Season of Shameless Plugs:
Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad
Some of you may remember the stories I wrote about my visits with Dad, Dee Molenaar. I eventually ended up putting the stories into two books: Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad and The Second Hundred Years: Further Adventures with Dad.
Here’s an excerpt from the first book, Are You Taking Me Home Now?:
“I Wouldn’t Mind”
May 22, 2017
Karen: Daddy, do you want to go for a drive?
Dad: I wouldn’t mind.
(In the car.)
Dad: Thank you for taking me for a drive. You’re a good daughter.
Karen: It’s my pleasure.
Dad: Do you prefer to call me “Dad” or “Father”?
Karen: I call you “Daddy.”
(We turn into the Sisters Espresso. Dad recognizes this as the place where I buy him root beer floats.)
Dad: Oh good! This is exactly what we need right now!
(Back on the road – Dad’s got his root beer float and I have my lavender iced tea.)
Dad: This is the longest time I haven’t seen Mom. I think she’s in Kansas City… or somewhere in the Midwest… helping the government.
Karen: I know she’s doing a good job.
(We reach the Chuckanut Hills.)
Dad: I used to do water rights surveys out here when I worked for the USGS.
Karen: That was a fun part of your job, wasn’t it?
Dad: Yes. I always took little detours when I went on these survey trips. (He looks around and studies the landscape.) This is a beautiful part of the world.
(We’ve gotten to Fairhaven now.)
Dad: I wonder how many places are called Fairhaven. It’s a good name. It has a happy sound to it.
(We get all the way to Boulevard Park. For some reason, every single parking space is taken today.)
Dad: Are we going to park here and walk around?
Karen: There’s no parking today. We’ll try to do that another day.
(Dad nods his head in understanding.)
As we drive up from the park I spot my old friend, Darryl – Darryl and I made acquaintance on the boardwalk several years ago when we saw each other taking photos and struck up conversation. In the course of our conversation we’d realized that Darryl’s Aunt Gladdie was one of Mom and Dad’s good friends in a town four hours to the south.I stop now and roll down the window and introduce Dad to Darryl – and try to explain that Darryl’s aunt is Gladdie. I’m not sure Dad can hear what I’m saying and I’m not sure he understands what is going on, but he smiles and shakes Darryl’s hand and we move on. A minute later he asks, “Was he related to Gladdie in some way?” I tell him he’s Gladdie’s nephew. Dad asks me how I discovered this – “Did he have a sign on him that said he was Gladdie’s nephew?” he joked. I explain how Darryl and I had met by chance and discovered we had his Aunt Gladdie in common. Dad nods. In his world, this kind of coincidence is probably perfectly normal. He knows a lot of people.
(We head back down Chuckanut.)
Dad: Do you take a lot of drives with Mom?
Karen: Yes. (I take my late mother on all my drives with me.) But I like taking drives with you, too.
Dad: We don’t talk much. (I can tell he’s thinking about his hearing problem.)
Karen: No, but it doesn’t matter.
Dad: It doesn’t matter because we’re with each other.
Karen: Right! (Smiling.)
We get back to his home. He has a hard time getting in and out of the car these days. He tries to shift his feet out of the car and onto the pavement. This is hard work. He sighs and laughs and looks up at me.
Dad: These days it’s just hard getting up the energy to get out of the car.
(I can tell he’s gathering his energy to lift himself out of the seat and I reach under his armpits to help him. “One-two-three!” And he’s up!)
Dad: Thank you for the drive today.
Karen: It was fun, wasn’t it?
Dad: Yes, I enjoyed it very much.
Karen: I love you.
Dad: I love you, too.
(Are You Taking Me Home Now? has 14 ratings on Amazon – all five stars!) 🙂