Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adventures with Grandpa – August 2010

The weekend before last I drove up to Salt Lake City with Dad for April’s first temple session. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t have enough material for an ‘Adventures with Grandpa’ chapter because it was such a short trip. After all, we left on Saturday morning and returned Sunday afternoon. Surely you can’t squeeze too many adventures in 36 hours or less! WRONG!

First of all, I must explain why we didn’t leave for Utah until Saturday morning. Several months ago, April called and invited me to come to the temple with her family on August 21. I said I would go. I marked it on my calendar and it became “something I’m doing a few months from now.” Fast forward a little bit, and Cheryl, a friend of mine from work, came by my office to tell me that Weird Al was going to be in Vegas this summer. I always go with her, so I agreed to go again. It didn’t occur to me that those dates might collide until after she had bought my ticket. Weird Al was FRIDAY night; the temple session was SATURDAY afternoon! I couldn’t tell Cheryl I wasn’t going with her, since she had already bought my ticket. And I couldn’t miss April’s session.

Meanwhile, Joanna had told Dad that we would drive up to SLC together. This meant that I would have to leave Vegas pretty early to meet Dad in Cedar City, as we usually do. I didn’t bother trying to explain to Dad about Weird Al. I just didn’t think he would understand. I just told him I had other plans on Friday and couldn’t go until Saturday.

Of course this meant that I wasn’t going to get much sleep Friday night. The concert was a lot of fun, as always, but I didn’t get home until around midnight, and I still had to finish packing and stuff, and I had to be up by 5:00. I had talked to Dad about meeting in Cedar City. I said I was planning to leave at 6:00 AM. He asked, “You want to meet at 6 AM?” I said NO-NO-NO; I’m going to LEAVE at 6 AM! Shoot, if I was going to get to Cedar at 6 AM, I might as well not go to bed at all! Ugh, I’m glad I got that cleared up before we left!

I was pumping gas at the Sam’s Club gas station when Dad called for the first time at 6 AM. I told him I was on my way. He said that he would get in the car and leave, and I told him NO, wait an hour! Make another sweep through the garden! Anything! He sometimes seems to think that we’re driving the same distance (actually it’s about 95 miles for him, close to 190 for me), and I always get a lot of razzing from him when he always beats me there. One trip, I was just leaving Vegas when he called to say he was already at Joe and Marie’s, and asked, am I almost there? He really gave me a hard time that trip. But I digress.

This trip, when I got to Joe and Marie’s house, Dad was there (of course) and it looked like he was about ready to jump into my car and go. His suitcase was open on the sidewalk and he was digging through it, looking for something. It wasn’t until I returned from visiting the bathroom and getting the home remodeling update from Veronica (very nice, by the way!) that I realized that Dad had locked his keys in his car and was searching through the suitcase for a spare set. His keys were still in the ignition.

I don’t know how he managed to do it (lock the keys inside), but I don’t have any room to criticize. Just a month or so ago, I did it myself. To make a long story short (and you never thought I would ever actually do that – shorten a story), I had rented a truck to move Jenny’s stuff from her apartment to my garage. After all of Jenny’s friends had unloaded the truck at my house, I locked the truck and went inside the house to take a break before driving back across town to return it. It was probably 112 degrees that day and I was melting! When I decided to leave … guess what? Keys in the ignition, doors locked. The rental place was already closed for the day, so I couldn’t call them. I could call Pop-A-Lock, but that’s extra time and expense, and it was a work night for both Jenny and me, and she was meeting me over at the rental place. I went back inside the house in search of a wire coat hanger, and it took me a while to find one (NO – WIRE – HANGERS – EVER!) Luckily for me, I had left the windows cracked open a bit in an attempt to keep the truck’s interior below the boiling point, so I had a little room to negotiate, even though the truck had those smooth door locks that can’t really be grabbed. Then I spotted the wing windows in the doors. I maneuvered the coat hanger over there and managed to unlock the wing window. After pushing that open, it was easy to reach in and unlock the door. Success! Nobody would have even known that I did such a dumb thing (lock the keys inside) if I didn’t blab about it.

