Monday, August 20, 2007

The Never-Ending Journey

I put Dad on a plane this morning. The security people at the airport couldn't have been nicer: they let him keep his Ensure even though it was in bottles of more than three ounces, helped him back on with his shoes -- and tied his shoelaces for him -- after the security screening, and didn't hassle him about his carry-on bag containing twenty-two (count 'em, twenty-two) containers of daily prescription medication, including heavy-duty pain meds. He boarded the plane early, and it took off early and landed in Denver early.

In Denver, of course, everything got screwed up, although to be fair, that was probably because of horrendous weather in Philly. (Gary and I once had an absolutely hellish experience being stranded overnight in Denver, and now never fly through there if we have a choice; when we booked Dad's tickets, though, we wound up not having a choice.) Dad was supposed to have a layover of several hours, which is bad enough, but the wait grew and grew and grew. He was originally supposed to leave a bit before 5:00 and land at 10:30 Philly time; the plane finally took off a bit after 8:00, and is now due to arrive in Philly after two in the morning.

My poor father. My poor sister, who's picking him up!

But I'm really glad he came out, although he may not be, after the grueling trip back home. We had a lovely visit. He especially enjoyed sitting on our deck, which he's doing in the photo above. We ate out there almost every evening -- Gary and I don't do that on our own, since schlepping a meal outside while keeping the cats from escaping is a bit too much effort -- and went for drives to places like Donner Lake and Pyramid Lake, both of which are gorgeous. My father revels in landscape, so he was very happy.

When my mother and sister visit, we shop. When Dad visits, we drive.

We both got choked up saying good-by at the airport; other passengers watched with sympathetic smiles.

And on a slightly lighter note, here's a nifty photo Gary took of Bali, who'd crawled between the blinds and the window to watch the finches at the birdbeeder. You'll probably have to enlarge it to see it properly, but it's a nice shot.

My father was surprisingly sweet with the cats, given that he likes them less than anyone else in the family. They're glad to be able to get into my study again, since it was off limits when it was serving as Dad's guestroom.

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