Sunday, January 6, 2013

Home and Away Games

It's Sunday and I'm home!  I arrived at about 5 o'clock this afternoon.  I was thinking about this earlier in the day, and I counted the number of days that I've been home since Christmas Eve.  It's a good thing that 1 is a counting number, because that's it.  One whole day.  While it's true that I've had some evenings at home, the only whole day that I've been able to stay at home since Christmas Eve was New Year's Day. Come to think of it, I wasn't home for a whole day on Christmas Eve either, but at least I came close.  Anyhoo, it's good to be home where I can "Take a Load Off, Annie" ... or Fanny ... or whoever you are.

I've seen quite a bit of southeastern Missouri lately since Mom got hurt.  Things are going well for her, though, and there are plenty of blessings to go along with that bit of good news.  Yesterday, it was just my Pa and I who went to pick her up at the hospital in Cape Girardeau and bring her back to their little hometown hospital.  On the way to get her, I told Dad that I had heard the Floyd Cramer CD go around about five times since Friday, and I was ready to hear something else (no offense, Floyd).  He told me to open the console compartment and find something else to play.  Dad is a huge country music fan, and I'm a moderate country music fan.  I picked out a Hank Williams CD.  I knew he would appreciate it, and I wondered whether he might even sing along.  Worries about Mom have made him nervous and ... well ... kind of grouchy.  Okay, not just kind of grouchy.  I'll tell it like it is:  He's been balls to the walls grouchy, and it's really been hard to take.  I believe I have about 40% of my tongue left, having bitten about 60% of it off in the last several days.  But here's what I keep telling myself:  I can be slightly grouchy from time to time too.  Maybe even a little more than slightly.  I know! Who woulda thunk it, right?!  Here's the other thing I keep telling myself:  I'm not always going to have the time I want with my Pa, so I'd better take the good with the bad and be thankful for all of it.  By the way, since I've been home, I've spoken with him twice on the phone.  It's 7:35 p.m.  Once I called him to let him know I made it home safely; and the other time was him calling me to tell me he had found his hearing aid (it had been missing since Thursday evening).  He was so happy!

Back to Hank:  I put the CD into the slot, and it didn't take long for Dad to start crooning.  Good!  Maybe this will keep his mind off Mom's ailments while we are each other's captive audience for the next hour.  When I knew the words, I sang a little bit too.  I also got to hear a story I hadn't heard before.  Several years ago, Dad and Mom attended one of the "Old Goats Reunions."  This is a reunion of people who worked in AVSCOM or TSARCOM or one of those "coms" for the Department of the Army -- I'm not sure which since he worked for both.  So there was a guy there who had been hired to entertain them.  He was a guitar player, and he called Dad up on the stage with him, handed him a microphone and a sheet of lyrics and asked him to sing. The song was "Your Cheatin' Heart".  Turns out, Dad did a good enough job that people stopped to listen and even applauded when he was done. So how 'bout that?!

Here's the song from the CD that Dad seemed to like the best.  I must admit, even at 82, he does a pretty good job.  Move over Hank!

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