…or Nature vs Nurture vs the insanity in our own heads.
I’ve no grand revelations. Not even inspirations. But my brain is full of What Ifs. Those lead to more What Ifs and triggered nightmares. Last night I was in high school and missed one class. Okay, I skipped. Then I found out that my father had come to that class, in full uniform. I had missed him.
And that’s what I did. Missed the auld man… for 61 years.
While we -the husband and I- were there, talking to Dad… still surreal… Mike kept remarking how we are so alike, father and daughter. In some very basic ways, we are. I understand and appreciate nature.
Here’s where the nurture comes in… I’m so different than my half siblings… in so many ways. That has more to do with different mothers; it’s also nurture. What if I’d grown up in his house, with my siblings? Instead of socially awkward I might be adept at interacting with others. Like them, I might have had a wonderful career instead of jobs.
My folks lived through the depression and not in a graceful, Waltons sort of way. Needless to say, it had a profound effect on them and I think they were just happy to keep me fed. College was not mentioned. What I would do after high school? Must have been my responsibility, but I had no idea.
Perhaps I would have turned out the same person if he had raised me, but I keep asking myself “What If?”
That’s how I like to write post titles now, as if the reader has caught me at the end of a sentence. …start talking that way too? ANYhow, we’re back, the man and moi, from Texas. Where I took only one photograph, of the United terminal at IAH. I not only forgot my camera, we were in such a hurry for those four days that there wasn’t much on my mind other than our objectives.
The day before we left Badger was carted to the “Spa” while Bree and Daisy went to the Vet to stay in a “luxury suite”. Too bad for them; we saw it. Mike said it reminded him of a prison cell. Daisy had just undergone oral surgery and since both she and Bree are elderly, the vet seemed the logical, if costly choice. (No worries; everyone has been fetched and at last the pack is complete.)
We flew First class. Yep, Florida crackers go big! When booking I saw that the prices for the First class seats were only $200 different from Business class and of course Mike suggested we go for it. Bucket List item achieved. The differences: We didn’t have to wait a half hour in line with the masses to check our suitcase, just rolled right up to a kiosk and someone helped us immediately. This is where I started to become impressed. Our checked bag was first on and first off and sported a pepper red label marked “Priority”. Nice, right? Also, the walking nightmare (TSA) was a dream, as we again skirted the quivering mob of commoners and walked right through. If you think I’m exaggerating, you haven’t traveled lately. The seats were slightly larger, but my butt still ached thirty minutes in. The food was lovely, though I didn’t eat. I actually didn’t eat while there except for two Kind bars and a small mahi mahi.
The first day we hung with Mike’s sister Deb (one of my best friends). The next morning we rose semi-early for the drive to Galveston to meet my biological father. The man – at 86 – is busier than a centipede at a toe counting contest! Among his numerous other endeavors, he is in charge of the crews who work on the restoration of the vessels at Seawolf Park. The USS Cavalla, an old diesel sub, and an Edsall class Destroyer Escort, the USS Stewart. An all volunteer force, they meet twice a year. He’s not the only Master Chief in attendance, but everyone defers to Mac, in pretty much everything.
We went to dinner at Gaido’s that evening and spent the night at Harbor House, where the myopic managers are apparently too busy to check and see if the rooms are being cleaned – thoroughly. Yeah, I’ve got this thing about mold… and dust. A little dust is understandable, but if it looks as though something hasn’t been touched since the hotel was constructed… no. I wanted to start cleaning, but was exhausted from both meeting my dad and crawling all over the ship.
The next day we went back to the Stewart to visit with Mac, but left in time to return to Houston so I could surprise Anthony (another best friend) on his birthday. One of my favorite moments from the trip!
On the way in – actually, running north on 610 Loop in pouring rain – the driver’s side window wiper blade flew off. Such fun! If I hadn’t had Mike with me to provide some guidance? Whew. At one point I’d made it off onto the feeder and Mike wanted me to get back on 249… I said “Honey, there are just a few times when Texans need to use the feeder road. One is if you’re drunk. Another is if you have a flat. And one is if your damned wiper blade just blew off in the pouring rain!”. We stayed on the feeder.
The next morning we boarded the plane for home. It was a short visit, but memorable… and overwhelming… and an entire dictionary full of adjectives, sorry. The thing was so quick I almost haven’t processed the fact that I sat talking in a room with my DAD!
Well, I’ll start at the beginning. Himself and I are flying to Houston next month to (finally) meet my father. Yes, when I drag something out it gets drug to the limit. Our meeting simply cannot wait any longer, so the plane tickets are booked.
Since we’re unaccustomed to being gone, a trip means about 5,000 different little things need to happen before we leave… among them dog boarding. I figured the best place for boarding my three angels (I’ll let you stop laughing before I go on) would be in someone’s home instead of a kennel, so I set up a Meet n Greet with my selected dog sitters from ROVER dot com for today.
My chosen sitters were two ladies with a great reputation who seemed very nice. Bonus: they only live a few miles away! So, we loaded the girls up, Bree riding with Mike in the Mini and the littles with me in the truck.
When we arrived one of the ladies met us outside and showed us back to the back yard… where there is a pool. To be fair, I knew they had a pool, but assumed (don’t say it!) they’d have a safety fence around it. They did not.
I declined to have the six large barking dogs in the house come out to meet us (!) because for one I don’t know them and two, my dogs were stressed just leaving the house. They never get to go anywhere, poor things.
Would you like to know who fell in the pool first? Yes, it was my elderly Collie, replete with cataracts. She hobbled around and there was no way she wasn’t falling in… fortunately it was near the steps so we got her out without incident. That was followed by Daisy, who couldn’t swim if the debbil himself was chasing her! I let out a high pitched squeal and went in to get her.
Then Bree fell into the deep end and Mike had to dive in to save her! To her credit she can swim, but her limbs aren’t strong enough to extricate that body anymore. That’s when I started cursing. Stress does that to me, like some people come out in hives.
Badger was surprisingly smart enough to stay clear of the water. She was too busy marking all the other dog’s pee spots.
Bree will stay at the Vet’s, Badger at a ‘Spa’ and Daisy? She’s coming with me.
So, my two sisters and one of my brothers decided to come see me – they flew in Thursday and left this morning. It’s slightly surreal, to suddenly have family.. but a very, very good thing because they’re wonderful people. Warm, friendly, accepting… just the best. I love Tom’s wife as well. She feels like another sister.
There are two brothers and my father to meet, so I’ll do that… sooner rather than later.
*We were rained on while at the beach, so I’m dorky looking and my hair was weird. Add a big mole and put me in the circus!
‘Lazy’ has been the order of the week. Thankfully all gifts have been purchased and mailed… and the house cleaning came to an abrupt halt after I decided to not give a fig about random piles of dog hair anymore.