Last week, we celebrated my dad’s birthday with a nice dinner at my sister Irene’s place. He turned 80, and it was a hard one for him. More than once he told Irene and me, “Listen, I don’t want a party, so don’t go plannin’ nothin’. I’m serious. Don’t make a big deal out of this thing. I’d just as soon forget about it.” Irene and me took him at his word, but we weren’t just gonna do nothin’. We kept it low key, you know? Just family.
Dad’s livin’ down to Mahoosuc Green, the senior livin’ facility here in town. He bought in a few years after our mother passed away. Has a cute little apartment Irene and me helped him decorate. Talk about a social life! Dad’s puts mine to shame. He’s always off bowling during the winter, golfin’ come summer. And what with dancing down to the Eagles club once or twice a week and playing cards at the VFW, he barely has time to get a hair cut.
Or go see “the kid.” That’s what he calls his doctor. The guy’s probably older than I am, and Dad’s been goin’ to him for twenty-five years. But, he took over from Dr. Smith, so he’ll always be “the kid” to Dad. Irene and me have taken to calling him “the kid,” too, because at this point, we can’t remember what his real name is. “Hey Dad,” we’ll ask, “how’d you make out with the kid?”
Oh, and Dad’s datin’ a nice gal he met down to the Eagles. They’ve been together for a few years now, and it seems to be workin’ for him. Irene and me are glad he has a companion to do things with. Plus, it’s not as stressful as being a free agent in a sellers market. ‘Cause Dad’s a catch. Good lookin’, nice head of hair, and he still drives at night! Those widows down to Mahoosuc Green were swarming ‘round him like files to honey.
“Dad,” I says, “you play you’re cards right you could have a different casserole every night of the week, if you know what I’m saying.”
“Ida, I think that many casseroles on a regular basis would kill me.”
“Wouldn’t be a bad way to go, though, you got to admit.”
Last Christmas, Dad told us once he turned eighty, he was gonna resign from all the committees he’s on. Right now, he’s serves on the Public Safety Committee (interviewin’ potential policemen), the parish council down to St. Hyacinth’s and who know what else.
Irene goes. “Dad, I thought you liked doing those things.”
“I’ve always said, when people turn eighty, they got no business bein’ on committees. So, I’m followin’ my own advice.”
He seemed pretty definite about it, so neither one of us tried to convince him otherwise. Heck, I thought, maybe he wants more time with his lady friend.
But you know what? Dad’s still goin’ to them of Public Safety Committee meetings.
I says to him, “I thought you were all done with that.”
“Well, honey, I pondered it, and decided I still like doin’ it, so what the heck.”
“Good for you, Dad. You’ll know when it’s time. 80’s just a number, right?”
“Yup. Did I tell you I don’t want you two makin’ a big deal out of my birthday, OK? I don’t want a party or nothin’.”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Comin’ up this spring:
April 11: Reading-Auburn Public Library, 6:00pm
April 12: Reading-Cancer Community Center, 6:00pm, South Portland, ME
April 16: Reading-Bangor Public Library, 2:00pm
April 16: Reading-Dirigo Pines, 7:15pm, Orono, ME
May 4: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You! to benefit the Friends of the South Berwick Library, 7:30pm, South Berwick, ME
May 9: Author Visit, Forest Hills Elementary, Jackman, ME
May 16: Reading, Walker Memorial Library, 7:00pm, Westbrook, ME
For more information on upcoming appearances, visit my website: idaswebsite.com
If you’d like me to do a reading at your library, organization or what not, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org