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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gettin' out

I am in Florida to check up on my dad, 95, who is in VA care. We lost my mom in February, and he chose to go into care in May. I have kept the house up in case he might need it again.

He's made his mind up to stay where he is "for the duration," but requested I take him home for a few hours just for a visit.

It was ninety degrees out. He inspected the rooms, which were set at 78, then settled into his old outside chair. "This is a good chair."

We sat and listened to the mockingbirds. There was no other sound. "Sure is quiet around here." The neighborhood's Snowbirds -- Northerners who live here in winter, then leave to escape the hot summers -- are all gone, hence the quiet. Where they are, of course, it's 100 degrees right now. Oh, well.

I offered him a ham sandwich, made with heirloom tomatoes I'd planted here before heading for Oregon in May.

"Good sandwich," he nodded. This made me happy.

The next-door neighbor, a generous-spirited young (to me) woman who'd always looked out for my folks, stopped by. They were delighted to see each other.

Afterward, he decided he'd like to shop a bit at the Winn-Dixie. He drove all over the store in an electric cart, touching everything. He settled on a box of unglazed doughnuts and a pair of reading glasses.

On the way back to the medical foster home, he talked about shopping. "I never could stand those places when your Momma was shopping. I'd sit on th' bench and wait 'er out. But now, it's a treat to me to get out an' see such places."

He watched the pastures and citrus ranches roll by. "I have had a good day and it has perked up my morale. If they would let all us old people in these homes get out, with an attendant, and spend a little money at grocery stores with a list, we could shop for th' food banks. It would sure help make us feel useful."

Well? What about it?


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