A quick jaunt to visit my parents this weekend yielded three excellent moments.
1. Dad has a new ‘do.
My dad, who has faithfully maintained a high-and-tight crewcut since his days in the Navy (six decades, give or take) was sporting a fauxhawk, so I packed him into my rental car and took him to get a haircut.
Salon employee: “Welcome to Great Clips. What’s your phone number?”
(They keep your cut preferences on file, like a pizza place.)
Julia: “Hang on.” (pulls out phone to search contacts for brother’s cell)
Dad (from behind, bellows): “Senior discount.”
My dad calls Great Clips, “Fun Clips”. I think they should consider changing their name.
But the better part actually followed, when I talked my dad, who isn’t exactly the stop-and-smell-the-roses type, into going to Anderson’s General Store, where we stumbled upon a little wine tasting.
A little splash of shiraz and suddenly the on-clearance hammock frames become a worthy topic of conversation. Or so we discovered.
2. A love for chamber music was born.
My parents live in an upscale assisted/independent living facility, where they don’t take advantage of the activities nearly as much as we’d like them to. As evidenced by aforementioned Anderson’s trip, I can sometimes sway them to live on the edge.
My mom is often an easier sell. This afternoon, she and I decided to take in a little live chamber music. My dad surprised us by joining us midway through the second arrangement, which was a crackerjack decision on his part because the piano-and-string quintet (which I now have completely forgotten the name of) was To Die For. It was a family affair: four brothers (all of whom sported less-than-stellar mustaches, and all of whom played like a dream), presumably under the tutelage of an extremely, extremely talented dude named Dave Schlub (who must be this guy).
Julia: [quickly, quietly, considerately relocates a chair to accommodate Mom’s wheelchair in second row aisle]
Old lady, from back row: “Now why’d she do that?”
(The white hairs on wheels who comprise the bulk of my parents’ community are a tough, tough crowd.)
Five musicians: [raise bows in demi-dramatic flourish]
Old lady, from fifth row end: “Do you know what time the next train leaves?”
Five musicians: [slightly perplexed, commence to play]
Dad (into Julia’s ear): “Now I wish I’d come down earlier.”
It is damned near never that my parents beam and rave about things cultural. That was how wonderful this quintet was. They singlehandedly won over the White Hairs On Wheels, who are prone to nodding off mid-overture and who think nothing of standing up and leaving the performance at a moment’s whim. They actually received a standing ovation from a mobility-challenged audience.
[Soft, cussy melody accompanies keyboard percussion of fruitless Googling to recall group’s name.]
3. We saw a blue freaking heron.
He was hanging on a rock in the middle of the pond in back of my parents’ facility, amongst a largish pack of mean old geese and a few saucy little mallards. I argued with my dad briefly that he must be a statue, until he opened his wings, tai-chi-style. He was breathtaking.
And of course I’d left all manner of camera in my mom’s room. Frick.
Meanwhile, back in Queens, there was doing.