Barkley at doggie day camp back in the day.
Each night, around 7 o'clock CentralTime, unless I'm in the field, I call my Dad. I visit him every couple of months (it's a 16 hour round trip and air fares are high) but we talk every night. He won't live with us or one of the grandkids, though all have made him welcome; he wants to stay in his home, he just can't do it without help.
Normally it's a typical conversation--weather, what he just made for dinner (his full-time home health aide, which I arranged for him, makes him leftovers out of his hot lunches or heats up one of the meals I make and freeze). Then there is what he saw on his daily walk and/or drive. She is authorized to take him to all his appointments, or just out for a drive (which usually involves the Wendy's Drive Thru for a Frosty when it's raining.) and he loves those little excursions.
He's generally in good spirits, but not real exuberant after a meal and a watered down martini.
I called last night and Dad was ALL wound up. Like a kid. I should preface this with a scenario.
Dad has a big box mart type store directly behind his house, separated only by a fence he built in the 60's. He refused to sell his home and property as all the neighbors did. So his view from the back of the house where the family room and TV is, is a giant building and flood lights (I have blackout curtains In my bedroom). It's seriously dropped the value of his home as his lot is not big enough to make a difference now in their business plan as far as buying it later, and no one wants big box mart and their associated "prison break" flood lights in their back yard, as well as blocking their view of the mountains. But I give him credit, for refusing to give in. He wants to die in that house where he outlived two wives and two kids and he's going to, if he has any say in the matter.
That being said. . .
I said. "So how was your day?"
I expected the usual. What was for lunch and dinner, who visited (several neighbors and our pastor there visit regularly), how my husband (whom my Dad loves) was faring and who is beating who in sports, the remote permanently affixed to Dad's hand each evening (this was the man that after a stroke was SMILING because "No one's going to take the remote from a guy with a stroke, NO MORE Dancing with the Stars! Go Seahawks!"). That normally is our typical conversation.
"Some guy drove through the back fence from the big box parking lot immediately followed by the police who tasered him by your Mom's Rhododendron plant! Wow! He could really twitch!"
Apparently, that actually happened (as opposed to when Dad won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes recently which was a Jamaican scammer who cost him hundreds of bucks in "fees" to claim his non-existant prize, before I dropped a rock on the guy myself and notified Dad's local law enforcement, who said the same guy had scammed a number of folks in town).
Seriously, I hope there is a special place in Hell for those that prey on the elderly.
Dad ordered a brand new and complete fence to be built for the property from the Home Improvement store, as I have a credit account there we use for his house needs. Soon, all would be well (with the exception of my credit card limit).
In any case, it was almost worth the money just to hear that excitement in his voice.
Nite - LBJ