Tales from the Old Folk’s Place… A Lesson Learned.

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Tales from the Old Folks Place–Imprisoned By Love

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Visiting our dad for ten days is like nothing we could ever have dreamed.  As I’ve written before there is such a gamut of emotions, that it can simply overwhelm us.  Joy, happiness, gratefulness, peace, concern, bewilderment, angst all these emotions and more.

We love dad’s place, a cozy apartment that has two bedrooms, so we sleep on the couch and on a pull out bed.  Dad’s back and hip have been hurting, so the first order of business was buying him a new bed.  We didn’t scrimp, we got the best, with a head that can go up as he needs.  One would say at almost 92 how long can he use that brand new bed, well, we say, at almost 92 shouldn’t he have the very best rest?  He deserves it.

Second order of business, seeing Hedy.  Dad told us as we sat around the table until late in the night that his visits were more and more upsetting.  She was fine until she saw him, and then her anger would surface with great power, fueled by her obvious love for him and remembering that she can’t be with him.  They say she’s a delight, enjoying the other residents, going on all the outings, and participating in all the activities, until she sees our dad, and then the anger comes, and what was once a place of enjoyment becomes her prison.

Her room looks like her own place now.  Everything we brought down on our visit in January is being used and loved, and moved here and there.  It’s never the same when we come.  It shows her individuality and personality.

When we arrive, we are told she’s out on a day trip, so we check supplies and the nurse shows us what we need to buy.  She tells us how excited she was to go on the trip, and that she’ll be sorry she missed us.  Later, twinsie and I went on a long beautiful walk to a nearby Christian Retreat Center that has a huge swimming lake and beach.

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Next day, we took the Padre to a shopping area about 45 minutes from his home.  He could easily have driven, but I took the wheel as he pointed to different places he used to enjoy when he was a vacancy minister at a church nearby twenty years earlier.  Dad sat on a bench while we shopped, and I sat with him for a while, soaking up the sun and some daddio lovin’.

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We had a fabulous meal at PF Changs introducing dad to Cosmopolitans and Edamame. We laughed as he tried to pop out the soybeans into his mouth, a few of them getting away from him. Never too old to learn new tricks and we love how our dad is open to all the new experiences that we introduce him to.

PS, he now loves both Edamame AND Cosmos!  🙂

Next to us a trio talked excitedly about a year long mission trip they were planning.  When we finished our meal, Dad slid over to the table and chatted briefly with the people there, and then asked if he could pray for the Lord to bless them in their efforts and keep them safe, and for them to reach many to grow the kingdom.  It was beautiful to see such great faith in action, and how it affects others.  Strangers become friends through faith.

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Ooops, time to get some breakfast, and then we are going to “Reflex” with Dad and our friends where we sit around in a circle and hit a beach ball.  They say it can get pretty competitive, and we believe it! Later tonight we were invited to watch the Bocce Ball game again.  Incredible!  Whoda thunk?

More later…first things first at the Old Folks Place, you know.  First things first.

Where do the lonely hearts go?

It’s almost 2 am, I just got home from the chocolate shop.  There is a huge festival going on in town, even have a carnival and carnies, and shops have deals and oh the food from the restaurants, so nummy.  It all culminates with a pretty sad parade actually, it’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but hardly any of the local schools participate.

It’s rumbling and blowing and lightning and just fussing something awful out there beyond the window, the bird feeders swaying with the wind. All this does not bode well for festival time, rain is not our friend, but if it ends early enough, it will be okay.

I’m sitting here with a big brown adorable dog on my lap, and a perfectly fine bed up stairs with a darn hunky and warm hubby waiting for me, but I just had to write tonight.

We  were at the chocolate shop till after 1 this morning having been there since morning.  Oh, don’t worry, work wasn’t keeping us there, our big brother stopped in from his home 6 hours away and we sat in the kitchen of the shop, drinking sake, and nibbling fat, juicy, melty cheesy sandwiches just barely toasted and cookies made at the bakery in our coffeehouse.

We sat, twinsie, brother and me, and we talked about everything, and we argued, laughed, thought too deeply, struck nerves, the funny kind and the ouchie kind.  It’s a typical gathering of the three of us; three of six kids total.  It is always interesting when we are with our eldest brother who manages to stay very good looking at the ripe old age of 66.

At the stroke of midnight with another busy day staring us in the face on the other side of a very quick night’s sleep, we parted, and twinsie and I counted down tils and readied the shops for another day’s business.  We walked to her car and she gave me a ride to mine.  I am not afraid to say that it’s sort of scary after a certain hour. Even in the safe hamlet of our town.  It’s festival time, and with it comes others that are not familiar running the rides at the carnival and other activities.

But within our town there are those whom we swear we know, but really don’t at all.  And this woman with a pink wide-brimmed hat and her arms full to the hilt with odds and ends that appeared to have come from the overflowing trash cans was one.

After a time, I began to see a familiarity to her and it pinched my heart.  We could see that she didn’t want us to look too closely at her, she ducked into the temporary pottie at the corner of our street, and we turned back to go get my car after driving by and she’d thought she was safe and had headed a little more quickly down the same street my car was on.

In reverence to her, I could not look at her.  I didn’t want to know why she seemed familiar, why she’d probe the thick, sticky trash cans for treasures that I wouldn’t give my dog when if my mind placed her correctly, she lived in a house that I would not even dare dream about living.

In reverence to her middle of the night roaming, in reverence to the lonely heart that pulsed under her pale pink robe.  I saw nothing that dark, humid night, except for the places the lonely hearts go.