What is a Washi Summit you ask, well if you have read Leslie's blog you would know. Anyway, you know Leslie and I cannot stand it if we do not know how to do something. Sooooo we took a class with a lovely lady Barbara from Sweden who came to do some teaching and exhibiting of her work in Washi. While we were in this class there were three of us, (who spoke out loud) with aging/ailing parents. I know a dear friend of mine suggested strongly I read the book "The 36 hour Day". I bought it, and I believe I donated it to the book fair last year. I could not bring myself to read a book that I and my siblings are living through. I know probably all of you have gotten one of those emails telling of the elderly parent eating in the corner in a rugged bowl away from the family dining room table, and then the son/daughter of that parent wonders what his small child is doing, when he responds "I'm carving a bowl so you can eat with your hands in the corner when you are old daddy." It breaks our hearts when we read it, it breaks our hearts when we live it, but what to do. It sounds as though this family is still caring for their aged parent with in the circle of their own home. Some cultures have rules that they go by as to who gets the elderly parent. A more common way is to look to outside agencies to help us with this very demanding task. I can tell you that I see myself in my mothers situation all too soon. And the thing is we talk about it with our friends and co-Washi workshop participants and the story is the same all around. I don't think my siblings and I are selfish, I think we do the best we can. But what is too much. If anyone comes up with the answer please, please tell me. I do think that if it were not for Washi Summits and Memoranza's and Creative Needlework Conventions, one could go mad, thinking always that you were the only one going through these all too difficult decisions. But what decision to make? The agencies presently designated to assist families like mine with the aged parent are grossly underfunded and understaffed with individuals who lack the training or ability to deal with all that is placed before them. So are institutions the only solution? They too are not so readily accommodating. I personally hope I don't live long enough to have to put my children through these rings. It is quite a circus. I'll bet our elderly never knew the meaning of "The Golden Year". Some Golden Years. Let's hurry and find the fountain of youth, or at least another Washi Summit.