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Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's Going to Happen to Me?

Mom ready for her talk at
 The Well Red Coyote, 3190 W. Highway 89A - Suite 400
in Sedona, Arizona
Archie helping Dad with his morning devotions.
We just returned from an eye-opening trip with my folks to Sedona. I am so blessed that my parents have lived long enough that I have gotten to know them, not only as a mother and father, but also as friends.

We have been on several motor home trips together. The first one was was a previous trip to Arizona, about five years ago, because my mom was participating in a book fair in Prescott. Since we helped them set up, I asked how they were able to do it when we weren’t around. She said someone always noticed two old people struggling with their gear and would come running to help. (Side note to anyone out there that might have helped them out over the years, thanks!) While Mom worked her booth, Mike, Dad and I had a great time checking out nearby sites, sometimes leaving Mom at her table too long, as we were promptly informed on our return. The next day, we made a perilous drive from Prescott to Sedona through Jerome - after which I told my husband, “no one can steer finer.”  Literally, I could touch the sides of buildings when I reached my hand out the window of the motor home. There was also an interesting encounter with a tour bus coming from the other direction - talk about a tight squeeze. Once we arrived at the campground, we enjoyed it so much that we didn't leave.  When we finally headed into Sedona for Mom's next talk and got a look at that landscape, needless to say, we wished we'd ventured out sooner.

There was a trip to Sacramento, just for fun. We checked out the auto and train museums, as well as some of the great restaurants and shops. We stayed at a KOA there and were so impressed with how much nature there was in that urban setting.

Another time, we happened to be in the midwest just as a writers' convention Mom was participating in ended. So, we swung by and picked them up. It was fun riding home together, stopping for a couple of days in Colorado to enjoy the mountains and even a little snow, in the first part of June.

For one of my birthdays, they met us at Lake Nacimiento, memorable because the air conditioner in the motor home broke. My folks live in an area where it is hot, hot, hot in the summer, so they were accustomed to the heat. My husband and I, on the other hand, live on the coast where it rarely gets over 80 and boy, did he whine. (I prefer to suffer in silence and wish those around me would do the same.) Even so, it was a fun trip because we were in the water most of the time. While we were floating in the lake,  Mom and I even got circled by a buzzard. We decided we better move around a little more so he’d know we were still alive - we waved our arms and after looking at us a little closer, he flew off. I also think of Dad cruising by himself across the lake on our PWC (personal water craft) with a big grin on his face as the rest of us motored back to camp in my daughter's boat.

We’ve made some great memories together in the motor home. There is, however, a down side to spending time with my parents at this stage of their lives - a peek into my own future. I have been truly blessed because I remember my mothers’ grandparents (my great-grandparents) and my own grandparents but their physical limitations didn’t mean too much to me at the time, after all, I was young and didn’t really think too much about the aging process.

It’s a different story now. Being closer to 60 than 50, tends to change your perception. My mom is only 19 years older than I am, so my future, their present, is not all that far away, especially if the next 19 years go as fast as my last. My parents are both still bright and articulate but, physically, they are having a hard time getting around. This was really noticeable on the motor home steps - so much so, one of our camping neighbors pulled Mike aside and told him they’d almost had a heart attack watching my mom go into the motor home. Since I had tumbled out of our old motor home once (which, luckily, was built closer to the ground than this one), I laid down the law - they had to hold on to the handle when entering or leaving. They mind pretty good, so I wasn’t too worried about them getting hurt, even though it was scary to watch. I noticed as the week progressed, their agility actually seemed to improve, so maybe the key to being spry into your 80's is to keep RVing. At least, that sounds good to me!

1 comment:

  1. Pretty funny to read this and know I'm the old lady you're talking about. We sure did have fun on the trip though.

    Marilyn aka Mom