Monday, March 30, 2015

East, West, Home's Best

Visiting my mom was a joy. She's realized that in addition to losing my dad, she lost a lot of her confidence — and is only now starting to get it back. But she is getting it back, and I'm so proud of her. Things like using the three remotes that are needed for her TV/satellite dish/DVD & VCR player/DVR combo used to throw her into a tailspin; now she manipulates all three with ease and can toggle between the four devices without getting flustered. She's been faithful to her PT since breaking her ribs and is doing Nautilus-type machines at her gym in addition to aqua aerobics. She's moving around so much better. I am really, really proud of her.

And on Day 5 of my visit, we went to Courtesy Motors and test-drove some cars. She's keeping her vintage 1970 Volkswagen Bus (the car each Chardonnay child learned to drive on — and both Mimosa and Li'l Martini got driving lessons from Grandma at age 13), but my dad's Accura is too much car for her; it's a giant old-man sedan, and she has trouble getting in and out of it. My youngest brother suggested something more like an SUV but with a car chassis, which seemed to be a good fit for her. I believe she's getting this, a 2015 Subaru CrossTrek:

I sat in the back seat while she test-drove, and she told me that she was a little shaky. After prodding, I learned that this was her first time in life driving a brand-new car; either Dad handled it, or she's always bought used cars. At age 72, she's doing something for the first time and handling it like a pro. Go, Mom!

Sadly, my flight to Sacramento was delayed, so I was not able to lunch with J at Old Spaghetti Factory. The flight from Boston arrived in Phoenix more or less on time . . . but then we sat on the runway. And sat. And sat. When I finally deplaned, I "raced" through two terminals on my arthritic knees, and my plane hadn't left yet — but they'd closed the doors and wouldn't reopen them for me. I was distraught. And the woman at Customer Service was a BEE-YOTCH.
  • Me: I'm going to miss half a day of my vacation with my mom, who lives 3,000 miles away.
  • Customer Service Bee-Yotch: I'm sorry. 
(Note: She did not sound sorry. She sounded mechanical.)
  • Me: I'm sorry, I know it's not your fault, but I really am confused. I missed my plane because of you guys. I can't believe there's nothing you can offer people in my situation.
  • CSBY: Well, I'm getting you on the next flight.
  • Me: Oh, really? I don't have to live in Phoenix now? Thank you.
(Okay, I didn't actually say the last line, because I only thought of it later. But seriously.)
Though nothing dims the pain of missing spaghetti with mizithra cheese (and seeing J, of course), I had many fine meals in Chico. The two highlights:
  • Street tacos from the taco truck by the beauty college where Mom and I get pedicures:
I ate A LOT of these. 
  • Dinner at my favorite Chico restaurant:
I love this especially because they do a 2 oz. pour, which lets you taste lots of different wines without committing to something you might not like:

But there was one challenge to this visit. Chico, California, is in full-blown spring right now, whereas Boston . . . isn't.

Remember I had that little cold before I left? Though I faithfully took cold medicine and drank hot tea and cold water every hour on the hour, I didn't get much better and spent the full week of my visit blowing my nose. The lady at the bank (Chico is a very small town, and my parents seem to know everyone) helpfully diagnosed me with allergies, which I think is probably right. I've never had seasonal allergies before, but I was dealing with an entirely different world of flora and fauna, in full bloom — my system went into overload.

Since coming home, I'm blowing my nose less — but I'm dealing with jet lag and have also had a daily migraine. No damn fun.

I've been trying to get my sleep back on track and otherwise take care of myself, but it's hard to do anything sensible when your head is about to explode.

But today, finally, finally, I feel better, and my weight is further down, and I am filled with resolve and resolution! Today is a Get Things Done day; I have a large pile of to-do crap to eradicate, four cards to write (three Get Well and one Thank You), three phone calls to make (I still haven't heard from State Farm chick), and many e-mails to address.

One thing I will not do is ride on Husband's stationary bike with my new comfy bike seat, because the one I bought doesn't fit. That is also on my pile of Things to Do: return bike seat and track down a new one. I'm rather bummed; I was actually looking forward to biking, which I think will be much easier on my poor knees than walking. Ah, well. More will be revealed.

Time to carpe the heck out of this diem!

— Lady C, lady of vim


  1. Welcome home! So inspired by your mom -- and you, of course! I was going to ask you about the comfy bike seat because the one time I tried to sit on one at a gym, I was nearly maimed for life. Can you get another comfy one that fits and, if so, where does one look? Those tacos look AMAZING. I want nine immediately. Spring is coming, I know because other people are putting up pictures of green shoots and actual flowers on Instagram. -- SDF

    1. Mom is an inspiration!

      Rather than an actual bike seat, I've decided to try a seat cover. It's big and squishy and full of gel -- kinda like what I imagine a placenta feels like. I installed it yesterday, sat on it, and . . . hmm. I think the bike seat is too high, and I didn't have time to mess with it. I'll keep you posted!