Monday, June 05, 2006

Wacky Parental Units

I love visiting my parents. Any issues I may have had with either of them have long since evaporated and what remains is a huge anticipation for joining them at the drop of one of those giant, oversized foam cowboy hats.

They retired to BFE in the middle of Oregon (California Lite) over two years ago, but they continue to see their doctor in the armpit of California (no, not Bakersfield) Stockton.

They keep trying to say they don't want to change doctors because they've been with this one for over twenty years and he knows them quite well.

Deep down, I think they're just really worried about me. And they shouldn't be. I look back at some of the blog postings from eighteen months ago and I'm not ever sure if I know who that is.

It's all a blurry memory, fading quickly as time rushes by.

But back to my parents.

They swore they weren't going to drive the trailer down due to the gas prices, but they waited until the last minute to book a hotel room, so the trailer was utilized once again.

Long hugs that were longer in duration than usual greeted me as I opened the trailer door and woke my Dad from his nap.

Spending time with my parents, regardless of how long I can stay, always reenergizes me. I could be having the worst time with Dialysis, or the financial burden of my co-pays could be driving me into a deep puddle of depression, but when I'm in their vicinity I know I'm going to laugh and have a good time.

I also know wholeheartedly that I'm going to be fed quite well. In fact, I don't think my parents have ever allowed me to pay for a meal...ever. That strikes me as odd, but one of these days I will prevail in that department.

Upon arrival, I devoured two make shift mustard hot dogs.

I wonder if they taste better because they're made...with love.

I'm laughin hysterically at the preceding sentence.

My Mom does make some mean scrambled eggs and hot dogs though. They're delish.

Usually when I visit, we eat out a lot, which means I'm going to put on unnecessary weight. But we only managed to visit Outback Steakhouse.

It was intoxicatingly good.

I had a seven inch sirloin with a side salad, baked potato with everything and lots and lots of bread.

I was also reminded during the meal where I inhertied my gift for careful observation.

My entire family are people watchers. Mostly because we like to sit there and make sarcastic comments about people around us.

You can say that's disrespectful and terrible, awful and revolting.

But it's always in fun and ridiculously hysterical.

My Dad is seventy five years old this year, but he spotted a busboy at a nearby table slip some cash out of the billfold that was meant for the waiter.

Say what you will, but my parents are still pretty sharp at their age.

A couple of hours later, when I needed to check the leftovers from the meal, I noticed that the butter container from the meal was in the doggy bag.

"What the heck is this doing in here?" I said laughing.

My parents occasionally pilfer small items from restaurants. Don't ask me why. We had silverware and knives growing up from numerous restaurants from across the bowels of the San Joaquin Valley. They're still in the house to this day.

That night my parents turned in and I enjoyed an uninterrupted evening of television. I don't have cable, so it was a real treat to find that on a Sunday evening, one of the networks was showing "Ocean's 11" one of the greatest caper films from recent memory.

Monday, a day I smartly took off from work (something I never do) we visited my uncles and aunts in both Woodbridge and Lodi.

I remember when I was a kid, I would love to visit each of them because they would have these fantastic uncensored conversations about TV and film, politics and sports.

It was almost like I was eavesdropping on little nuggets of wisdom that I wasn't aware had meaning at the time. I would sit quietly and be fully engrossed in the laughter and the storytelling.

I miss those days sometimes.

And for some reason, I'm still not used to being an adult when I'm in their presence. It's as though I relegate myself to my childhood standing. The conversations are still entertaining to hear, they just come a little slower and with a few more references to the ravages of age.

Much as when I arrived, the hugs were a little longer and heartfelt than usual. Was there something they weren't telling me? Were they simply reassuring hugs, non-verbal cues that they're glad I'm okay?

Whatever the case, I had a great weekend.

And I can't wait to see them again.

Although, if this restaurant thieving continues, we may have to stay in the trailer next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment