Quick Trip Home

I went home to visit my parents for an evening on Wednesday. It was quiet, simple and way too short. I could tell they were really happy to see me and sad that I could only stay the night and dash off early the next day.

It’s cool watching them settled in to retirement. Worrying about little things around the house instead of job stuff or money problems. Dad puttering doing stuff he’s said he would do since I was a kid. Their bookshelves have years worth of momenetos and photographs… my brother and I growing up, trips they’ve been on and people they’ve known. Parts of the house feel very much the same while other parts get overhauled or changed. The dishwasher is still there for now – 1960’s green with chrome edging – but the rest of the kitchen is almost all updated. Old cups and mugs are now mixed in with new glasses and things.

The backetball net and backboard on the driveway are still standing. The pole is rotting slightly and the paint is flaking off the back of it but Dad’s still got it there for now. We used to play 21 against each other at least once a week. The 3-point line we made created a little worn spot in the lawn that used to drive my Mom nuts… it’s grown over now but I bet Dad still knows where he’s stored the ball and air pump.

Dad’s office is still piled high with books and papers, his old desk covered in knick knacks and school supplies. The Commodore 64 in the corner has a bit of dust on it, but I bet it still works… Load “*”,8,1… heh. He’s got a shelf where he puts a copy of each published thing I’ve done that I give him a copy of. He’s bookmarked the pages with my artwork on it so he can show people who come to visit. I don’t have my published stuff even remotely as organized. There’s a Makeshift Miracle mug on top of their mircowave too. Heh.

They’re planning trips now. They go some place new about once a year. Cruises, bus trips, car trips… the occasional resort. Dad’s keeping the promise he made to my mother while they went through hard times raising two kids: once we retire we’ll really travel and enjoy life.

And they are. Sometimes I didn’t think it would happen, but it is.

It’s not perfect. They both have their “isms”. Stubborn in their patterns and their ways. Some of it would drive me nuts if I still lived with them. They’ll both do their thing and the other one will look at me out of the corner of their eye with a “Did you see that? He/she is ALWAYS like that!” look. But it’s tinged with a grin and they both know it. Sometimes a mess and sometimes screwing up big time, but getting through each day and enjoying what they have as well.

It’s nostalgic, strange, whimsical, sad and wonderful all at the same time.

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