This pandemic thing is really a beast.
So I lost my job. Fine I can deal with that. I’ve had to adapt to an entirely different live style and mind set. I can deal with that. My son loves to give me grief when I get in no hurry to get dressed each day. I can ignore that. What I am having problems with, it what this is doing to my folks.
Before all of this began, we would go out every Sunday afternoon for an hour or so, mostly window shopping. Ever so often, one of us might need or give in to the temptation and purchase something. We were never gone long, it was mostly just to get out and away for a while.
Mom and dad are both well up in age so very high risk. They do still live at home, fully capable of taking care of themselves. Dad would go out from time to time to visit with old friends. Mom on the other hand didn’t go out as much. That was why our Sunday afternoons were important.
Then came the pandemic and all of those stay at home instructions. Don’t go out unless you absolutely, positively, without a shred of doubt, had to go. If you went out, wear a mask and stay no less than six feet away from everyone. But really, just stay home. This will all be over soon.
Then the stores began having senior hours. Really? Get up at four in the morning to get there for the six in the morning opening just so that there will be fewer shoppers. Who may or may not actually be a senior citizen. Standing out on the sidewalk in the dark waiting for the employees to remember they were supposed to go open the door, wasn’t fun.
So now here we are, a year into this and we’re still being told stay home. We’re still wearing masks. We’re still being told to distance, or better yet, stay home. Its really wearing on mom.
They have gotten the first vaccination, the second dose appointment is next week. They had no problems with the first and I don’t know whether to warn mom that I’ve heard that some folks have had worse reactions to the second. Then again, she may have already seen the reports.
She called me this morning and in the midst of our conversation told me that if I were going out today, she’d ride with me. Blatant hint, nope, just stating the facts ma’am. She sounded as if she was hanging by a thread so I knew even if I wasn’t going-but I was- I’d go just to get her out of the house.
I live next door, we’re about a football field apart. I drove down and watched as she came out to the car. As soon as she was in, and ready, we were headed out for an afternoon on the town.
First stop, Ollie’s to check out that good stuff cheap promise. When we were almost there I got caught by the traffic light. While we waited a beautiful red jeep, complete with flags, crossed through the intersection. Mom immediately asked if that was one of the jeeps from the group in which I belong. I waved, but I know they didn’t see me.
Finally in the parking lot, I managed to find a place not too far from the store. There was no hurry as we made our way around. I did find two books I thought looked interesting. We looked at and discussed almost every item in the store. From books to the stuff as seen on tv to seeing that liquid Brillo. That neither of us had ever heard of before much less seen. She did look to see if they had any belts as dad wants a new belt. Nope, no belts.
I finally paid for the two books and we made our way out. I went to put the books in the car as she walked toward Roses. I noticed where they were repaving parts of the parking lot.
Entering the store we walked around looking at clothing hanging on the racks we passed. Mom looked at one skirt and said it looked like something out of the 50’s. She wanted to look about that belt since we were closing in on what men’s wear they had. What they had we all wide and dad doesn’t want a wide belt. As we made our way around mom spotted some wicker furniture in black. She thought that would look so good on her porch. I on the other hand was looking at this big gazebo looking thing with mosquito netting. I told her that would look really good in my back yard. But, at $200, I’d have to give it a pass.
Leaving there I noticed that the pavement repaving job had since extended. They were still working on rows, that had cars parked there, and were now also repaving one of the ways out. They way I would have gone. I managed to back out of my parking space, pull up a ways and do a nice, sweet u-turn that had me going the wrong way, but was going to be the only way out.
From there, it was the all amazing, never boring, don’t know what you might see, Wally World. First thing that happened? I thought I lost my phone. I dug through my purse trying to find it and couldn’t. I was going to go see if I left it in the car while mom waited. I get half way back across the store only to hear it make that notification sound. I really need new contacts.
We did a scavenger hunt to find all of what mom was wanting-still no belt though, and I figured while I was there, might as well pick up a few groceries. (Miracles also happen. I managed to walk right by those,’what tv service do you have? people without being bothered) At one point mom walked up, after having wandered off to look about something, and told me she would be waiting up front near the jewelry.
For some reason today must have been ‘park your cart in the center of the aisle’ day and it some how was left off my calendar. But, I managed to get around, by and past everyone through various smooth maneuvers and finally, finally, finally had everything but sweet peppers because they didn’t have the ones I wanted. Finding mom we got in line.
The checker outer was almost done with the couple she was checking out and there was only one person in front of us with very few items. We’ve gone through this lady’s register before so we knew how quickly she worked. Just as she was finishing with the lady in front of us, the first couple came back. They wanted to make sure that the broom they had, was paid for. Nope, she had missed that. So as she rung that up and the couple paid I told mom, “you have to give them credit for being honest.” So few are, which is why so many of the items are now behind locked, plexiglass. Like the printer ink I purchased. I timed it just right.I walked around to find it, as one of the employees was standing in the aisle doing something. They got the ink I needed and I followed them obediently to the register to pay. And those folks could have simply put the broom in the car and driven away, but they didn’t. Score one for honesty.
Getting mom and our purchases to the car, she got in and sat down while I loaded everything in the back and pushed the cart to the buggy corral.
Next stop, Sam’s Club. Mom wanted cookies and some orange drink that dad likes to drink when he takes his medicine. We found everything mom wanted and I, who went in only wanting pepper, came out with pepper, bananas, and salmon. I need to stay out of there.
Leaving there, we headed home. I got mom home, and her purchases in the house, making sure she and dad were okay. I then went home and unloaded everything I had purchased. I got all of that put away and a nice pot of coffee brewing while I went and loaded up my, poor, tree squashed wagon with fire wood.
Getting that across the drive, I stopped and then tucked my jeep in for the night. I have to drape sheets over it because of the stray cats climbing up and about the thing. Kitten paw tracks up the windshield are distracting and the claws on the paint, not nice. Getting the wagon in the yard I closed the gate and then let the dogs, that I had put inside right before leaving, back out in the yard.
Within moments I heard them barking crazily. Dad had for some reason simply let their dog out without being on the leash and she decided to take a tour of the area. Poor mom chased her down and carried her back. I know she’s now good and tired. actually she’s probably called it a day a long time ago.
But, all in all, it was a good day, being careful and safe while being out and about with mom. And those are treasured.