Monday, August 18, 2008

Darwin awards nominee... my Dad!

It's the middle of August which means it's once again time to visit my dad and stepmom out in Saskatchewan for a couple of weeks. I arrived in town early on the 13th, and my first realization is that I am never going to take a flight that has me arriving at the airport at 5am again. But there was less traffic all around, and I got to have a little nap after arriving.

My first couple days here were fairly quiet, we didn't do a whole lot partly because I'm still recovering from my sinus infection and Kathy had a bout of food poisoning on Friday morning. Note: don't order a breakfast biscuit with butter at the Tim Horton's in Saskatoon off Circle Drive and the highway, the butter was off. 'Nuff said.

Saturday is auction day in Saskatchewan so we loaded up and drove out to Asquith somehwere south-ish of Saskatoon to check out an estate auction. We found a few deals, Kathy's son is moving out here in a couple weeks so she's been collecting household items for him at various auctions around the province and this one was no exception. And there's always the odd treasure in a box of stuff for $2 or $5, such as the blue glass oil lamp in a box of glass casserole dishes, and even a Singer yarn ball-winder in a box with plastic food storage contianers and a salt & pepper shaker, so I lucked out with a free ball winder instead of paying $45 easily for a brand new one!

Singer Ball Winder

Sunday we were sitting outside and enjoying the breeze instead of being inside the house, and Dad was looking around the yard for something to keep him occupied. Usually Dad is pretty good at relaxing and taking a break, but he decided that the dead branches in one of his trees was bothering him and he wanted to take them down. But how?

Ideally, Dad needed one of those "cherry picker" trimmers that has a long handle and a cutter on the end. But Dad doesn't have one. But what Dad does have is creativity and ingenuity. Dad has a truck. And a ladder. And a long-handled shovel.

So with some imagination that was - I'm sure - influenced heavily by Warner Brothers cartoons of Sylvester stacking furnniture in impossible positions in order to get to Tweety and avoid Sam the bulldog, we have this image:


If you can't see it too well, check out the flickr page here to see the larger image. Notice however that the ladder is in the back of the pickup truck and two of the legs are on the lowered tailgate.

Now while Dad wore real shoes to pick me up at the airport, he's been sporting his "town slippers" every other day we've wandered around as is his norm. They're starting to look a little beat-up though, his toe is poking through one slipper already and they're dirty as hell. This morning however, out to the grocery store I had to ask him in the driveway if he planned to wear any shoes at all today as he was still barefoot on his way to the truck. "Oh yeah... no wonder it feels weird."

Then we get down there and Dad forgot his wallet and bank card, and only has a five-dollar bill in his pocket and some change in the ashtray. Meanwhile I was popping in to the drugstore to get some acidophilus as three weeks on antibiotics has eliminated all the good bacterial flora in my tummy. We were only supposed to be a few minutes and meet back at the truck, but Dad wasn't back yet so I decided to check out another shop I hadn't visited yet. Fifteen minutes later Dad finally makes his way out to the truck. "There was actually a lineup at the Bigway and only one cashier on shift, and then once I got to be the next person in line I realized I forgot to pick up the eggs. Then there was another big lineup when I got back."

Then we get home and there's a message on the answering machine. Kathy reminding Dad to pick up cat food and aspirins. So he heads back down to the store. Five minutes later he's back because he still hadn't taken his wallet or bank card. Dad filled up with gas yesterday for $95 and I'm sure he burned $20 of that today in his three round trips to the grocery store for: a dozen eggs, coffee cream, bread, cat food, and aspirin. No wonder the people in town already know him.

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