Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Errands with the boys

What a day! I spent it driving around our beautiful city with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. Taking them on their errands. We spent an hour at an oversized bookstore where Grampie, who had told me he was simply going to sit and enjoy his coffee, wasn't where I left him. I panicked--who knows where he might have wandered to. When I found him, he was picking through books on blogging, of all things, and bought "The Idiot's Guide to..." I helped him decide on it--it was the only book that had a chance in the world of making sense to him, and even that seemed iffy. In the meantime, my brother-in-law (b-i-l) was finding books to take back to Finland for his English classes. He loads himself up with teaching materials every time he's in the States. This 5 minute stop turned into an hour wait: if you look up the word deliberate in the dictionary, I'm fairly certain my brother-in-law's name will show up in the definition.

After using a shoe horn to fit the giants into my Matrix in a different configuration, we moved on to the Sports Card shop, where b-i-l wanted to buy some hockey cards. Waiting in the car, I surprised Grampie by opening the sunroof--"Oh for pete's sake," he said. "That's not too shabby." (That's pretty high praise for him!) We waited long enough that Grampie wondered if b-i-l was negotiating for the sale of the whole shop. As I said, deliberate. Then it was on to the Family Christian Bookstore, where Grampie decided again to wait in the car, once he determined, to his disappointment, that he couldn't buy extra large athletic socks inside. At Fred Meyer, we hooked his cane in a shopping cart and were off to order photos from three different jump drives. Let me just say, it would have been complicated for me on a good day... B-i-l, in the meantime, was finding the socks, but I had to race off to retrieve him when Grampie realized he'd misplaced his wallet somewhere and was practically out the door and caning across the busy parking lot by himself.

At the bank across the street, Grampie stopped to bend all the way to the ground to pick up a penny. I was certain we'd be calling 911 because he wouldn't be able to get back up--but he's surprisingly flexible. And on the way out the door, 20 minutes later, the two boys selling raffle tickets had tossed a nickel and another penny on the ground just to watch him bend over again. B-i-l tried to say he'd get it, but Grampie's a stubborn old coot and wouldn't hear of it. The boys were howling at the sight until their mother gave them the business for teasing a grumpie old man like that.

Shoe-horned back in the car, we drove back up the hill to our house where I took a deep breath. I needed a nap. But Grampie's photos had to be retrieved. "It would be my honor to go with you to get them," he said. Honor? Maybe the service of my day to let him. I helped him back down the steps and into the car, and we were off.

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