Sunday, 11 March 2012

We have visitors

coming today. My father is not fond of having visitors on an "invited" basis. He prefers it if people just drop in. That way he does not need to worry about changing out of his working clothes. If male they can even go out to the shed with him - and often do.
My father is not unsociable by any means. He still enjoys good company and good conversation. Visitors however are an effort. He feels he needs to help me.
       "I'll sweep," he tells me. Well he does that anyway. It is his self-appointed task. He has done that ever since my mother died. So what if I have to wait until he goes outside to do the bits he misses? I would never tell him but there is one point he always forgets to sweep.
      "I'll dust," he tells me. I am not going to tell him that I get the long handled duster to reach the cobwebs he does not even notice.
      "I'll set the table," he tells me. That's fine because he will say, "What else do you need?"  Then I can say, "The placemats." There may be something else as well but I will quietly put that out later.
I tried asking him to put a hand towel out for guests in the bathroom once but he put out a new bathmat instead so I do that.  I clean there too.
My father is not particularly domesticated I suppose. He was not brought up that way. His parents were born when Queen Victoria was on the throne. Things were different then. He does not think it is beneath his dignity to help. His father was the same. His father would help with the washing up. Once his father reached semi-retirement he would make breakfast each morning. He made the world's best porridge - and always burnt the toast. He did the household maintenance for as long as he could. My father still does what he can too although, like his father, he has stopped climbing ladders.
I am wary of allowing him to do any food shopping. He is wary of doing it. What sort of milk do you buy? Isn't milk just milk? Where do you find....? It amazes him that I can mentally consider the entire supermarket and, for everyday items at least, I can tell him which aisle (and whereabouts in that aisle) you will find something. He does not believe that there is nothing remarkable in this although I tell him that most people who regularly do the shopping are probably able to do this. No, it is simpler to do the shopping myself and just allow him to occasionally bring home the specific item if he happens to be going up there anyway.
My father is the kindest and most thoughtful of people. He is appreciative of what is done for him and he will do what he can to help others.
There is one thing however that my father never offers to do. He never says, "I'll cook."
Thank goodness' for that!


widdershins said...

Heh! ... some cooking can be disastrous if vital ingredients are left out!

catdownunder said...

He believes recipes have to be followed exactly Widdershins - down to the last gram - but he gets lost in the terminology. "What do they mean when they say "Stir until thickened? How thick?" " Hopeless - I love him for it!