Visiting The Oldsters

Over Father’s Day weekend we went to visit my in-laws, aka the Oldsters.  They live a good four-hour drive from us and are 80 years old, more [FIL] or less [MIL].  This weekend reminded me of many things that I’d long forgotten about.

•  We drove in Z-D’s SUV which is eleven years old.  It has no place for an iPod, with a broken CD player, and a radio that works when we’re near signals, but not in the empty spaces we were driving through this weekend.  We turned off our cell phones and sat together in silence only broken by our conversation.  It was wonderful to be totally detached from noise.

  I didn’t feel like reading– roads too bumpy, sunshine too intermittent thanks to lots of trees blocking it.  So I looked out the window to see what I could see.  It’s been a very long time since I just watched the world go by– cows, barns, farms, and exits with fast food establishments and gas stations.  It was relaxing to be out of the city and just existing as we drove along. 

•  The Oldsters were happy to see us.  We had lunch at their house [chicken salad sammies, natch] then went shopping for a wedding present that we were buying together.  BB&B fascinated them with all its stuff– and the price tag of said stuff.  It was fun to watch them be amazed by the beautiful things that the world has to offer now.

•  We left the house at 3:30 pm so that we might get to dinner at 4:00 pm!  This was to ensure that we’d be back home and safely within the house before 6:00 pm when FIL’s fav tv shows are on.  The small restaurant we went to had delicious, old-fashioned style food– ham loaf, smothered chicken, basic cole slaw.  It also had the smallest wine & beer list I’ve seen in years, so Z-D and I had a glass of the only Cabernet Sauvignon on the menu– which was delicious.  It was fascinating to be somewhere with so few choices and such good quality.

•  We got back to the house in time to watch Sanford & Son and All In The Family.  I hadn’t seen either of those shows in– well, decades.  And while the former is very dated and tedious, most of the humor in the latter has held the test of time.  It was entertaining [and a bit sad] to see FIL laugh with Archie about the way things should be. 

•  We left mid-morning on Sunday.  The Oldsters had turned on the Weather Channel at 7:00 am to check what might be in store for us on the drive home.  Once they saw that there were thunderstorms on the way, they became agitated about us getting on the road ahead of the rain.  In their world, driving in the rain is very bad and risky.  Z-D pointed out that we have a SUV with 4 wheel drive, but they were having none of that nonsense!  So we packed up and hit the road.  It was interesting for us who live entirely apart from any family to experience a bit of “parenting.”

•  Driving home in silence, just watching the road go by, I saw a sign for a small town called “Belleville.”  I know nothing about this particular town, but in a snap my empty mind filled with the images of and the theme song from a delightful movie called: “The Triplets of Belleville.”  It was a pleasant, but unexpected, ending to a visit that went quite well– and brought back to me memories of times gone by.  

[for your entertainment…]

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted most days.

7 thoughts on “Visiting The Oldsters”

  1. Alice,
    So glad you had a good time with the in-laws!
    I agree that sometimes it’s nice to get away from all the noise and technology. We really do live in a beautiful world. We don’t always recognize it because of our need of 24/7 information.

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  2. Beth, being so completely detached from technological distractions, and having no control over our agenda was kind of a kick. It’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced life that way.

    It was like we had stepped into Professor Peabody’s Way Back Machine and found ourselves plopped down in 1973!

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  3. Being a French teacher, I thought of Les Triplets also! 🙂 I loved our family times in the car with just music, looking out the window and chatting. Of course, I didn’t care for the fighting over the music or sniping over the long drive. It sounds like a very special weekend.

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  4. la p, I love that movie, too. Weird and funny.

    Margaret, I haven’t been on such a quiet car trip in years. Very nice. I’d forgotten about such things. And the Oldsters were in fine form while we were there, so it all turned out to be a good weekend.

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  5. My husband was born in a Belleville, in Ontario. Still, I haven’t see the Triplets film yet.

    Your trip sounds like so much of your blog…like moments of awareness, of what is different from what was going on before. Interesting and lovely trip, it sounds like…

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  6. J, we did have a good time on this trip. What was interesting to me was how differently we [the modern world] live now– and how we aren’t aware of how much we’ve changed until we encounter the past [the oldsters].

    Do I want to go back in time permanently? Heck no! But for a weekend it was enlightening.

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