Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Different Perspective on old Haunts

Saturday is usually my day to drive the nearly 200 mile round trip to spend time with my Dad. I try to incorporate shopping on these trips because things are much less expensive off-Cape. It makes for a very long day after working a very busy 40 hour week with frequent evening obligations, as well. Sometimes, as was the case this week, I am exhausted when the weekend starts but just have to pull it together in order not to disappoint Dad.

The weather forecast sounded grim this morning as I prepared to leave my house by 8 or so and we were having a noisy thunder storm with driving rain, but, the further I drove toward the bridges which leave the Cape, the clearer the skies became, WOMR played great 50's music and I was waking up. By the time I got to Plymouth the skies were beautifully clear and the sun was warm on my face. Stopped at Macy's for a few things, then headed on to meet Dad about noon. He was in such fine fettle today....ready to go out and more than ready to see the beach, but not until we had lunch at a very popular Hingham restaurant, Stars. It is a former diner and has been on the Hingham harbor area since I can remember, as I went there many times with my grandparents. With great joy I watched Dad polish off a wonderful fried clam dinner (I had a small amount of plain lobster on lettuce and a cup of divine mushroom soup). This is all such a wonderful turn of events as Dad has been in failing health for some time and unable to even leave his apartment at the assisted living facility where he has been for almost a year. I will gladly take this day, tired as I was, as a beautiful gift. To see him enjoy a meal and be out and about is a treat.

After lunch, the ride to see all Dad's favorite sights at Nantasket Beach was in store. My job was to stay awake! First we stopped at my brother's house to drop some things off....knew they would not be home but Dad's friend, Bob the Cat was there and came right to the car door and climbed in to greet Dad. Very sweet. Next, as I contemplated the very familiar route we would take to the beach, I asked myself how I could make this time different. This sounds all too simple a story, but I just decided to drive the route in reverse and see all our familiar sites from the opposite view. It was so interesting that we were both exclaiming all the way, suddenly Dad was full of the entire history of the area and he shared memories of his times there as a child, all the old huge wooden hotels which used to dot the areas around the piers, right down to all the names, and many other historical facts. He described how the summer guests would arrive on the paddlewheel boats with their huge steamer trunks and "household help", and even talked about their dress. His words were clear enough that I could see the women walking along the boardwalk by the beach in their long dresses, shielding their faces with parasols. We also saw houses we have never noticed. Driving "the wrong way", I noticed more than ever, the number of "painted-lady" Victorian homes, so many of them lovingly restored now and surrounded by beautiful gardens. These neighborhoods are mostly on very steep hills and have incredible 360 views of outer Boston Harbor and the city beyond. We drove by the carefully preserved carousel, and stopped for a minute to watch some families enjoying a ride on this perfectly beautiful day, and Dad recalled taking us on that same "merry-go-round". There were also some surfers to watch, as the storms were still lurking off-shore.
After many more surprises around new corners, we delightedly headed back to drop Dad off so he could attend the Saturday movie at his place. It is heart warming to see him enjoying life.
This day says it all.....a new perspective can bring beautiful vistas.

I am home, somewhat refreshed after a shower and some green tea, and LM is on his way here to spend tonight and tomorrow....and best of all, he says he is delighted to be with MS G and me, no matter how tired I am.....ahhhhhhhh!

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Don't you just love these unexpected joyous times with your dad. You knew you were tired, but the two of you together have a walk down memory lane. It is soon to be the anniversary of my mother's death and I would give anything for another one of those days.