Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures with Grandpa - The Lost Chapter

I just returned from what might be the ultimate “Adventure with Grandpa,” driving up to Cristie’s place in Washington for Amanda’s graduation (and several other stops while on the trip), but before I get to that, Vera told me that she still wanted to read what I wrote about my trip to Caliente for Neal’s mission farewell, so I’m going to finish and post that first. I don’t know why I never finished it and posted it (I probably decided it was too boring – but when has that stopped me before), but here it is. It’s five months ago and memory has faded a bit, but I was thrilled that at least one person wanted to read it, so here I go!

That adventure began when I drove to Caliente to celebrate my nephew Neal’s mission departure. Uh oh, that didn’t sound right. We didn’t celebrate that he was leaving, we were celebrating that he made a great decision and is going on a mission and to say a fond farewell and best wishes.

Anyway, I was driving to Caliente that Friday, January 29. Joanna and Shayler were coming too, but they weren’t leaving until after they got off work. (I don’t work on Fridays, hooray!) I had an appointment that morning and then I had to pack, so I didn’t get out of town until midafternoon. I told Dad that I wasn’t leaving first thing in the morning, but by the time I got there, he was getting anxious. I think that the main reason for that was because I told him I was bringing dinner and he was getting hungry. We do have our priorities!

Joanna and Shayler were arriving late that night, so of course we had to stay up and wait for them. Since it’s been a few months since then, I don’t remember much about the waiting part, but maybe I’ve blocked out the memory, who knows? Anyway, they arrived and after much talking, we all went to bed. The next morning Dad and I were up early (actually I was up early, Dad was up REALLY early) and Dad suggested that we go for a walk. I had made a check of the supplies and suggested that we walk to the grocery store, where we could get some food for breakfast. He agreed, and off we went.

At the store Dad decided that he wanted to make an omelet, so we bought eggs, and he picked up some red and green peppers. I got milk and some bacon. I decided that I would like to have some hot chocolate, so I asked Dad if he had any at home. He said he was sure he did. Knowing the age of some of the stuff in his pantry, I asked him how old the hot chocolate mix at home was. He declared that it wasn’t that old. Feeling more suspicious, I then asked him, Dad, I have one question for you. Did MOM buy that hot chocolate? (As most readers know, Mom died over four years ago.) Dad said that OF COURSE Mom bought it! He wouldn’t be buying anything like that! Just what I thought! Then I had one more question for him: “How OLD was Mom when she bought that hot chocolate?!” As he sputtered, I picked out my favorite flavor, the mint hot chocolate, and put it in the basket.

We paid for our purchases and left the store. As we were checking out, Dad teased the checkout clerk about various things, but she just stared at him with a bored expression and didn’t respond. I guess she’s seen him in there before.

When we got home, I checked on Joanna and Shayler (still asleep) and hollered through the door that they needed to wake up because we were making breakfast. I returned to the kitchen to unpack the groceries. Much to my dismay, I found that the can of hot chocolate mix in the bag was the wrong flavor! As I began to moan, I noticed that it had been opened before. As it turned out, as soon as we got home and I wasn’t in the kitchen, Dad looked in his pantry and found his hot chocolate and switched it with the one we had bought. He’s always up to something! He got a good chuckle out of my reaction, anyway.

I was a bit skeptical of the omelet he was constructing. He chopped up the red and green peppers with some onion and added them to the egg, along with some cheese he had in the fridge. I can’t remember what else we made, except for the bacon or sausage we bought, but the omelet was really good. I was amazed! I think it might be called a “Western” omelet and I might try ordering it sometime. No, I didn’t say I would try MAKING it. Unless Dad is here to help!

A few hours later, Joanna got on the phone with Kevin’s family and found out that everybody was going to that restaurant thing adjacent to the mini mart at the gas station for lunch. (I can’t think of what it’s called. The name “Joe’s” sticks in my mind, but maybe it’s not right.) Dad kept dragging his feet about going (“we just ate”), so by the time we got there, we were just in time to see everybody in their cars, driving away! We accused them of planning it that way (being gone by the time we arrived), but I bet they were just hungry. We WERE pretty late.

We decided to go ahead and eat something. I asked Dad if he wanted to split a hamburger with me, but he said NO, he ISN’T HUNGRY, we JUST ATE! As I ordered, I turned and told Shayler that I bet Dad would end up helping me eat my burger. Joanna and Shayler ordered something. Dad had an ice cream cone.

By the time the burger was ready, Dad was done with his ice cream. He got a plastic knife and asked me to cut off a little piece so I cut it in half and gave it to him. As Dad happily ate it, Shayler was practically rolling on the floor, laughing about how I had “called it.” Hey, I know my dad.

Went over to Kevin and Ann’s place, where Kevin was stirring an enormous Dutch oven brimming full of chili on their grill. It was so full that even the gentlest stirring caused chili to slosh over the sides. I had fun standing and talking to Kev while he cooked. He showed me his new shed/garage building he had built, I admired his Rhino, and he offered to take me for a ride, but I didn’t have an adequate coat. Next time I’m gonna do it, though!

The rest of the day is pretty much covered in my other blog about Neal’s farewell. The chili was delicious. I always thought that my recipe was the best, but this totally beat it. It had a delicious smoky flavor that was really great. I’m not one that likes spicy things, and Neal was diluting his and eating large bites of corn bread (something else that was really good, and I don’t usually like corn bread very much, either), saying that it was too spicy for him, but I didn’t think it was spicy at all, just REALLY good. I’ll have to get that recipe!

Church the next day was really good. There was a gal who was getting ready to leave on her mission, too, and she spoke at the same meeting and hogged most of the time, but Neal did very well with the little time she left him. We had a nice dinner with everybody else at the church after the meeting, and I had fun talking to the family members who were there.

As always I stopped at Mom’s grave site on the way home to check in. I know she’s not really there, but I always like to stop by anyway.

Neal had told me about some of the places near Coyote Springs he had been working, and I tried to watch for them on the way home so I could say I saw them, but I’m not sure I picked out the right ones! But it was fun to watch the electrical lines and say to myself, “Neal worked on that. Didn’t he do good?!”

It was a very fun trip and I’m glad I went!

Coming up next – even more Adventures with Grandpa! You can look forward to reading it or blocking it, whichever you prefer!