“It’s getting worse out there,” my dad said over the intercom.
I looked up at the high window at my desk. The one my mom insisted the builder install. It’s more of an interior design detail than anything else because from where I sit, the only view I have is of the vestibule’s ceiling tiles. While light does come through, I have to stand on my swively desk chair to get an actual view to the outside world. I wasn’t in the mood to risk a concussion.
“Looks clear from here,” I replied.
I went back to work. Not because I was dealing with anything pressing. More so because I desperately wanted to avoid initiating the snowy relocation of my dad. It’s involved. Like way involved. And with my mom down in Florida, the entire endeavor of getting between point A and point B all falls on me.
Listen, I’m not complaining. I’m simply saying it’s a pain. Okay, yeah, I’m sorta kinda complaining. Deal with it. The temperature was hovering in the teens. Plus it was silly windy and sleeting. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay put. As soon as I stopped working, I'd have to budle up so I could clear and salt the walkway at the office, prep my car, prep my dad’s car, fetch us some groceries for dinner, escort him to his car, clear and salt the walkway at the house and help him inside to safety. Once that was all taken care of, I had to cook us some dinner, check the basement to make sure the shitty oil service had delivered some fuel, clean up the dishes and organize some meals so my dad could eat something other than popcorn in case he got snowed in. Then I had to layer back up, resalt the walkway and clear off any ice from my car and his car before retiring to my residence. Fun, right?
We made it through the front door at the house unscathed. Actually, I did bang up my right hand on the window box as I maneuvered to shovel some snow off the slate walkway. But my dad made it home without doing a face plant so I really didn’t care one bit about my hand. As long as no one was heading to the ER, I was a happy camper.
With our coats put away and our snowy shoes dripping on the foyer mat, my dad went upstairs to his office to hang out and go through the mail. Meanwhile, I headed to the kitchen. There were groceries to put away, vegetables to dice, steak to cook and a table to set. Before doing anything, I poured myself a glass of wine. Alternating sips with chopping, I went about my culinary tasks until around a half hour later when I heard some shuffling.
“Here I come,” my dad said over the low hum of his chair descending the front stairs. “Do you need me to get the napkins?” he asked, knowing it was the only item he should risk toting while using his walker.
“Nope. All taken care of,” I replied as I put the plates down.
“Antiques Roadshow okay with you?” he asked as he settled in at the table.
“Sure. Listen, you are not, I repeat not allowed to even try to leave this house without me. I don't need to worry about you lying for dead in a pile of snow. Nor do I need to hear one peep of concern from mom as she tootles between her mahjong and Scrabble commitments,” I said after placing a napkin out on my lap and turning my attention to the television. “Oh my God. That piece of crap is worth $40,000?”
“Got it. And hey, PJ, thanks for helping me out while mom is gone. Really, thank you.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. Just make sure you slip me a little extra in the will. And I’m not referring to that model airplane you have out in the garage. The one with the broken wings and rusty control thingy. You can leave that shit to Leslie.”
“You know,” he said while nodding in the direction of the television,“that plane is a priceless family heirloom.”
“I’m willing to take my chances.”
“If you say so. And listen, before you leave,” he started. But I cut him off.
“What?” I responded a little too abruptly, my right hand starting to ache and swell.
“Before you leave, I’ll run outside and clear off your car for you. Should only take me a few days.”
“Great! Scraper’s on the bench in the foyer,” I said with a chuckle.