The Long and Winding Road

Beautiful summer day ✔️

Fast machine ✔️

Open road ✔️

Great stereo ✔️

Perfect recipe for a road trip.

At least once a week I trek to Stratford from Collingwood. It’s about a 2 hour jaunt. There’s no direct route via highway so the journey is a winding path through the Beaver Valley then over the escarpment and onto farmland and Mennonite country dotted with hick towns. Traffic is sparse except for a few farm vehicles and horses and buggies around Millbank. A heck of a change from my old commuting days on the 400 series raceways.

On a perfect sunny day the trip is spectacular. I love the chance to rev my engine and let my car perform on the open roads. Scenery is floating by while my mind goes down memory lane thanks to 70’s and 80’s music on Sirius. It’s amazing how a song can teleport you back in time to a school gym or favourite hang out or beach. I love these solo flights!

Once I reach my destination my mind is clear and fresh. I’m ready to switch gears and handle a new circumstance with my parents. I brought some blueberry pie with me for dad. Rudy loves blueberry pie but didn’t want to get the full size pie just for himself. So I told him I would take some to my dad. They both loved it.

Dads cataract surgery was a success. But it changed his vision and now he needs updated glasses. We have an appointment to see the eye doctor. As we are waiting for the eye drops to enlarge dads pupils he tells me he’s hopeful that the new glasses will help him read again. Since mom can’t read much at all anymore dad has become the reader. He reads her articles in the papers. But since his surgery his reading is not possible. He doesn’t complain. He takes it as it comes.

While we chat I apply lotion to his lower legs. He’s wearing shorts and the skin on his shins is so dry it’s flaking. I have hand lotion in my purse. Once I’m done he says it feels nice. Better. And he tells me how he puts lotion on mom’s back every time she comes out of the shower. Their water is hard from chemical treatments and makes their skin dry. They just go with the flow. A team. Independent yet helpless.

Back at their apartment dad enjoys the card games. He won. Bad eyesight and all. Mom sits at the table with us and I plays oldie music on their stereo using the Sirius app on my phone. It’s mind boggling to them how I can manipulate their stereo with my phone. And when do I have time to record all those old songs!? The generation gap is the size of the Grand Canyon.

After the game it’s time for me to journey back. As I hop in the car and pull out, my parents are at the door waving goodbye. Like I’m heading back to school or off for the weekend. I crank the tunes and welcome a whole new series of flashbacks. Back to the days when parents were parents and kids were kids. The role reversal is confusing. Yet it’s also as it should be somehow.

Life is the long and winding road after all.

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