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The Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween

83 going on 6!

How can it already be November? Am I the only one who feels like we reached this point too quickly? Like, did we skip a couple months this year?

I’m still struggling to adjust to my 83-year-old father-in-law living with us. Bob has the early stages of dementia, so there’s a balancing act between keeping an eye on him and letting him do what he wants.

Since my husband works outside of the house, my days are spent Bob-sitting. This has been a huge adjustment for me these past two months. Frankly, it’s akin to having a 6-year-old in the house.

Case in point: I Skype with my grown step-daughter every week and in the middle of our most recent conversation, I suddenly broke off and said, “Dad! No! Do NOT use a shovel in the window sill!” to which she cracked up and said, “Wow, Mom. I haven’t heard THAT tone of voice in 20 years!”


Bob on Halloween 2016 (photo by Tui Snider)
Bob on Halloween 2016 (photo by Tui Snider)

So, I didn’t get as much writing done as planned these past two months, but I blame it on my continuing adjustment to this unexpected eldercare responsibility. Lately, it often feels like I’m living a real-life version of Bill Murray’s character in “Ground Hog’s Day,” because thanks to Bob’s mild dementia I have to repeat myself. A LOT!

That said, Bob and I have our share of fun together. One thing helping me cope is to simply pretend that Bob and I are in a sitcom. I even started a “Bob file” in Evernote where I keep track of the funniest bits.

For instance, I don’t know how many times he asked me about Halloween this past week. We get so many trick-or-treaters that we bought 40 pounds of candy. Bob loves sweets, so every time he’d see those bags of candy, he’d ask if he could open them, to which I’d reply, “Not yet, Dad. Those are for Halloween.”


“Because we get a lot of trick-or-treaters.”

“What’s that?”

“Little kids coming by asking for candy. They will be dressed up in Halloween costumes.”

Eventually, Bob would remember what trick-or-treaters were, and say something like, “Oh, those. We never had that problem in Florida,” as if trick-or-treaters were disease-carrying vermin.

My favorite response of Bob’s was the night before Halloween when he suggested, “Why don’t you and your neighbors get some vehicles and block off the end of your street tomorrow. That would keep them from bothering you.”

Despite being the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween, my husband dressed Bob up as you can see from the photo. And, much to our surprise, once the kids started ringing our doorbell, Bob had a change of heart! Suddenly, he was eager to hand out Halloween candy. In fact, I had to talk him out of handing out all my sunglasses to trick-or-treaters, as well as candy! (My fault, eh? The sunglasses are in a dish next to the candy bowl!)

All that said… I took some time today to reassess my year and make a realistic (hopefully!) list of set of goals for this month. I also joined NaNoWriMo. I think it will help get my field guide to cemetery symbols done, which is something that has been weighing on me. (And yes, I’m a #NaNoRebel because my book is non-fiction and not a novel!)

If you are doing #NaNoWriMo, feel free to be my buddy. I really need the writing camaraderie right now! (Here’s the link to my #NaNoWriMo profile.)

That’s it for me this month! How are things with YOU?

What is IWSG?

IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this:

“Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh

1-Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

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  1. That would be quite an adjustment. It sounds like you have the right attitude. And wouldn’t it make a great book?! You’re already taking notes that you can put toward one someday, it sounds like!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Yeah, who knows? My FB pals have been enjoying the little snippets I’ve been sharing from the Bob Files, so far. ~Tui

  2. Life changes always making writing more difficult.
    I’m a NaNoRebel too, but didn’t sign up officially.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Go, rebel, go!!!! :D And, yeah, it’s been challenging, but it’s also a good thing, too, having Bob here. ~Tui

  3. Good luck with Nano! Remember to join a region – they’re awesome at giving support (and they’re in your time zone). Mine does 15min word sprints every hour – we all got over 10k done yesterday.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks, Ronel! Good idea on the Nano regions. A friend of mine is going to a write-in at a library nearby later this month. I’m going to try and join her. Sounds fun! :D ~Tui

  4. I hear you, Tui. I had my mum live with us for 3 years, then my mother-in-law for 10 months. Not at the same time! Hallelujah! It was a struggle. Wish I could say it got easier. Doesn’t mean it won’t be smooth sailing for you. Try to get in some meditation time in the morning. It sets a nice precedence for the day.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Oh, gosh! Can you imagine having both moms moving in at the same time? Now that would be quite the sitcom! Good idea about the meditation. You are very right about that. I do much better on the days when I have a few minutes to myself first thing after waking! ~Tui

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