The Blind Leading the Blind

Last week, we invited my parents over for dinner.  Eliz was making ribs on the grill, which both of them like, and there was more than plenty for all of us.  (Jake ended up having a few, but Jane was okay to pass on them.)  Two full racks and we still didn’t eat them all (though in eight months ago I probably would have finished them off.)

My parents hadn’t been here in a long time, since we usually go to them (and my mother doesn’t like doing the drive) and my dad has been interested in seeing our house again.  He is becoming more forgetful over the past months, which even he recognizes.  I have been complaining (hey, it’s what I do best) lately about the state of our house and he wanted to see it first hand, so we picked them up and brought them over.

Since we’ve moved Salon Supplies + Interiors and ForYourSalon.com out of the now condemned rental space in Folcroft and work it primarily from our home office, our home has been overwhelmed with computers, beauty supplies, and even some salon equipment (hydraulic styling chairs make a unique second row of seating to watch movies or sporting events on the big screen.)  Anyway, as we receive orders from manufacturers and vendors, we bring them home, sort them, and add them to our inventory.  If I walked into our kitchen at this moment, I’d be shocked if there wasn’t at least a couple of beauty related items in there, if not a case or three.  (I had to look…  Only one item in the kitchen — a bowl bracket for a Belvedere 3100 shampoo bowl which we are shipping via UPS Ground to Hawaii.  I’m not sure how that works, but that’s another story.)  Within arms length of me at this moment, there is a sample of Fabulous Hair Argan Oil Plus (which we may start selling) and Ship-Shape Liquid Professional Surface Cleaner (which has to be added to our inventory on ForYourSalon.com.)

My parents entered through our garage (which up until yesterday, we hadn’t parked in since late March) and noticed some of our inventory which doesn’t need climate control temps, but sells well enough to not have to run to Springfield (where we have some leased space) and bring it back to ship it.  They also saw boxes of business documents from the past three or four years.  Through in a few of our personal items like bikes, snow shovels, gardening tools, toys — well, you get the idea.  Did I mention it is a three car garage?  Of course, most of what my dad focused on was inventory.  He was surprised.  We walked through the laundry room into the kitchen and kids greeted us.  The kids and my parents talked for a couple of minutes, then I continued to walk around the house with my dad.  We’ve been here 17 years and we are well overdue for some new paint, new rugs, and a redo for the hardwood floors, which, even with his diminished eye sight, my dad noticed.

We walked out the front door and he had a look around the front and side yards, which our lawn guy had just taken care of the past week, so it looked nice.  All along the way, I was near my dad making sure he didn’t trip over a root of a tree or into a flower bed.  It seemed funny, because it is just like what Eliz or the kids do for me when we are out and about.  The difference being that I’ve already stumbled on the root or into the flower bed or hit my head on a low branch and know where not to walk…  As we headed back in the front door, I point out the small step onto the landing by the front door and then the step into the house.

Back inside, my dad wants a look upstairs.  We go up the front stairs since there is two small landings (the backstairs is one long run and I wouldn’t have been comfortable heading up that way.)  He looked in Jake’s room, then Jane’s, then our “guest” room.  It really isn’t for guests, but has an elliptical machine, exercise bike, and four drying racks where we dry most of our clothes.  He recognizes the bureau in there from our house in Wallingford.  When we get to our bedroom, my dad also recognizes the wall units in the sitting area, also from our house in Wallingford.  As we head back down the stairs, I want to stay close to my dad, but not too close where I might bump him or kick him (I have trouble judging distances and am constantly reaching further than I have to for door knobs, light switches, etc. and jamming my fingers.)  We make it down safely, then eat dinner.

After dinner, he wants a look in the basement.  There aren’t any handrails down those steps since we removed them to get some shelving down there.  I walk in front of my dad and go down backwards so I can tell him where the landings are.  I show him the inventory that we have there on one side of the basement, but not the 17 years of “stuff” on the other side.  Eliz has the inventory side pretty organized at this point and my dad is amazed how it looks like a little warehouse.

We head back up the stairs, my dad, then me.  Again, I’m close in case he stumbles.  My dad is 92 and a fall for him could be catastrophic.  I start thinking that me leading him around and trying to tell him about obstacles was like the blind leading the blind.  Literally.

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Lead on, Misty!

We’ve been dog-sitting this week.  I love having a dog around the house again.  Misty is a very sweet dog.  She is calm and rarely barks, though I’m try to get her to say “hello” when people visit.  The best part of her visit is her nightly walk.  Since there is no snow to shovel, it gives me (and Eliz) a little exercise.  We don’t walk too far, just a little over a mile around our development.  It gives Misty a chance to get out and do her business.  If it is still light out when we go for a walk, I’ll even run with her for a little bit.

Tonight was not a pleasant evening for a walk.  We waited until about 8:30pm to head out hoping the rain would be finished.  It wasn’t.  It wasn’t pouring, but it wasn’t a drizzle either.  It was also pretty chilly.  The wind chills were probably at or below freezing.  The worst part was the glare off the rain soaked street and sidewalk.  There were several times I had no idea where I was.  I was concentrating on the next step or two and not my surroundings.  At one point, early on, I was kind of worried.  We were just about passed a house and I heard dogs barking inside.  I thought we had already past the Norris’ house and there is no way that could be Sally or their other dog.  When I looked around to get my bearings, I had no idea where I was.  I knew I was still on our street, but it seemed so different.  The corner, where there is a street light, seemed so far away.  Misty stopped to sniff around and I was able to figure that we were about two-thirds of the way past the next house.  The street light still seemed far down the street, though it was only just past one more house.

Fortunately, Misty sticks pretty much to the sidewalk.  Since it was raining and a bit later, there weren’t any dogs out or wild life to distract her.  After we turned the corner, the street light’s glow faded behind us.  Again, all the houses looked the same.  It was from the glare of their front lights, I figured.  Once we crossed to the other side of the development, it was a little easier for me to see.  We didn’t stay over there long.  The rain and wind picked up and we (Eliz and I) decided to cut our walk short, to Misty’s disappointment.

On the way back, I tried to pay more attention to our location.  Once we got to our street, I felt more comfortable.  I even walked to the correct house (it is easy to spot, since one of our garage lights are out and our house is the only house on our side of the street where you see the garage before you pass the house.)  Once we got back inside, I noticed my vision seemed worse than when we left.  Maybe I strained them while out in the dark, rainy night.  Who knows, ’cause I don’t.  I’m kind of tired of it.  In a little more than two weeks, maybe things will get better.

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