This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my Father’s birthday party in Memphis, Tennessee. I grew up here as my parents have lived in the same house for over 30 years. I do not get back as often as I would like, but I did have a great visit.
The logistics of the trip were a bit tenuous as we decided to fly into Nashville via Southwest Airlines and then drive to Memphis. This was an economical decision and the extra 6 hours of commuting time isn’t too bad when part of a four day trip. The girls both traveled really well. We were prepared with lots of snacks and DVDs and were able to pack light for the core items.
I can’t remember the last time we celebrated my Father’s birthday so it was lots of fun to get together with family and friends. There is never enough time to talk with everybody, but at least I could reconnect with a few people.
There were also some errands to be done during the trip. I set up a new computer. As a result of a big gulp of Propel well past its “use by” date, I also helped clear out the refrigerator a little bit. My parents eat the same core foods on a regular basis but still manage to fill up two full size refrigerators with food so that they are only rotating 15% of available space. A job I wanted to tackle was taking books for donation to the library. I have left a lot of my stuff in my parent’s house that I should have in my house. The important items are high school and college degrees as well as scouting memorabilia.
My Dad and I had some great conversations as we both find it easier to talk live rather than on the phone. We do swap the occasional e-mail as well. He passed along a couple of spiritual texts. One I will add to my reading list, the second will probably be a reference book for quite some time.
A few things had changed in the house, and it was nice to see some improvements made here and there. Some things were very much the same. As they have a 2500 square foot home at their disposal, they tend to use most of it with quite a bit of clutter and functional but obsolete goods including gaming consoles, tube televisions, and other electronic equipment. My Mom is quite the bargain hunter and has accumulated easily a 5 year supply of consumables such as kitchen trash bags and laundry detergent.
I really admire that they are both independent and can live a lifestyle that suits them. I share and occasionally cringe at some aspects of the house. I think that is a function of having a smaller home occupied by more people. I will very rarely have a spare of anything that is not hard to find. However I will always pay a premium for these consumables. I also like have open space in cabinets and rooms.
One huge plus is that my daughters could find Barbie dolls and arts and crafts items to enjoy throughout the house.