No Cats. No Naps.

Author: Brad  |  Category: Boardman Views, Care Giving, Family, General, Humor, Jobs Careers, Music, U S Military

If you’ve followed my posts at all, chances are you’ve heard me talk (write) about my caregiving adventures from time to time.  Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the day Ken and Jan moved in with Carrie and Elisabeth and me.

You may not know that one of the main reasons I had to pause my blogging (for what turned out to be a year) was the fact I was building a new caregiving (bed) room and fully wheelchair accessible bathroom in my garage.  This addition, in which Ken and Jan now live (sleep), has worked out stunningly well.  It’s always awesome to have the right tool for the job!

Ken WebKen will turn 87 come January, a veteran of World War II.  Since he did his time in the Navy we call him “The Admiral.”  He just grins.

He spent his career as an electrical engineer and the stories that have drifted back to his kids over the years indicate in no uncertain terms that he was very good at what he did.

His least favorite instrument has long been the accordion.

I’m told also that if he never saw another cat it would be too soon.  But they did have a miniature schnauzer somewhere along the way named “Fritz.”

Ken is a man of very few words, a characteristic that lends itself nicely to the fact that he tends to spend large parts of each day napping in his recliner.  I’m convinced, though, that if the rest of us weren’t quite so verbose Ken would venture forth more often with some of his nuggets.

When he does speak it’s usually to convey some little witticism to Jan.  These often have to do with something pertaining to the latest stupidity on (go figure!) the news.  Something like, “That’s a total waste of time!”  I always have to chuckle since time is exactly what Ken has the most of these days, yet he certainly does not want to waste it on network news!  I’m with you, Ken.

Jan WebGiven her continuing mobility and with merely her 86th birthday coming up in about a week, Jan spends the majority of her time “in motion.”  In her own words, “I do not take naps.”

Her primary “issue,” beyond her wonderment at why Ken doesn’t eat more, is the fact that her memory is severely diminished.  Oh, she can tell you quite a few stories from long ago like the one about how her mother made her play the trombone in the school band even though she was the only girl!  “Janice!  You are going to do it!”  (These days that would probably be considered child abuse.)

But tales from the distant past notwithstanding, the things that happened a few minutes ago (e.g., lunch) seem to disappear from memory like a vapor.

This morning they were both enjoying a DVD called The Big Band Era.  Fortunately, this is one of the things that Jan remembers with a great deal of vigor.  It takes just a few measures of Chattanooga Choo Choo to get her on her feet bustin’ a move.  She absolutely loves those big band classics and they instantly get her talking about the good ol’ days.

Fact is, while we were watching I started feeling nostalgic myself and decided to share with all of you the song that, according to their daughter, Ken and Jan used to call “our song.”  See if you don’t agree when I say that this has got to be one of the most mellow pieces of harmony ever recorded.

Let ‘er rip.

I love music of many genres, but in MY always humble 🙂 opinion this is some of the best there is.

You’re in Boardman Country!

Make yourself at home,


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13 Responses to “No Cats. No Naps.”

  1. Linda Says:

    Helloooooooooo Brad!!!

    What a wonderful update on your happenings. I am sure that they keep you hoppin and seem to be a joy to be around. Keep giving us updates ….

    Have you gotten your copy of The Definitive Guide for Going Green for Good?

  2. Ted and Rita Rodda Says:

    Thanks for that blog. We are friends of Jan and Ken from the 1950-60. We love them so and are alway glad to know of what is new in their lives. Let them know we send our greetins. Ted is in a power chair and gets around the whole house quite well. He only goes out to church and of course the obligatory doctors visits, and then in a lightweight wheel chair.

  3. Kristin Henry Says:

    I enjoyed the blog about Ken and Jan Miles – they were good friends of my parents – and Jan and my mother shared a birthday on October 26! It is good to hear that she is doing so well with mobility – my mother is in a wheelchair and my dad is on hospice care with Alzheimers at this time. Please tell Ken and Jan hello from Gladys and Warren McDowell – we have great memories of days gone by!!

  4. admin Says:

    Hello all!

    @ Linda – Always great to hear from you Linda! Yes, Ken and Jan are an absolute joy to have in our home. Very easy keepers even though Ken requires a total lift from point A to B. But I count it a privilege to be caring for a WWII veteran. I owe him.

    Haven’t picked up your book yet, but I will soon. After all, I’ve got to have material to spar over with you! 🙂 I’m happy we’re friends!

  5. admin Says:

    @ Ted and Rita –

    @ Kristen –

    Thanks for coming by and commenting. I’m happy to be able to hear from friends of Ken and Jan and to convey the well-wishes. I hope to be able to put some bits here from time to time so their friends can stay updated a little. Stay tuned and feel free to ask any questions here. I’ll try to respond to any you may have concerning The Admiral and his wife. 🙂

  6. VanillaSeven Says:

    I missed the big band era 🙂 Thanks for dropping by at my blog Brad. Have a wonderful week!
    .-= VanillaSeven´s last blog ..Brown Cute Bunny =-.

  7. DIane Scott Says:

    You are amazing in your story telling, and it’s wonderful to get a much fuller picture of what you’ve been up to for the past year! Ken and Jan sound like charming people and you’re fixing up a place just for them brings back the memory of us doing so here, for my mom and dad (just my dad now though).
    .-= DIane Scott´s last blog ..10 Career Jobs Without The Long Wait =-.

  8. admin Says:

    Thanks so much, Diane, for the nice comment.

    Relative to caregiving, we do what we need to do, but it’s always nice when we are working with folks who are as lovable as these!

    See you in the network!

  9. admin Says:

    Vanilla Seven!

    Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    While I was born during a portion of the Big Band Era, I wasn’t paying much attention to the music of the day. That came later. So, there’s still hope for you. 🙂

  10. Steve Says:

    “he tends to spend large parts of each day napping in his recliner” – I’m looking forward to that one day! All I seem to do is work work work these days, but with a baby due in the next couple of weeks its not like I’ve got a lot of choice! (Just need to save some energy for when baby comes!)

  11. admin Says:

    Hey Steve.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Yep, there are moments when I think all that time napping would be wonderful. At this point though I think I’ll opt for the ability to be on my feet!

  12. Michelle Boyce Says:

    Thank you for a little bit of insight on whats new with Ken and Jan… thanks.

  13. admin Says:

    You’re welcome, Michelle!