Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting There is Half the Fun

So, today I went to the retirement village where my father and step-mother live. The event--my father's 91st birthday. You may recall that a year ago, my husband and I threw a small birthday bash in honor of his 90th birthday.

This year's celebration was far more subdued--just a quick trip out for a lunch. Well, almost a quick trip. Events conspired otherwise.

To wit--as I drove along the PA Turnpike, two miles shy of the exit to reach the retirement village I encountered an Army convoy. Not too unusual; summer is the season when National Guards train, so we frequently encounter moving army trucks. However, this one had a most unusual cargo--golf carts. I am not kidding. There were about a half dozen trucks all carting (yes, pun intended) golf carts. I cannot imagine why.

When I got to my parents' cottage, I asked where my father might like to eat for his birthday luncheon. Mmmm, how about a friendly national chain restaurant? OK. So, we headed down the road for the brief 5 mile trip. Now, this road is undergoing extensive construction, so I keep alert for changing traffic patterns. I spotted an electronic sign that said: Road incident at intersection of XX and XX. Choose alternate route. No problem--I zipped off a fast approaching exit.

That dumped us onto a local road, that both my father and I know. But, I goofed and took the first right turn. No problem, I could think of a way to get to the friendly restaurant, albeit going about 2 miles out of the way. After a half a mile, I decided it made more sense to do a U-turn, then choose another road to get there. So, we turned around and headed back.

No problem. Except, no sooner had we turned on to a cross road to get us to the OTHER road that would lead to the friendly restaurant than we encountered a railroad crossing. With the safety arm lowering. With a train engine sitting just off to the right. Then, as we sat there, the train engine proceeded to maneuver back and forth several times, presumably shunting cars to and fro.

U-turn time again. By now, my father, step-mother and I were all more bemused than anything. Oh, never mind, my father said. Let's just go to the local steak house with a good soup and salad bar. It also has soft-serve icecream--vanilla, chocolate AND twist. And, this place is just a mile from the retirement village.

So, we did. We drove more than five miles, with multiple barriers to reach the closest restaurant.

But lunch was very nice. And the birthday celebration was just as fine.

See--getting there was half the fun.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Three-score and ten, plus a twenty-one and counting bonus for good behavior. Yup, take that man anywhere for lunch he wants to go, even if you have to drive around, backtrack, make u-turns and end up almost where you started!

Beverly said...

Well, aren't you glad you knew your way around! I'm glad you had a good lunch with a little sightseeing along the way. Quite amusing! Happy birthday to your dear dad.

Anvilcloud said...

It's all in how you look at life, eh.

Miriam said...

Isn't that just the way life is? And it makes for a good story! My dad was awfully fond of that ice cream as well. Does Uncle David like those butterflied shrimp as well? ;) I love this picture of him...was it taken yesterday?

Climenheise said...

Good to hear what Dad and Verna Mae did for his birthday -- went for a drive in the country! One of the things we like about Manitoba is that it's hard to get stuck winding about the way you have to in Cumberland County. All square -- and as for military convoys, what you saw was probably equal to most of the Canadian military put together! Well, maybe not; but there is a difference of scale. We wait for farm equipment driving down the road more than for military convoys.

91 is a wonderful birthday. Thank you for being there with him.

Mauigirl said...

Happy birthday to your dad - sounds as if you ended up in the right place in the end for a lovely birthday celebration.

possumlady said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your dad!! You have a GREAT attitude. If I were the driver, I'm afraid I would have been rather aggravated at the whole thing!! But, driving does that to me...

Anonymous said...

What a neat photo of your father! Nice smile!!!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

How wonderful you to still have your father with you. He is a noble spirit.

I am glad you avoided "road rage".
How mellow you are.