Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great New Ideas

I followed through on last Thursday's brilliant idea. I took The D to the senior center today. In time for lunch. Ham, lima beans, cornbread, greens, salad and peach cobbler. He said it was "pretty good". Translation: very good.

I hung around, harrassing Betsy, the volunteer receptionist - my new best friend. She's hilarious. Gotta love any lady who cusses like a sailor! Then the activities director, a huge guy with a great sense of humor, came up behind me and put me in a chokehold. He said, "When was the last time anyone put you in a headlock?" I said, "The last time I kneed someone in the groin." I proceeded to do the twisting maneuver involving my elbow in his ribs. I learned it in the one and only self defense class I've ever attended. I stopped short of the knee action. But in the process, I hit my hand on the corner of the desk. It resulted in an instant bruise and some blood. I told him if I get MRSA, I'll sue his ass off. He ran to get a bandaid. Why does no one take me seriously when I threaten to sue them?

I think he likes me. He seems to forget all the old people when I'm around and kinda hovers. He was very sweet, though, and walked the mile path with The D.

Daddy seemed fine with staying, so I headed home to work. On my way to pick him up, I stopped at Fresh Market. Outrageously expensive but outrageously good. I bought a salmon burger, banana nut bread, dried okra, and best of all, Tropical Shrimp and Mango Salad.
Luckily, Daddy's not a picky eater. The shrimp salad had this amazing asian-tasting dressing with a vinegar-peanut flavor. Yum. He liked the salmon burger. I gave him leftover greens and crowder peas. And of course, celery, carrots and red bell peppers! Fresh Market banana nut bread and grapes for dessert.

I told him to eat the bran muffins I bought for breakfast. Then I asked him if he'd gone #2 today. He said he had. I hate to admit how happy that makes me.

Which reminds me of the toddler angle. On the way to pick him up at the senior center, I drove past my kiddo's school - he went there from 3K to 6th grade. I remembered how sweet it was when he was three years old. When I got there, his face lit up and he ran and jumped into my arms. By middle school, of course, he looked embarrassed when I arrived. The D didn't run and jump into my arms, but he didn't look embarrassed either.

I spent the next 45 minutes harrassing Betsy, the volunteer receptionist. Activities guy appeared. Sweet couple was there, asking about the programs - they were thinking of joining. They had an eastern European accent. Betsy asked where they hailed from. They didn't know what she meant at first. I said, "Wait, let us guess!" Betsy said Russia. Wrong. I said Czech Republic. No. They gave a few hints, and I was about to give up when somewhere from the deep recessive parts of my quickly deteriorating brain, Poland appeared. I blurted it out. Bingo!

I started asking questions, and the answers were incredibly, unbelievably fascinating. The husband, Jerry, was in the Polish Underground during WWII. He'd helped many people escape and hide. They had many Jewish friends and even though he didn't say it, I'm sure he risked life and limb by being part of the resistance. His wife, Ruth, had been sent to a work camp. And was in a small minority of survivors. They came to America after the war. Buffalo. He was a dentist. They came to Memphis in 1962 when St. Jude opened. He was one of the first doctors on staff. His last job before retiring was professor of dentistry at UT Memphis. 88 years old. In such amazing shape. Brilliant, with piercing blue eyes. Charming. His wife was so funny. We laughed and laughed. She gave him hell and it was clear they not only loved each other, but after 60 years of marriage, they actually liked each other. Gotta love that.

I love, love, love making new friends. And somehow, I felt an instant affinity for Ruth. She reminded me of my mother in ways I can't define. I'm going to ask them to dinner soon. They live near me. Lovely, dear people.

I'm so happy with my great ideas. The D really liked the center and it took care of lunch. Splurging on Fresh Market food took care of dinner. And with the money I'm saving on help, the Fresh Market thing is worth every penny.

I want to join the senior center, but Betsy tells me I'm too young. I pounded my fist on the counter and said, "By God, I'm a taxpayer and this is age discrimination! I'll sue you and the city!" She gave me a look that clearly said "Fuck you, Bitch." I love her for that...

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