Monday, July 14, 2008

25 cents is the price of a miracle

Charlie is my Dad. His refrigerator magnet says WORK is a 4 letter word. He retired at 55. He is now 80. He putters, finding ways to save dollars and cents. He dabbled in stocks and bonds for a decade or so, but got out before all that went totally bust. He spends his days being Judge Judy trained. Other lifelong learning is aided by History, Discovery and the Weather Channel.

This weekend we shared lentil and cactus soup which he made, followed up on some health insurance claims, and discussed the behaviors of our mutual companions, feral cats and my rescued Bull Mastiff pup, Jake. I can not play cards well enough to bet a quarter, so I watch him play one of the 100 something ways to play solitaire. We chat. He mumbles about gardening in pots. We do have some healthy basil and a few strong tomato plants. I say we because I purchase the starter plant or seeds and he tends to them. The price of motivation. He has discovered our Hot Tub. Now that I mark his calendar on the date when it has been treated, he is using it regularly. I needed to learn how to communicate this readiness for use in a manner that would not offend. It was challenging. I failed a few times but I think I am finely on track. And as to the Hot Tub, he is on track as I fail to use it. More chat or exploration about short term memory. I try to remember tidbits from the news which I think may be triggers for conversation and potential stories. I work at conversations. I had scribbled a few things down that are not handy at the time we chat. I think hard: mental gymnastics and then realize that the term I was trying to recall intellectual aerobics. The differences discreet would be fun to follow. The memory was a description Tony Snow used to describe Meeting with the Press. I then think that if I have a storied life I will be a success. Both references come from elegies of the kind the video world provides: Sunday Morning Articles. Then distractions abound within me and Dad is no longer in focus. The miracle I wish for is that a card player will appear that will risk an occasional quarter. It does not take much for Dadto put up walls. Failures with neighbors and Senior Center - mostly bad timing but he took it all too personal which make me the only community he truly has. It is a tall order being a community and it does not take much for me to be distracted. The voices in my head say you need you time now, dad has had what you can give today. Balance too is difficult.

Sometimes I sense too much in common with this hermit who lives like a troll in the back house. So much unsaid here.

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