Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Real Southern Living: Taking Rhodie to See Jim's Parents

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my chair. I've got my cozy, flannel pajammies on...along with my "tiger" head slippers. Annnnd I'm using my Boppy as a desk for my lap-top.

Last night, we decided that we would go see Jim's parents today. They've only seen Rhodie twice in his life...once in the hospital, and once when they came up here to our house. Jim's Dad is not doing well, physically, and we all thought going to visit him was a good idea.

Aaron-the-son-in-law agreed to it, but said he HAD to be at home and sitting in front of his TV by 8 p.m. The Arkansas Razorbacks were playing Texas A&M at 8 p.m.

Holly said she'd rather go early, anyway.

Bless her heart. I knew she would be tired this morning, after working a 12 hour shift yesterday. What I was NOT prepared for was her text at 7:30 this morning, to ask us our plans.

Ummm...I PLAN on staying in bed for a MINUTE.

They were already up and around, and anxious to get on the road while Rhodie was sleeping.

We, on the other hand, were anxious to make BREAKFAST...which, we did.

And then we got ready...and headed south.

Holly, Aaron, and Rhodie beat us there by an hour...but that's okay.

I had also texted Clark, to see if he wanted to drive over and meet us. He did!

Jim's parents were so tickled to see Rhodes...and Rhodie did GREAT! I mean, seriously great. I love my in-laws, I do, but to go to their like stepping into a different world. Think: HOARDERS. Mixed with Honey-Boo-Boo. Mixed with Duck Dynasty. Mixed with Swamp People.

They are the most different people I have ever met in my life. Kind, yes. Generous? Yes. Supportive? Yes. Love their family? Yes. But so very...different.

They live in a 3 story house on a lake. To say that the house is FULL of stuff...would be the understatement of the year. There is barely enough space to walk in this house. In fact, when we got there, I noticed a blanket spread out on the floor, and I thought, "OH NO YOU DON' baby is NOT laying on that floor. No ma'am." Fortunately, it was never an issue, because no one looked down when they walked, and they ended up walking all over the blanket, without even realizing it was spread out for the baby.


Jim's parents live on the bottom floor of their house. They have a family member who lives part-time on the 2nd floor...and a family member who lives full-time on the 3rd floor. And the 3rd floor person has a one-eyed cat.

So, yeah...picture it: clutter stacked everywhere...floor to ceiling, in most father-in-law yell-talking at the top of his lungs, annnnd a one-eyed cat.

This is the REAL Southern Living, folks.

Also? My father-in-law is the loudest human being on earth. Not.even.kidding. And, he can't he is unaware of how loud he is. He is loud when he talks. He is loud when he coughs. He is loud when he whistles. He is loud when he eats. He is loud when he sings. We've been home 2 hours, and my ears are still ringing...I can only imagine poor Rhodie's ears!

But, we made it. And we really did have a great time! Jim ordered lunch from Chili's-to-go. And just the 20 minutes he took doing that...asking every person what they wanted, talking about the football game that was on TV, showing his Dad how to do something on his ipad, telling his mom a story that related to NOTHING we had been talking about, and basically doing anything BUT ordering dinner....was like a Seinfeld episode.

Only not as funny.

After lunch, we all sat in the living room and talked...and basically gathered around Rhodie, to watch his every move.

For some reason, my mother-in-law got up, and came back into the room carrying a small suitcase. She opened it up, and she and Jim and Jim's Dad all started going through it...pulling out things from forever ago: documents, papers, pictures, etc. At one point, I looked over at my father-in-law. He was posted up in the chair, reading an old, brown-paged, newspaper from 1973.

FROM 1973.

And then yelling-commenting about everything that was in there.

Jim's mom was pulling out old yearbooks, and newspaper clippings. She said, "here's your birth-certificate, Jim. OH's Joel's. And here's Jeff's."

Jim said, "I have mine at home. You misspelled my middle name on it."
Jim's mom said, "I did?"
Jim: "Yes. You left off the 'e.'"
Jim's Dad hollered, "O-S-B-O-R-N-E."
Jim said, " misspelled it on my birth certificate, I'll have you know."

Not to be out-done, Jim's Mom...whose name is spelled, Jacquie, said, "well, do you know how MY name is spelled on my birth certificate? J-A-C-K-I-E."

Jim just looked at her, and said, "well, you'd never be able to get a passport."

And I fell out laughing.

Because, I looked around the room...all the stuff...all the clutter...all the junk. Jim's Dad was sitting in his chair. He had his oxygen mask on, because he's having some trouble breathing these days. The oxygen machine makes a noise when it's running, but he can still hear bits and pieces of the conversation...and hollers his comments, even if they are wrong. He was wearing one sock. Why, we don't know. And the sock had a big hole in the toe. He wore this all day.

He had plenty of "good" me.

Jim's parents get nervous if they have to drive too far from home. They pretty much refuse to drive at night. And here was Jim telling them, "well, you'll never be able to get a passport."


"Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You." Psalm 33:22

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