over the twisty mountain roads, which I love doing and then we were in a bookstore, and that's always fun. Plus, I had a new knitting project - I didn't want to wind the yarn for the second sock, so I tried to make a kippah with the leftovers. It went very badly, but it did want I wanted it to do - keep my hands busy. I had a pattern, but I didn't actually care. We ended up with about $100 worth of books - about right for us. We drove back in time for me to make dinner - grilled chicken, zucchini and potatoes. Mom did the initial prep and spicing of the chicken; I did the rest. Dad ate two thighs, which is wonderful - he's had almost no appetite since his congestive heart failure in February. After dinner, I made turkey sandwiches and tomato-onion salad for lunch on the road.
We were on the road this moring by 11:30 - it takes a while to do things like this, especially since they will be up again for the Jewish holidays. So, the car loaded with clothes and frozen meat, we took off home. We took an hour for lunch and had two stops for gasoline, and got them to Manhattan before 4. We were home by 5PM.
Several things, I think, made this trip successful. One was the knitting, but the other was doing all that cooking and shopping. I was busy and useful and helpful, and just letting Mom rest made her happier - she needed to not do things.