Sunday, December 19, 2010

Intergenerational Living can be a blast

For the past six years, I've been the caregiver for my father, now 84 years old. He certainly has his own take on life, which can make life with father quite interesting at times.

Yesterday he sent me to the store to buy a $17.99 telescope. I told him if he wanted to snoop on the neighbors, we have a set of binoculars. At least he knew about the upcoming lunar eclipse, so he's going to try to get the telescope aimed at the right point in the sky. Now that he's in a wheelchair, I kind of feel like we're playing out a scene from Rear WindowOh, I guess Jimmy Stewart was snooping with a long lens on his camera.

For some reason, this week we received two issues of Time magazine with Mark Zuckerberg on the cover. Dad is fascinated with this story and wants to know why we can't make a million bucks since I know so much about computers. "I don't know that much," I replied. He's puzzled as to how Facebook makes money because since it's on the Internet, it's just "out there in the air." I said that I'm on Facebook and it has never cost me a penny. I've seen ads, but I never click on them. "How do they get paid for those ads?" Dad asked. "I don't know. Maybe they give them their credit card number or use PayPal." I have no idea!

He pointed out the photos of all of the buildings that house Facebook. Then he said that more of the Mark Zuckerberg story was available on Kindle. "You've got a Kindle, can you get that?" he asked me. Yes, I replied, but it costs $4.95 (I'd already checked). "Well, I don't want to read it that bad," Dad replied.

The last few years with my Dad have been a treasure. He's not been without health problems (more than his share) - but it's been fun having those dinner table conversations, listening to his stories about his childhood and being in the Navy during World War II. He still has a curiosity about how things work, and still hopes he's going to hit the Powerball lottery. He spends most of his day reading newspapers, books and magazines, so I'm glad he's keeping his mind working. He has his own take on current events and Nebraska football. He seems to know everything going on in the neighborhood from his perch in the kitchen.

He surprises me when he comes up with things like, "Guess how many Grammy awards the Black Eyed Peas are nominated for." He has no idea who the Black Eyed Peas are or what the Grammys are. It's something he's read in the paper and says these things to amuse me. He can always say the most outrageous statements with a totally straight face and I fall for them about half of the time. He has a lot of "Gotcha!" moments with me.

We are Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple. He color coordinates his sock drawer and I'm never caught up on laundry. For him, everything has a place and for me, the place is where it lands. He's the one who has had to make more of an adjustment in that regard than have I. I've often quipped, "If you'd wanted a housekeeper, you should have had a different daughter." I think he's happy with the one he got.


  1. What a fun story, I love your sense of humor! I hope you are taking notes during those dinner table conversations!

  2. So lovely. You're both lucky souls to have one another.

    Btw, if he's Jimmy Stewart, you're Grace Kelley - far more elegant than Oscar (here speaks a fellow Oscar).