Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stir It Up

Flip looked up from his computer. "Barbara " " " " (indecipherable) line." He has Alzheimer's so all the words were garbled.


He tried again. "Barbara " " " "." No luck. He walked into the kitchen and pointed to the glass mason jar in which we keep our coffee beans.

The charades game was on. "Barbara Boxer?" Blank stare. "Barbara Streisand?" Vigorous head shaking. "Bob Marley?" He nodded excitedly. Ahhh. "Bob Marley has a line of coffee beans!" He nodded again, beaming. And Flip wants to buy them. Of course.

"Are you thinking they have pot in them?" I asked. He looked hopeful. Ganja coffee. There are many flavored coffees on the market, it's not such a stretch. Jamaican Blue Mountain is my lifelong favorite coffee, but it sells for about as much as a Porsche, another brand I hold in high regard. I can't afford either, however.

Flip was intent on supporting Bob Marley's business enterprise. I reminded him that it would not benefit Bob Marley himself since he is dead. Flip looked crushed. Apparently he had forgotten. I felt bad for both of them, but I was on a roll. "He died in 1981," I added. I could have skipped sharing that detail. It was probably mean, although I was just trying to clarify something, anything, in hopes that our world would somehow return to its formerly reasonable state.

Rohan Marley, one of the singer's sons, founded the company as a tribute to the great reggae legend. He says, "My father came from the farmland in Nine Mile. There, he learned a deep respect for nature and humanity - respect that helped guide his life and ours. He said he would return to the farm one day. That was his dream."

Bob Marley's real name was Nesta Robert Marley. Maybe they're calling the new product "Nestacafe."


mischief said...

Susan. I love it when you make me laugh tears. I wish so many good things for you and your darling Flip.

Meggie said...

I admire you, more than words can say.
My Gom has what I call 'Patches' or 'Tides'. He is sometimes rational, most times his memory is better than mine.
But oh. I cannot bear the 'blanks'.
I know I am not a bad person, ...but...
Love & hugs to youXX

Pam said...

Very funny with the Nestacafe.Your post came at just the right time for me. Like Meggie's comment above, I have been dealing with Dad's "patches and tides". Helps to laugh.

nick said...

You must have become quite adept at deciphering Flip's garbled messages. Lucky he has you around to do that.

We have a great coffee and tea merchant just down the road from us. They have wonderful coffee beans from all around the world. They don't have Jamaican Blue Mountain though. Don't think I've ever tasted it.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I wanted to say something here and yet I wasn't sure what to say. I have erased several earlier draft comments. It is sad to have to see someone you love struggle to communicate and I wish I could do more than just sending you best wishes. I wanted to end this positively though and clearly, despite the memory and speech issue, Flip's personality is very evident. It goes without saying that all of us admire you and are praying for you and Flip.

TechnoBabe said...

My dear, your conversations with Flip sound more and more familiar. As in we go through some of the same antics when we can't remember things and have decided to ride with it instead of getting frustrated. The Bob Marley coffee would be interesting to try. We buy French roast online in bulk. It makes great coffee for us. One of the few special things we choose to indulge in. My thoughts are with you so often. Hugs.

Kim said...

I don't have alzheimers and I had no idea that Bob Marley was dead. Seriously. Please share that with Flip.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you! xxx


"Patches and Tides..." Does Gom have Alzheimer's too, or just "senior moments?"


I'm not sure it helps, but it does beat crying.


I buy our coffee beans at an Italian caffe in North Beach because it's wonderful, although Starbucks, Peets and Tulleys are all closer to home.

I'll definitely order some of the Marley product -- it's from Jamaica so it's probably similar to Blue Mountain, and we are both huge fans of Bob Marley, whose incredible music never grows old.


I so appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers. You are also most astute -- I still see flashes of Flip's delightful personality which remind me of why I married him.


Our morning coffee ritual has become important, and having really good beans, freshly ground, is a necessity. As I said above, we will try the Marley coffee and I have no doubt that it's wonderful.


Thank you for your admission, which I will gladly share with Flip. Thank you also for your visit, and welcome to the blogosphere!

Warty Mammal said...

Ganja coffee would totally sell. Imagine simultaneously feeling alert yet mellow.

Jo said...

My goodness, how wonderfully inventive of Flip to use charades to communicate with you. Like Calvin says, Flip's personality is still very evident...!

I read somewhere that five cups of coffee a day can sometimes reverse some of the memory problems of Alzheimer's. I don't know how true that is, but I think Flip has definitely earned some of Bob Marley's coffee. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Susan, I am so proud to know you, as anyone would be proud to have such an acquantanceship of a person who could keep her sense of whimsey despite your very real adversity. You are truly a 'great broad', as the Ratpack used to call gutsy women. And I'd buy Bob Marley coffee, too.

Molly said...

"Alert yet mellow." [Warty]. Sounds like the kind of coffee I could use! I'm glad your sense of humor is alive and well.Hugs and prayers for both of you from here too!

I think my youngest grandson thinks that Bob Marley is his personal lullaby singer!!

secret agent woman said...

Oh, boy. So tough to have to guess and I so admire your patience with it.

meno said...

Oh what to say? You move me. I guess that's all.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure you're onto something!


Yes, he has for sure. Charades has become a necessity as he leaves out so many words that even with a common frame of reference, I often have no idea what he is saying.


I'm guessing the coffee is quite good as long as it's vacuum packed for the long voyage.


I could use a lot of mellowing these days although I am not lacking in alertness.

Your grandson could not have a better personal singer. Does he dance in his crib?


I don't always feel patient. I try, but I am far from perfect.


Awww. I'm sorry.

Maria said...

Bob Marley is dead? Sorry...couldn't resist.

I am a coffee whore. My favorite is pretty cheap: Cafe du Monde. I also will drink French Quarter. But the darker the roast the better. I will NOT drink Folgers. It is swill. Everyone at work is so pleased that I am such a coffee snob because I bring the good stuff in. Our secretary was in charge of buying coffee but she is not a coffee drinker and kept buying these huge tins of the cheapest brand that she could find. I took over the job from her a year ago and we are all happy now.

seventh sister said...

Maybe Flip would like this instead.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I am a coffee snob, too, also a chocolate snob. I never realized how much I enjoy coffee until I discovered the really good stuff, which I grind fresh for every pot.


I saw that on Facebook, and don't think he needs it. What's next, pot chewing gum?

David said...

Oh Hearts, you keep doing that. You make me laugh - hard and out loud - but then you make me think and feel your words a great deal more. All woven together seemlessly in some fantastic writing.

This is a wonderful and yet sad glimpse into life with AD. Hugs to you and that tall husband of yours.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

...Nestacafe... *facepalmgiggle*

Funny Hearts.

Sending you giant hugs and wishes for clarity and good coffee.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

On a side note... they DO sell caffeinated water.

I wonder what would happen if I made coffee with caffeinated water...


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

TaraDharma said...

I guess I haven't been around in awhile, or I am just clueless. Man, life's a bitch sometimes, yes? Love the way you and Flip figured out what he was trying to say -- that comes from great connection, I think.

Yep, laughing feels better than crying, though crying has its place. A coffee ritual sounds wonderful...I have my own and I'm only mildly afflicted with senior moments. Thats my story and I'm stickin' to it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you for the much-needed hugs. They always help.


Coffee is good, clarity, too, so bring it on. Coffee made with caffeinated water sounds like too much of a good thing, though.


It's a good story. Your secret is safe with me.