I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that my Dad lives in New Jersey and I live in Florida. We talk all the time on the phone but don’t get to see each other much. As a matter-of-fact it had been almost a year since I had seen him so I invited him to come and stay with Kevin and I in our new house. Well, not so much invited as begged and had to jump through hoops to get him to come.
In all fairness my Dad is 81 years old. He is still in good health, mobile and independent but he has become very much a homebody. Having him visit my brother and his family who live in the next town over from him is a challenge, nevermind getting him on a plane and down to Florida.
In anticipation of his arrival Kevin and I wanted to make his stay as comfortable and special as possible. We bought a ton of my Dad’s favorite foods and even set up the spare bedroom as a ‘suite’ for him; complete with a big screen TV and a power recliner so he can relax in his own space.
The day he arrived we were very excited to show him around our new home. He hadn’t seen it yet and we were very proud of it and the room we created for him. We walked him around the house, pointing out the things we thought might make his stay more enjoyable. At the end of the ‘tour’ we wound up in the kitchen where we showed him all the food we bought for him; his favorite tea, snacks, meals we planned on making and just about anything else we thought he might enjoy. When we were done we asked him if he had any questions and the first words out of his mouth the entire time he has been in our house are “Where do you keep the steel wool?”
My response was “1957….what the @$#& do you need steel wool for.”
“To clean out my tea cup”.
I tried to remain calm “Dad” I said “First I’m not even sure they make steel wool any more. Second, we will wash your tea cup every day so it doesn’t get stained and third let’s just say the rule for this week is nothing gets steel wooled…ever.”
He didn’t seem too happy with that but we went about our evening and had a very nice meal together. Afterwards Kevin mentioned that he wanted ice cream for dessert and asked if we wanted some too. My father replied he would like some Hiram Walker Apricot Brandy.
So the back-and-forth began…Apricot Brandy is not ice cream, when did you start drinking that and what the heck do you want it for? Apparently he likes to keep a small bottle on the nightstand next to his bed to take small sips during the night to help him sleep. After we got through all of the Judy Garland/Betty Ford/Kitty Dukakis jokes we settled in on the biggest problem….I didn’t even know where to get it and even if I did I would be afraid the owner of the liquor store would put it in a plain brown bag and expect me to drink it under a bridge.
OK. We got past it and moved on. We used Google to find a liquor store in our town (yes, we didn’t even know where one was) and off Kevin went to buy ice cream and Apricot Brandy (a Lifetime Movie title if ever I heard one). As he tells the story it was not as easy for Kevin to procure as he had hoped. At first the store owner thought he was sold out because there wasn’t any on the shelves and he has never had anyone ask for any. He eventually went into the backroom and found one, dusty bottle. Thank goodness or else it would have meant a 30 minute drive to the next, nearest liquor store. Kevin bought it and returned home with the Ice Cream and Apricot Brandy, expecting to receive a heroes welcome for his triumphant quest.
Yes, there will now be a rush on Apricot Brandy in Central Florida causing a shortage and price gouging…….ughhhh.
So we went about our evening with our Ice Cream and Apricot Brandy. All was well until right before we went to bed and my father asked “Where do you keep the Witch Hazel?”
I replied “Next to the steel wool” and went to bed.