|my dad, doug, orion and darbey in the summer of (i'm guessing) 1999?|
first thing that had to happen was to find the man a place to live... so apartment hunting ensued... i was looking for inexpensive rent, but it turns out that the cheap apartment complexes are seriously G.R.O.S.S. i wouldn't wish a place like that on my worst enemy... G.R.O.S.S. but... finally found him a place close by... did you know that trying to rent an apartment for someone else is nearly impossible? it was a fight at every turn, i mean, i'm glad things are electronic now, cuz that helped speed some things up, but we're talking about a 75-year-old man here... electronics are not his forte... and there was only one chick in the leasing office who wasn't annoying... or a bitch... but nonetheless... apartment leased... check.
next up, furniture... he decided to go with rental furniture so (a) he didn't have to figure out how to move his furniture from cali to here; and (b) when he's done with it, the rental company can just come and take it away... no trying to find people with trucks and muscles and stuff... so, furniture picked out, ordered, and delivered... check.
next up, get my dad (and the stuff he's bringing with him) here... and so starts three difficult and trying days... so, the plan was for me to fly into reno, have his friends pick me up at the airport and drive me to his house (about a 2-hour drive down parts of nevada and into the eastern border of california... a way up in the sierra nevada mountains...) followed by my dad and i packing his SUV full of everything he's bringing and setting off on two 9-hour days of driving back to washington...
so, the flight... i hate flying... hate it... i should've brought drugs, or alcohol, or both... but i didn't, and reno was having a major windstorm, so the landing was something akin to a hellish rollercoaster ride... i hate rollercoasters... hate them... so... i LOST it... there was hyperventilating... there were tears... there were well-meaning people around me trying to calm me down, telling me to "imagine i was somewhere peaceful"... yeah, none of that worked... tears were still streaming down my face and my knuckles were completely white from death-gripping the arms of the seat... fortunately, the plane landed safely on the earth, and i was probably not ever in any real danger... but my logical mind doesn't ever stick around to help me through things like that, so i ended up making a complete fool of myself... anyhow... flight... check.
on my way to the baggage claim, i ran into my dad's friends (who were there to pick me up), which saved me a lot of phone calling and searching and stuff... so we grabbed my suitcase and off we went on the 2-hour drive to bridgeport (california... not connecticut) which was interrupted briefly by a stop for chinese food... where i ate WAY too much... and my dad's friends (who also happen to be married to each other... with strong hungarian accents... in their 70s... and my dad's landlords for the past 20-some-odd years...) were making jokes about the tapioca... i'm fairly sure there was a comment about 'that pudding with the little balls' that started a wave of 'balls' jokes... and while i share many a 'balls' joke with my kids and friends, i'm not used to sharing 'balls' jokes with people in their 70s, which made the whole thing even funnier... good times... good times... drive to bridgeport... check.
holy cow... my dad's apartment was a M.E.S.S.! he had the pile that was going to be traveling with us... and then there was everything else... he had a couple boxes of pictures and stuff, and some dvd's and cd's for me to go through to see what i wanted, so i did that that night and then hit the hay... long long day... check.
friday morning it was up and at 'em at 6am... all of his buddies were coming by at 8am to help pack up the SUV, and bonus... it was snowing... if you know me, you know i don't do snow, and i especially don't drive in snow... well, except for that day, apparently... goody... more white knuckles... we hit the road about 9am... made a couple of stops... and proceeded cautiously up the 395... fortunately, the snow only lasted about 30 miles and the rest of the drive to yreka, california, was free and clear... in fact it was like 56 degrees in yreka in the late afternoon... we were thankfully past any more danger of snow driving... or so we thought...
saturday morning... guess what was falling out of the sky? oh yeah... more snow... are you effing kidding me with this? this time it lasted until we got off the mountain that ashland, oregon is on... and up at ashland, there was about 2 feet of visibility... i should've probably been wearing diapers cuz i was close to pooping myself... could this trip be any more terrifying? well, as with the flight... and the drive on friday... we made it back home... safe and sound and alive... but with far less hair (and the hair that was left was decidely greyer than it had been just three short days before) home... check.
it has now been a week since i started out on this journey and my dad is all moved in and mostly settled into his new little apartment, much closer to us, which is awesome, cuz we can finally spend some real quality time with him... welcome to your new home, daddy :)