Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nothing Beckons Civilization Like the Golden Arches

I've had a very long day today. very long.

I drove 3 hours (one way) to go visit/check in on my grandma. And apparently whatever wrong turn I could make today, I did, and did it with gusto! What should have taken me exactly 3 hours took me about 4 hours and 15 minutes. I wasn't lost, per se. I just got turned around a couple of times. I haven't been to her house in about a year so I was relying on all of the familiar landmarks to guide the way, as they so faithfully have for the past 7-8 years. Trouble is, almost all of the landmarks were now either covered by thick summer vegetation or completely demolished. I guess that's what happens in the country. Weeds grow and buildings collapse.

But I've decided that I need to be doing this more faithfully, going to visit her. She' getting pretty up there in years and dementia is settling in. So I suppose I'll be attempting to do the once a week visit thing. So as you can imagine, there WILL be funny stories forthcoming.

I really don't mind going up to spend time with her, but it's all of the whoopla in getting to that point that's a bother. She is NOT kid friendly, so bringing the boys is out of the question. She does like them when they are babies though (who doesn't like babies?) so *L* was warmly welcome, but I left the other two heathens at home. The big problem with her liking babies is that *L* is a big chunk and she'a kinda fraile, so although she wanted to hold him, I made her sit down with him to do it.

Anyway, I took some meals up to her and helped her get her bills organized. And before I knew it, the time had slipped away. It was nearing 9 o'clock and I still had a 3 hour drive home. Funny side note: All of the clocks in her house were wrong. She never set them when the time changed, so I thought it was an hour ealier than it really was all day. I first noticed it when I picked up my cell phone to call the house to let them know I'd be leaving. When I showed her the correct time, she didn't believe me because she didn't remember hearing about a time change. She insisted that she call the operator to find out what the REAL time was.

So as I scrambled to pack up the car, the baby patiently waited for me in his play pen. I wanted to try to get down the mountain before it was pitch black outside. But you know how it is leaving grandmas house.. she loaded me up with all kinds of stuff that she doesn't want anymore (like 9-10 pairs of jeans. And by the way, have I ever mentioned that I am the tallest person in my family at 5'9"? She's stands about 5 feet. Maybe not even that. So go figure why she gave ME some jeans. lol.)

I drove in the dark.

But before I left, I went into the loo for a quick potty break. I felt so stupid. I scared myself coming out. You see, she has a full length mirror hanging from the back of the door adjacent to the bathroom. I walked out, glanced over and saw someone standing really close to me and I jumped. duh. it was my own reflection >>eyeroll<<. And this seemed to be par for the course.

I drive down the mountain, just me and the baby, and I start to worry that I'm going to hit a deer, swerve off the side of the road and land upside down in a ravine somewhere. Yeah, I know. I've got issues. or an over active imagination. or whatever. I'm intently observing the signs and posted speed limits, but in all honesty, I can barely see anything. I had (HAD) one pair of glasses. and have 4 kids. Need I say more? So I squint.

An hour into the trek, the baby is crying, I'm talking to my sister on the phone, I'm wondering if mosquitos are biting me and I'm start to get a little panicky inside that I missed a turnoff in the dark or something. Nothing seemed to look familiar. It's a two lane country road that has very few street lamps on it. So much for my landmarks. I wondered if I should turn back and find someone to ask directions. But alas, all that was out were hitch hikers. One especailly caught my eye. One, because it was still like 90* outside and he was wearing a poncho and long pants, but even more than that, he looked like Richard Ramirez. Uh no thanks. I have a full tank of gas. I'll just keep driving.

And then, up ahead. I see it. The Golden Arches. Perfect. I didn't even care if I had been driving in the wrong direction for the last 30 minutes. I could get it all straightened out now. There were live people working. humans. deep breath in: deep breath out.

In one fell swoop, I got directions, a large coke to keep me awake and milk for the baby. I'm telling ya, they need to put those arches up in place of lighthouses on the coast.


TheSantangelos said...

Ah McDonalds! You need NEED a GPS. It has been a lifesaver for me especially when going in the dark. On a side note a friend told me if you get those yellow tinted glasses the lights wont blind you at night.
So here's your B-day list:
Yellow tinted sunglasses
Magellan GPS
Mcdonalds gift cards

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it home safe! Ah Renee, my gps tries to get me lost or at the very least a ticket.