This weekend, my father visited me to see the new house. I’m sure he also stopped to see how I was doing after the break up. He drove 12 hours which is remarkable given his age. He looks more frail and skinnier than I remember. It’s around 11:40pm when he gets here and I’ve gotten the master bedroom ready. I help unpack things he brought including a pack of ramen, a slow cooker, a king size bed frame and power tools to work on issues with the house.
The next morning, we go to Sue’s bakery down in North Beach; it’s noisy and the service is slow considering we just order coffees and sandwiches. We aren’t allowed to dine in due to the virus hype so we go to the peer on 5th st and sit on the benches, enjoy the waves and seagulls, and the food. My dad loves the view and talks about how my sister’s kids will love going out to the beach as well as the market value of the location of the house. He also gives me advice about the breakup: dont look back. Interestingly we both have the metaphor for it which was Jobs wife turning into a pillar of salt when she looked back. I agree with him.
We head back and assemble the king size bed frame. My dad sawed the main board in half so he could fit it in his car. We put two wood planks to secure the two half boards together, along with bolts and test it. It needs two metal shims that we get from the local Ace hardware which surprisingly works to hold the bed frame together. However, the bed is way too big for the rooms, so I decide it will go in the guest room in the basement.
I’m hungry and so is Dad, so I lookup a seafood place that I hope will be good called Rod n’ Reels; short story, it’s dogfood. We get there, and it looks nice: theres a marina full of charter boats around 25 feet long, and a hotel, and then when we walk into the restaurant, we first have to walk through a casino. That was the first warning sign this food was going to be bad.
We get seated. The view is pretty nice, although its a bit dreary and overcast from the rain clouds. My dad gets a fried seafood plate and a bluemoon and I get spaghetti with a local lager. The waitress brings out a plate of stale and cardboard-like rolls. Our dishes arrive, lukewarm and mushy, just the right type of food for the aging demographic this restaurant clearly caters too.
We leave and walk behind the restaurant to another cafe; my dad asks the maitre’d where the nude beach is: he laughs. We walk past the cafe to the marina, and see an overweight 50 something year old guy in his boat, lounging around.
My dad of course, asks him all sorts of questions: how much is it? $35k. What type of engines? Dual V8s. What the cost to store the boat in the marina? $2800. Are you afraid of sinking? No. Do you live on it? No.
We go back home. We head out again, since my dad wants to see the local grocery store and check out prices; we go to harris teeter and my dad gets a peach and blueberries and milk. I get some bread. We go back home and watch a bit of tv before going to bed.
The next morning, its still drizzling. We goto JT’s a local breakfast place which had decent soul food: omelettes, biscuits and gravy.
My dad and I decide to work on the gutters and he helps hold the ladder while I scoop asphalt and decomposing leaves from out of the gutters. Next I tighten the screws so the gutters will sit under the roof sill to prevent water from pouring down past them. My dad works on cleaning the sump pump. Altogether, we did a good job. My dad also remarks that the deck could use a screen and how much he likes the view of the backyard.
Then we back to the beach and get chinese takeout, which was pretty gross: the dumplings are brown. A couple walking by has a huge pitbull who seemed to enjoy eating one of the dumplings. RIP pittbull lol. We feed the rest to seagulls. Theres a little ice cream shop a block away and we get two scoops and sit on the bench outside talking about the speed trap cameras. Two old grandmas are on the bench to the right of us. As I get up, one grandma mentions she overheard me talking about the tipping question in the ice cream shop; funny.
When we get back, my dad loads up his car: hes going to head back home. It dawns on me, that we didn’t take any pictures and I wish we had. Seeing my parents, get frailer as time passes, I cherish my time with them more and the realization that there will be a day when my dad may not be able to visit me, hits me.
I hope to make many more great memories with my family. Time to plan a family vacation.