Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Dad

I call my Dad every night... Well almost every night. He lives in NC in a retirement village and I live in Texas, and I call him after 8pm, when my free minutes kick in. He's in assisted living now, 'cos he's in a wheelchair and can't really get in and out of it without help. And, he's getting kind of old (almost 90!) and can't hear too well and has trouble concentrating.

That's something that happens when you get older... You lose the ability to multi-task. Now some of us think multi-tasking is a moral weakness, so this doesn't bother us, but still. Dad can't really concentrate on more than one thing at a time, so, if you want to talk to him it's actually easier to do it over the phone, after he's in bed and the nurses have him all tucked in and everything. He can actually hear you and nothing distracts him and it's this kind of insular little thing between us... And my computer.

We start off on a discussion - tonight we started with him telling me about zarzuelas, because a group had performed one at the retirement village tonight. So he says "Zarzuela," and spells it and I look it up on wikipedia, just like you probably just did... And then I read him anything interesting I find on wikipedia... The zarzuela he heard was Cecilia Valdes by Gonzalo Roig, and I noticed that the singer was Aida Pujol. Now Pujol is an interesting name to me because it's the maiden name of my 2nd ex's mother, whose family was from Cuba. And Dad said he didn't remember that (after I mentioned it to him) but he remembered that when he'd met her, she'd shown him a bunch of old family letters in some variant of German...

Which is because before they went to Cuba, they lived in Alsace Lorraine. So I go to Alsace Lorraine in the wikipedia, but, see, this is the fabulous thing about my Dad...

He already knows all this stuff... Without the wikipedia. Now somehow from here, and I can't quite remember how, we got off onto Finno Ugric. I truly do not remember how, but on this, I could actually read stuff to my Dad that he didn't know! Boy, howdy was that exciting! And we had to hit the Proto Uralic page, too, just for good measure and I was trying to describe the pretty colored map with all the language groups on it and go through the cognates, as well as I could because these are NOT easy languages to pronounce... At least to me.

And then Dad noticed it was after 11 his time and I guess he'd had enough of Finno Ugric so we said good night.

In English.

No comments: