Sunday, June 12, 2016

scenes from: when the old folks visit

1. when preparing for a house visit one must prioritize. i started with my suitcase.  i have been living out of it since leaving for turkey. cough... april 14th...coughcough  i put away my clean clothes.  put the others in the wash.  stripped the bed and my duvet.  swept the floor, collecting huge piles of fur, hair, dust, litter box traipsings, cat food bits and sundry.  emptied the litter box.  took a wet rag and scuffed off dry cat puke spots on the floor (i'm not proud of myself, ok).  put a load or two in the laundry.  cleaned out the toilet and sink the the bathroom and put some stuff down the drain to unclog it.  i never got to the kitchen.  some dishes and a crummy counter....and well.  that thing--whatever it was, in the microwave.  i discovered it earlier in the week when i opened the microwave to warm up sister roeder's gift of lemon chicken left-overs.  all i saw was a green bowl and a massive swarm of fruit flies before i slammed the door and ate the chicken cold.  i was actually hoping mom would deal with the thing in the microwave.

2.  jenny and uncle duncan were late.  i saw them pass the restaurant in their white car.  jenny was straining against the low light and peering out for parking spots.  mom got her red curry usual.  dad got his green curry usual.  i got my pad thai usual.  jenny got yellow curry and uncle duncan got pad thai-next generation with beef and a weird round thick noodle.  we sat like a half moon around a big circular table.  dad was stubbornly pleased with his chair and duncan lonely about the half moon.  we had dessert because duncan and jenny were having dessert.  most of us got coconut mango ice cream but dad had two big deep fried bananas with mango ice cream.

3. stories were told.  when dad was 18 or 19 and took his little brother mike out in a little boat to go fishing.  they didn't find anything out by 'those cement ships' and so he decided to head over to harwood island.  there was a small boat advisory out but he didn't know.  the waves were so huge that they washed right over his engine and stalled it.  so dad began to row the boat.  he was heading for the island.  then one of the oars broke.  so he kept going with the one oar on one side and then the other.  when they got close to the island dad said the surf was crashing into the shore and there were these two huge boulders as big as houses.  mom said in an aside to me, "he kneeled in the boat and prayed".  the waves took them right between the two boulders and on to the shore.  dad made 3 big fires on the cliff  (he just happened to have matches in his pocket) and gathered fiddle heads to eat.  and turned the boat upside down so they could go under it and not be wet from the storm.  he made them a fire too.  dad lay down to sleep, but his little brother mike who was around 9 at the time was too anxious and stayed sitting up.  "there's a light!" he pointed out.  but it was just the flashing light of a buoy.  dad lay down again.  a while later mike saw another light. this time it was a red light right in front of them and it was the rcmp.  dad's dad was supposed to pick them up from the dock and was worried.  he saw the fire on the island and called the rcmp.  dad said with some pride that there were two articles in the paper about him.  one from the scouts praising him for his survival skills and one from the the rcmp saying how stupid he was to be out on such a night. fumfered about in her turquoise pajama pants sucking up fruit flies with the vacuum cleaner (she tried to zap them in the micro but even after ten minutes it didn't work.( i fear we may have created radio active mutant fruit fly super villains) it was stew by the way.  i was thawing it and apparently i forgot about it.

5. dad and i (and sometimes mom) watched the finest hour after our thai dinner.  it's about a famous coast guard rescue and dad's story reminded me of it.  i knew he would like it. smugsmug.

6. in the morning i found mom's pantyhose hanging in the shower.  just saying.  it's not a mom visit unless you've hand some kind of run in with her pantyhose.

6.  i ended up between them at church because dad came down the left aisle and sat with sister townsend a while before joining us on the left side.  i enjoyed singing before thee Lord, I bow my head with dad's bass on the left and mom's alto on the right.  junko gave a great talk about spiritual gifts that mom and i really liked.

7. i spent a lot of time waiting in hallways while the people fawned over ma n pops.  i got more hugs and hand shakes from my ward members than usual, just because they were hugging and hand shaking mom and dad.  mom was trying to recruit the reyes' to move to williams lake.  i fought against it.  shameless poacher.  and in the end they preferred to nap in the parking lot of the church than nap in my bed five minutes away before leaving for the potluck.  but that's old folks for you.  they like to do their thing their way.  hmph.

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