Just returned from the first road trip of autumn; Dad is feeling better, watering the garden where before Mom did the duties. His voice is still somewhat raspy, his legs weak. However he’s eating like a horse, although ice cream remains off the menu. Mom’s chocolate pie however suffices, with enough whipped topping to make one question if he has the pie simply to imbibe in said whipped topping.
The day my father gives up Cool Whip is the day I shall worry.
I spent an extra day away, only in that when I was going to leave, the hour had grown late, it was hot out, and I was already weary. Better to drive home on a decent night’s sleep, or the best night’s rest I could manage away from my husband. It was good enough, buffered by a well-savored cup of java, the real stuff even. Sometimes I need a cup of coffee, not like a hole in the head, only as a treat. Starts off a road trip in the best way.
As I drove south, I considered who else I saw there; my BFF from high school, who always makes me smile, who is as big of a sports fan as I am, although our teams of choice differ. She’s A’s, I’m Giants. She’s Steelers, I’m… Um, well, I’m a Packers fan this year, but we shan’t speak any more of football for a few days, although my hubby is the TRUE Packer Backer, and last night’s game, well… Yeah. Moving right along… So I was thinking of my bestie as I drove under wide blue skies, an endless Californian blue, hazy at the edges, cloudless and vast and bright. Bright light blue that speaks of (relatively) early mornings, lorries on the motorway, coffee in the cup holder. Miles collecting as I steer in fairly straight lines, with a strap on my left arm, to ward off the silliest bout of tendinitis I have ever encountered. I’ve weathered it with cross stitching and crocheting, but never road trips.
But then, I’m not getting any younger.
I realized that, speaking with my bestie yesterday at lunch, chatting about varsity football players from our high school days; I wanted to know if they still wore shirts and ties on game day, while the JV players donned their jerseys. Indeed they do, she noted, her youngest a senior at our alma mater. Then we spoke about the chaps we recalled from those days, and how dapper they appeared so well dressed. To my shock, I learned that one of those no-longer-young-men had died of brain cancer five years ago. That brought our chat down a level, but then we’d already discussed my dad’s neighbor, who is about five years my senior, and in the early stages of ALS. Yes, time marches on, and not everyone stays in step, a sobering consideration.
But I wasn’t thinking about that while I zoomed far under those bright blue skies. I was thinking how blessed I am for that woman’s friendship, for my husband, who I will see in a few hours, after he visits the dentist, to have a crown reattached. (Hopefully the dentist can simply reattach it.) And how tremendous are these beautiful autumnal days, where the sunshine covers this state like a permanent blanket. Yes, it’s a little boring, I’ll admit. But it is amazing for the continuity, for how blue are those skies, and how precious are all who dwell underneath them.
I’m fortunate that driving only causes a little tendinitis, well, long-haul driving. Maybe I’m too aged to pull off a late-nighter, but so what? Now I’m home, where words and quilts await. I was thinking about The Hawk as the tunes ricocheted inside my vehicle, pondering Jane’s first birthday and Stanford’s visit with his psychiatrist. Not sure if I will get to that tomorrow, we’ll see what that day brings.
Not sure when I’ll return to the sewing machine either; I’d planned to do that today, assuming I woke this morning in my own bed. But sometimes assuming, well, it’s not always the best path to take.
But occasionally a break is necessary; absence does make the heart grow fonder. It makes one appreciative of what is often taken for granted, home and hearth, also those with whom visits are sporadic. I love chatting with my dad; on Wednesday afternoon we were rooting hard for the Washington Nationals to overtake the LA Dodgers. I said my goodbyes in the eighth inning, just as the Nats had gone ahead 3-2. Six innings later…. Good grief, but at least LA lost, keeping SF within two games. My father is as vociferous of a fan as I am, where I got my enthusiasm for sport. However his voice was subdued, so I cheered for him. And I’ll see him again soon enough, a bone scan upcoming, as well as another visit with his doc concerning those results and the post-chemo treatment. I’m very thankful to be somewhat close to home, just a few hours in the car. It’s not like I live in England anymore, several hours away by plane.
Merely a little trek under wide blue skies, with music and musings to pass the time.