Sunday, October 29, 2006

My adventures with Dad

The trip north with Dad went well if a little harrowing at the beginning. Dad wanted to go in his car, which was fine with me, but he also wanted to drive! Not good! With age and infirmity (among other things both hips have been replaced more than once and are very stiff due to lack of exercise) Dad is no longer a good driver. My sister, L, refuses to be a passenger in his car and always insists on driving!

I am not my sister and am not as "bossy" as she is! So Dad drove - sometimes in the centre and sometimes near the side of the road. Sometimes at 80 or 90 km and sometimes at 110 km! (By the way, the speed limit on the open road is 100 km) He wanted to put on his sunglasses so got me to hold the wheel while he did so. At one stage he got right up behind a vehicle and indicated to overtake. This was on a long corner and I could see cars coming towards us not far away! I nearly yelled at him!! I'm sure my blood pressure was nearly double normal - I KNOW my stress levels were mighty high!

But another thing about Dad - he doesn't like to negotiate a town he is unfamiliar with. About 10 minutes out of our destination he pulled to the side of the road and let me carry on. Big relief! So I carried on from there, not terribly happy driving a fairly unfamiliar and larger car than mine but the stress levels did begin to drop. We arrived safely.

Visited T, my eldest son. Sadly, his partner, S, and two daughters (my grandgirls!) weren't there as they are visiting S's mother for a few weeks awaiting the birth of a new nephew. But it was nice to catch up with T and make plans for his visit next weekend. It was then on to my other son, M, his fiancee R (yes! they got engaged last weekend!) and my daughter, K, who lives with them. Again great to catch up. They are all coming down next weekend (it is Guy Fawkes and we will be having a bbq, bonfire and fireworks as usual) but I think M and R will be staying at R's parents' place. But we will fit them in if we need to. Thank goodness for a large house!

After all the visiting it was time to head home. As it was about teatime Dad got me to stop off for a meal at an old favourite place of his. A reasonable meal for a good price - just a little noisy, though. Hard to hear Dad talking and I'm sure he couldn't hear me as he is rather deaf.

Back in the car after the meal (yay, I'm still driving!) do you think we could go straight home? Nah uh, not Dad! He is a long-time wanderer when it comes to outings in the car and this was no exception! "How would you like to go back through...?" So off the beaten track we went. Now keep in mind, people, that by this time the sun is very low in the sky and we were heading straight for it on a totally unfamiliar road. It was also extremely windy. Both my hands had to stay firmly on the wheel.

So we are driving down the road going goodness knows where! Even Dad couldn't remember when he had last been along that particular road. We ended up where we were headed, though. Going out through the other side of the town I had an inkling of where Dad's mind would be heading to. I was right! So we ended up visiting an old (well, she isn't really that old!) friend we had last seen probably three or four years ago. Lovely, friendly lady. Great to catch up with her.

Late leaving, though. Still half an hour to get back to where Dad lives and another half hour's drive for me after that. After 11 pm when I got in, tired and pleased to get home.

And am I getting on with my fibery goodness today? Not yet, but I did put a link to KRs webring on my sidebar! See it? I actually did it! Just hope it works, now.


Lanea said...

Welcome to the KR Webring!

Bess said...

Howdy! I know just how scary it can be to ride with an aging parent at the wheel. The very (and I mean very) few times I let my dad drive I pray the whole time. I don't ever let my mom drive. Haven't for 20 years.