Anyway, back to Dad and his car. Dad had told Veronica that he had an extra car key hidden behind his back license plate, so I suggested we just get that one so we could get on our way, and eventually he did. So off we went. We hadn’t even left Cedar City when I asked Dad if he had remembered his temple clothes. He always brings them (and how he can squish so much stuff into such a tiny suitcase, I’ll never know – it’s about the size of Jacob’s lunch box), but this time he forgot. We were going to the Draper temple, and they don’t rent clothes there. When we stopped for gas, I sent a text to everybody I could think of to see if anybody had extras that he could borrow. Before long, everybody was combing their neighborhoods for extra sets of clothes. Eventually Shayler called to tell me that his parents, who live in Colorado, had gone there without clothes (the temple clothes, of course – I’m sure they were actually wearing other clothes when they arrived – but it’s amusing to visualize) and the temple had some for out-of-towners to borrow, so it turned out that Dad could (and did) borrow clothes from the temple, so that was eventually resolved, but not without a bunch of scrambling around and panicking first, which is always a fun addition to any trip.

We eventually made it to Draper and met Joanna and Shayler at Wendy’s for something to eat before the session. Afterwards, we were all standing together in front of the temple, trying to decide what to do next. We wanted to go eat somewhere but had no idea where. Everybody was chatting, and Dad was having a hard time hearing us. He got a bit frustrated and groused that we weren’t including him in the discussion and that we were all laughing at him because he couldn’t hear. I told him quite seriously that we weren’t laughing about it, we were crying. And that’s the truth! How about we all pitch in a few bucks and get him a new set of hearing aids? They’ve got to have better ones that what he has!

Somebody mentioned Chuckorama, and everybody stampeded to their cars. Even though we were a pretty big group (10) and it was a Saturday night, we didn’t have to wait long for a table. Everything was really good and we had a great time.

We went to Joanna and Shayler’s place to spend the night. They have a second bedroom with Joanna’s old twin bed in it, so Dad slept in there. I brought my air mattress, and I slept on it in the living room. Joanna and Shayler’s church starts at 9 AM, so we were up early the next morning, competing for their one bathroom. Joanna got in there first and then came to wake me up when it was my turn, calling “Wakey wakey!” (I wonder where she got that?) She also aimed her hair dryer at me every time I passed her in the hall, saying “Whoops!” I swear, everything I did to those kids when they were growing up is coming back to haunt me now. Next they’ll be vacuuming up spiders and chasing me around with the vacuum cleaner.

Dad had brought a melon from his garden for us to have for breakfast on Sunday morning. He had explained to me that he had skipped eating any on Saturday morning just so we could have some on Sunday. We had put it in the fridge Saturday night. As I was getting ready in the bathroom, I could hear him talking to Joanna. She was telling him that it was his turn to get in the shower, and he kept saying that he was afraid that if he left us alone with the melon, we would eat it all and he wouldn’t get any. And, after all, he didn’t even get any Saturday morning. She eventually convinced him it was safe to get in the shower, but as soon as he closed the bathroom door, she decided to hide the melon from him. She grabbed it out of the fridge and put it in the ice chest I had brought. Then we sat and happily anticipated his return to the kitchen. Of course, the first thing he did when he returned to the kitchen was selecting a knife from her knife block (“none of these are very sharp”) and opened the fridge. He looked. He looked some more. Finally he asked, “what happened to the melon?!” Joanna sang out, “I guess it got eaten!” I got to watch him chase Joanna around the apartment and attempt to choke her when he caught her. Then we had some cantaloupe!

I was sitting at the kitchen table putting on my makeup and Dad, happily eating his melon, was sitting there with me and providing a running commentary on what I was doing. How many face lotions do I need, anyway? And why am I putting on another kind of powder? What’s that stuff on your eyes supposed to do? When he suggested that I needed more blush to try to better attract a new husband, I called Joanna back into the kitchen and told her that the potatoes for dinner needed peeling NOW and we put him to work at the sink. (She said it could wait until after church, but I assured her that it couldn’t!)

We walked to church. Joanna and Shayler’s current calling is to teach Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School, so of course we had to stay for that. (Dad complained that we were skipping Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting, but I told him that since we usually escape after Sacrament Meeting, we were making improvements, slowly working our way up to the full three hours.) After Sacrament Meeting I visited the ladies’ room, and I guess I took longer than expected, because when I joined them in the Sunday School class, Joanna and Shayler were already up front teaching the lesson. As I sat down next to Dad, he loudly announced, “DO YOU FEEL BETTER NOW?” My reply to him – SHH!

We had a nice dinner with Joanna and Shayler and then began our journey back home. In between falling asleep, he woke up and complained that I wasn’t talking much. I was secretly listening to my iPod with one ear bud. I needed a little peace and quiet! We parted ways in Cedar City and both made it home alive. It was a short trip, but a fun one!