Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday Afternoon

My parents have smart phones.  When they ask me why i don't, i tell them it's because i already have teens, i don't need anything else in the house that is smarter than i am.

Their own smart phone acquisition has put us in a position where i now get text messages from my parents, of all people.  Email is one thing, but texting is something i never thought i'd associate with them.

Yesterday, i got a text saying they would be in town, visiting a friend who is in hospice, and would we like to go out to eat after.  Upon asking the children, they said absolutely, and Sweetie is always up for a big meal, so i told him yes, and we made arrangements to meet at the restaurant.

That's one thing i love about my kids, they love to drop everything else and spend time with their grandparents, even now well into their teen years.  They see their grandparents as cool.  (So do i, by the way.)

Once they arrived in town, my mom wanted to ask a few things, so she inexplicably called me on my landline.  For all she is so tech savvy, she hasn't figured out yet that my landline serves only two purposes -- a way to dial 911 if we have to, because it can be instantly traced and get help quickly, even if we can't communicate, and a phone number to give anyone who wants it for sales call purposes.

We don't answer it, most of the time, and because the phone itself is ancient and the battery almost defunct, it barely functions.  We listen to the messages, which are mostly hang ups and sales pitches and notices from the pharmacy that a prescription is ready.  Despite how hard it was for me to hear her on it, with me continually having to ask her to repeat herself because of the static, it still took me five minutes to convince her to call me on my mobile.

Anyway, she finally did and they were running a bit late, so we left later than we had planned.  We still got to the restaurant almost 30 minutes ahead of them.

When they arrived, we all got up and gave hugs, and sat down to await the appetizers we had already ordered.  Then i asked how the friend, who is someone i also know, was doing.

"He was doing great today!" my father noted.  "The family has not allowed visitors at all, because he's been asleep or totally out of it for days, but yesterday they called and asked us to come.  He was up and talking, and the whole family was there.  His son, his grandson, you know, the one who will be running for congress, all of them.  They were thrilled that we got to spend time with him."

That's fabulous, i noted.  He is probably what the old Scot highlanders from many years past called "fey," where the soul gathers itself one last time, to burn brightly before moving on.

"Yes, I saw that many times working with hospice," my father said.  "Someone is sick and you think they won't make it another day, then they get up and party, making you think they are getting better.  Then they die the next day."

"That's how it often happens," Sweetie noted.

"Well, it's why we were late," my mother added.  "They didn't want us to go, and I do wish we could have stayed longer.  It was good to see all of them."

"Did you know he is a painter?" my father asked.  "He was very talented, and he gave me one of his original artworks, and signed it for me.  I have it in the car, I want to show it to you before you go."

From there, the topics moved on to the usual, how the kids are doing in school, what the football team is doing, how the fall is shaping up, and whether or not it's any use for any team to play against Alabama, or should everyone just give them the championship now and go home.  The talk on such occasions ranges, and is "of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings."  The kind of conversation where you don't remember all of it later, but you know it was good.

It was a nice way to end the weekend, an unexpected and most enjoyable gathering with family.

Today is:

Anne Bradstreet Day -- Massachusetts, US (by Proclamation of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to honor Anne Bradstreet, America’s first poet, who is also recognized as the first published woman poet in the English language)

Cherokee Strip Day -- Oklahoma, US (anniversary of the last land run, in 1893, which opened Native American land to white settlers)

Collect Rocks Day -- i guess it means besides all the ones in my head

Crown Prince's Birthday -- Tonga

Eleven Days of Global Unity -- Day 6, Children & Youth (sponsored by We, the World)

Festival for Ra, Osiris, and Horus -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Independence Day -- Malaysia(1963); Mexico(1910); Nicaragua; Papua New Guinea(1975)

Indra Jatra -- Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (the biggest religious street festival in Kathmandu, includes chariot processions, masked dances, and tableau; through the 23rd, with Wednesday being an official municipal holiday)

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer -- UN (commemorates the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer)

International Love Your Files Week -- the week to make sure your filing system is working for you

Keiro no hi -- Japan (Respect for the Aged Day)

Martyrs' Day -- Libya

Mayflower Day -- the ship left England on this day in 1620

National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

National Guacamole Day

National Heroes' Day -- St. Kitts and Nevis

National Play-Doh Day -- unofficial; get some anyway and be a kid again for a little while

National Stepfamily Day -- unofficial, but with so many families being "step" these days, it's not a bad idea

Onam Festival -- Kerala, India (most important day of the gala celebrating the legendary King Maveli, although some celebrations continue through the 18th)

Owain Glyndwr Day -- Wales

Samvatsari -- Jain (final and most important day of the Paryushana Parva, the day focused on forgiveness)

St. Cornelius' Day (Patron of cattle, domestic animals, earache sufferers, epileptics; Kornelimunster, Germany;against earache, epilepsy, fever, twitching )

St. Cyprian of Carthage's Day (Patron of Algeria, North Africa)

St. Euphemia's Day (Patron of Rovinj, Croatia)

St. Ludmilla's Day (Grandmother of St. "Good King" Winceslaus; Patron of converts, duchesses, widows; Bohemia; Czech Republic; against in-law problems)

Stepfamily Day -- US and others who choose to recognize it (if you have stepfamily you love, celebrate it wherever you live)

Woman Road Warrior Day -- to recognize the traveling businesswomen in today's world

Working Parents Day -- internet generated, enjoy if you are a working parent or have a working parent you want to thank

Birthdays Today:

Marc Anthony, 1968
Jennifer Tilly, 1961
David Copperfield, 1956
Mickey Rourke, 1956
Robin Yount, 1955
Ed Begley, Jr., 1949
Peter Falk, 1927
B.B. King, 1925
Lauren Bacall, 1924
Allen Funt, 1914
James Cash Penney, 1875
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098

Today in History:

The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston, 1630
Handel's "The Messiah" premiers in Dublin, 1741
The Great Seal of the United States is used for the first time, 1782
Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight – the city burns down completely days later, 1812
Slavery is abolished in all French Territories, 1848
The Cherokee Strip, in Oklahoma, is opened, making land available to white settlers, 1893
Roald Amundsen discovers the magnetic south pole, 1906
William Durant, carriage-maker, founds General Motors Corp., 1908
Juan Perón is deposed in Argentina, 1955
Malaysia is formed, 1963
Cape Verde, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe join the United Nations, 1975
Shavarsh Karapetyan saves 20 people from the trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir, 1976
An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hits the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people, 1978
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines join the United Nations, 1980
The Montreal Protocol is signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion, 1987
The Pound Sterling is forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and is forced to devalue against the German mark, 1992
Denmark elects its first female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 2011


  1. I have always wanted to be the grandparent that the teenagers liked, but I don't think I will be ;-( I will wait and see.

    do not get me started on my own parents, texting and their new!UNIMITED!TEXTING! smartphone plan :-)

  3. I just got a new phone this weekend. It's annoying. Smartphones are too smart. I need basic stuff to do basic things. My phone is way too intellectual for me. I'm glad you and the fam had a nice Sunday. xo

  4. Hospice visits aren't always pleasant but I'm glad yours was. Your kids are great to spend time with their grandparents.

  5. I'm glad your parents got to see their friend one last time. I too agree that most everyone gets their second wind before the end. I think that's a fabulous thing too. Gives everyone a change to say what needs saying.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  6. "You don't remember it all later, but you know it was good". I LOVE that line, truly love it and understand it. :-)