Who is the Dumbass Taking Photos in This Weather?


Well, took Dad in for his tests this morning. I mean, that's why I'm here. We, unsurprisingly, had the start of a tiff on the drive in. I reminded both of us that 95% of arguments are because someone in the argument is hungry, and, well, he had been fasting for around 30 hours at this point, so maybe, we can hand each other some grace. He calmed, I calmed, we arrived safely and on time to the medical facility.

The temperature was -22˚C, again, still, when we arrived. I commented to Dad that I was going to walk to the nearest Starbucks for breakfast while he was having his tests done. He looked at me like I was crazy. I was going to walk? It is cold. Most people would drive. Why would I walk? I explained that the walk was all of a 9 minute walk, why wouldn't I walk? THE WEATHER, he repeated.

Well, he's not exactly wrong. It is cold.

He checked in, we waited, he was called back, he went.

How Dare They?


Dad and I went out grocery shopping today. The house doesn't have much food in it, as he doesn't eat here much, and it definitely doesn't have food that I normally eat ("You fixing broccolli?" "Should I not buy any for you?" "No, I don't eat that stuff."), so out we went for food. Dad has opinions™ about grocery shopping, what to buy, what he's willing to spend on food. I'm less stingy with my food, if I want to try something new, I will try it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

After shopping, we hustled out to the truck. It was -22˚C without wind chill, and we chilled quickly. The walk wasn't very far, but wow, being out of the wind in the cold truck cab was such a relief, even with the groceries piled up along the front seat.

I'm a bad influence


For various health reasons, my having lots of sugar is not a good idea.

For various health reasons, my dad's having lots of sugar is not a good idea.

These two statements are linked by genetics.

So, what do I do when we both have a day off?

I insist we head over for cupcakes.

Pink box in a car wheel well

520 days


521 days ago, I realized I wasn't keeping in touch with either of my parents as much as I wanted to be in touch with them. I wanted to be in contact with them frequently, so that they knew I was thinking about them, that I was hoping they were doing well, that I love them, and that I was hoping they were healthy and enjoying life.

I had recently started using Habit List on my phone, so I added "Mom" and "Dad" to my daily habit list tracker to start the next day. My goal was to contact Mom and Dad very day for a year. Could we stay in touch daily for a year? Phone calls, emails, texts, visiting, all of these counted as "staying in touch." Sending a text by itself didn't count as staying in touch, they had to respond and engage in a conversation for me to be able to say, "Yes, I contacted each of my parents today."

Worth it If he doesn't remember?


In November of 2013, I took my dad to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a birthday present to him. It was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Dad had never been to Gettysburg. He did have the Address somewhat memorized from childhood, and was excited to spend a long weekend with his daughter (at least, that's what he told me). I invited my older brother along, and the three of us met up in Chicago. We flew to Washington DC, then rented a car, and drove to Gettysburg.

Smartly, we didn't go on the weekend of the 150th anniversary, choosing to go the week after: fewer people, less crowding. Go us.

Ice cream with Dad


On the way to the airport today, Dad commented, "we should have stopped for ice cream," just as we were at Midway. It was 3:13PM, my flight wasn't until 4:45PM, and really, having ice cream with Dad? Totally worth being late for. I encouraged him to turn around, let's go! He was a little surprised, but turned right and we were on our way.

Ice cream with Dad has become our little bonding moments. Well, ice cream and cupcakes. Apparently sugar-cravings run in the family. Go us.

I like how much of a little kid Dad is when he has a bowl of ice cream. He knows how to enjoy them, and it makes me very happy to see him smiling and grinning over them. So, yeah, if I'm late for my flight, meh, so I have a crappy seat; if I miss it, there's the next one. I'm willing to miss a flight to hang out with Dad for just a little longer.

Sundae with Dad

I ended up at the airport at 3:45PM, through the (wrong) security line by 4:19PM (the priority line had the x-ray machine, and the peon line had only metal detectors, so, yeah, peon line for me!), and at the gate by 4:25PM. Totally worth taking that chance for ice cream with Dad.

Remembering a meltdown


Today I witnessed the complete and total meltdown of a four year old. He was upset about something or other that I suspect neither he, nor his father, actually remembered. The wailing, the tears, the destructive moment, the pounding, the air-hitting, all of it warped into a

And I thought about the number of times I had done that as a child. I recall only a few, but certainly not because I had only a few. I'm sure I had a lot more than a few, with that certainty coming from my grumpy face in more than a small number of family photos.

Actually, of the photos of my childhood that I actually have, my nose is red from crying more often than it is not.

I was clearly either a frustrated and / or frustrating child.

After seeing the meltdown, I texted both my mom and my dad and apologized, once again, for being such a horrible child. I'm not sure I actually was any more difficult than any other child, as a whole I couldn't have been too bad: I didn't use drugs, I enjoyed going to school, I had good grades, I had good friends. There's a difference, however, between being a good kid and being an easy kid.

And I know that I wasn't an easy kid.

Both my parents responded.

What my dad REALLY thinks


Yep, this pretty much sums up what my dad thinks about my picture taking habits.

Jolly old man


I hate to think of my parents as old. Aside from the fact that such a thought means I'm old, too, it also brings thoughts of loss too close to the surface. Jessica commented on some picture of Mom not too long ago, saying, hey, she sure looked old. I think I refrained from saying, "You're no spring chicken yourself, sweetie," but I can't be sure. The sentiment certainly applies to both of us, too.

If you're lucky, you manage to capture some of your parents' essence, the part that makes you smile. You know, like those pictures of the jolly old man sitting in a chair, usually with some kid on his lap? And he has that look of contentment on his face? The picture that fills you with warm fuzzies?

No kid, but I did manage one of my dad that makes me smile. Fits right in with the not-so-subtle orneriness of that man.


Hot chocolate cures all


Still strong on my hot chocolate kick, our walk outside in the freezing (below freezing?) weather meant we could indulge in hot chocolate guilt free.

Not that I ever feel guilty drinking hot chocolate made from dark chocolate and milk. Practically a health drink!