Dad is watching a movie when I get there. I sit down in the chair next to him and we hold hands for awhile. When I start getting ready to leave Dad says he wants to go with me.
Dad: I need permission to leave here.
Karen: No, you don’t. Do you want to go for a drive?
(Dad nods his head yes, and Melissa helps me get him ready to go. When I open the door to the passenger seat, he looks in and says, in surprise, “Hey! It’s clean!”)
I decide to drive us out towards the Sisters Espresso Stand to see if the flood waters have gone down there. If the waters have gone down and the stand is open I’ll buy Dad a root beer float.
Dad: It’s not the best weather for a drive.
Karen: Yeah, it’s kind of ugly out here, isn’t it? (pause) I love you, Daddy.
Dad: And I love you!
(We pass an eagle sitting in a tree and I point it out to Dad.)
Dad: (pondering eagles) We never saw any eagles in Los Angeles. Maybe they like this weather better.
(We pass a cool old farmhouse – I’m just about to point it out to Dad and tell him how much I’ve always liked that house, when Dad notices it on his own.)
Dad: That’s a picturesque place!
Karen: Yeah! They moved that here from another place…
Dad: (having a hard time hearing) What?
Karen: They bought that house for, like, a dollar forty-nine and had it moved out here from another place.
Dad: (nodding) And held up traffic getting it out here.
Karen: (laughing) Yup!
(We pass Allen School.)
Dad: Did you used to teach there?
Karen: Yup. And you showed your K2 slideshow to my students there.
Dad: (nodding) I remember.
The flood waters have gone down around the espresso stand and I see that I can drive in there. I pull in next to the stand.
Karen: I think we need to get you a root beer float.
Dad: (nods his head) Yeah!
(I get Dad his root beer float and bring it to him. Dad takes it and thanks me, and starts happily slurping it.)
We head back to Dad’s home. I pull into the driveway and up to the front door.
Dad: Are you going to dump me off here?
Karen: This is your home, Daddy.
Dad: (nods his head) Oh.
(I help him out of the car, into the house and up the stairs. He sees Melissa and says hi, and asks her if he should go into the living room. She smiles and helps him into one of the lounger chairs.)
Karen: I love you, Daddy. Thank you for going for a drive with me.
Dad: I love you, Karen.
(I head out – turn and blow him one last kiss, and he smiles and waves.)