My father’s daughter: Exhibit 1

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Dad and me c 1967. The good.
Dad and me c 1967. The good.

Sometimes it feels like I have the spiel of our work-life imbalance on loop tape. Trying to explain the troughs, peaks and deadlines of project work and that the G.O. works 6 days a week, as a rule rather than an exception, to family, friends… and ourselves even, gets a little wearing.

The plan the G.O. and I made to drive the couple of hours north up the freeway to visit my Dad for Fathers Day and also the G.O.’s son and grandkids en route, came unstuck. Dad rang on the Thursday, giving us advance warning my stepmother had come down with a lurgy. Dad although he sounded snuffily assured me he was fine, as he’d been sensible, unlike Someone Else, and had a Flu Shot.

According to news reports Swine Flu is back. We weren’t taking any chances. The G.O. & I are germ-a-phobic; we’re rarely get ill, and there’s a link I’m sure. When we do, we go down like sacks of potatoes falling off a truck, but still have to drag our sick and sorry butts to work. Actually, the G.O. does, I try to manage a day or 2 at home, even if I’m logged on to my work emails.

We rain-checked the Fathers Day excursion to the following weekend and spent a quiet Sunday at home. Which the G.O. appreciated as he’s consistently been working 6 long days which seem to be getting longer, and continues to suffer from plantar fasciitis aka sore feet, as well as simply being bloody tired.

I chatted with Dad via phone on Fathers Day. He sounded coldy, not well, but he assured me it was because he’d been vacuuming then had to blow the dust out of the vacuum cleaner to unclog it, and he’d been mowing. Not convinced, I suggested he mention it to the doctor as he had an appointment on Tuesday anyway.

I follow-up called later in the week. Sure enough Dad had the lurgy too. We rain-checked again, to the weekend a fortnight ahead both to ensure the danger of contagion had well and truly passed, and because we had separate engagements with my sister who would be visiting from down south.

By the following Sunday, Dad continued to be stricken with the lurgy because he’d expended time and energy he could have dedicated to recuperating to running around looking at a vehicles suitable for towing their recently acquired caravan, yet another in a succession of single-use recreational domiciles on wheels if previous form ran true.

I rain-checked again, with the disclaimer any plans were tentative and I’d call him later in the week, as the G.O.’s work project was heading toward a deadline and sucking up heaps of his time.

Dad wasted little time preempting the outcome. On Monday morning he made a dash down to a western Sydney car sales yard to secure the 4WD of their caravan towing desires. I anticipated this and called Dad to see how it went. He hadn’t seen the car yet. He’d been lost for an hour and a half. He couldn’t make sense of the GPS directions and the road map in his head was out of date. There were malls and train lines built across streets where there had been none… several decades ago.

I attempted to provide remote assistance by asking him what he could see, and locating his position on Google Maps, then explaining the route. Dad called me the following morning to ask if the G.O. had a spare seat in his truck and could he get a lift back to Sydney with us the next weekend. Further questioning ascertained Dad had purchased the 4WD but hadn’t been able to trade in his old ute, and was leaving it at his brother’s. He also admitted his brother had come to his rescue the day before and conducted him to his car yard destination.

Dad & I were both somewhat perplexed. I didn’t want to say no to Dad but needed to confer with the G.O. for the same reason we hadn’t made firm arrangements for the weekend. I suggested to Dad if at all, the visit was likely to be on Sunday due to the G.O.’s work commitments, and we also had to see the G.O.’s son and grandkids as we had a 2 weeks late birthday gift to deliver to Grandson #1. In response Dad qualified he didn’t need an urgent answer and he could catch the train back down to pick up the old ute so long it was a day his brother wasn’t golfing as he would provide an escort to familiar terrain.

In our defence, we tried.

To be continued.

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24 thoughts on “My father’s daughter: Exhibit 1

    dadirri7 said:
    September 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    oh fab!!! love the photo … and your Dad is such a wonder … do keep writing about him!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you. Dad is a mine of material, which incidentally, he is unaware of 😉

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        dadirri7 said:
        September 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        and that is why he is such a rare treasure!

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    acflory said:
    September 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Your Dad sounds like a really sweetie. 🙂

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      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      He’d love you saying that 🙂

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        acflory said:
        September 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        lol – tell him how old I am and he’ll probably hit me for being so presumptuous!

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    davidprosser said:
    September 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I hope the lurgi is well under control now and the two of you aren’t going to be exposed to it. What a great photo of you and your dad way back in 67.
    With luck you’ll be able to catch up on all your visits or have caught up on them by now.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      The G.O. and I have so far implemented successful germ avoidance strategies.
      Thank you – that pic is a favourite. We always manage to catch up… eventually 🙂

      Like

    memoirsofahusk said:
    September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Echinacea. It works for me. And my own GO who works with those great germ banks – students!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you – they, and we, take echinacea but our first priority was avoidance of an obvious risk 🙂

      Like

    safia said:
    September 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Definitely enough material here for a sit-com. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      True… I was wishing I could change channels 😉

      Like

    Pete Denton said:
    September 27, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I hope the lurgy does keep off you and the G.O.

    This post has more rain-checks than a monsoon season!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Oh, yes… They almost rated an umbrella 😉 So far, so good for lurgy avoidance.

      Like

    ardysez said:
    September 27, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Love the photo! Not sure if you felt frustrated but I felt frustrated reading this! Herding cats is very similar to dealing with family at times! X

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      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you, the photo is a favourite 🙂 You picked up well on frustating… for our first planned attempt, I’d organised the G.O. to get away from work, and my sister and her fiance who would both more often than not be working on the Sunday to all get together for lunch, but of course the best laid plans and all that. Then the window of opportunity was past. Herding cats – one of my favourite sayings, and much used in my area of legal project work 🙂

      Like

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    September 27, 2013 at 7:40 am

    It’s so hard getting coordinated/logistics with everyone sometimes. great story…waiting for more!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you 🙂 It’s tricky balancing plans, spontaneity, glitches and expectations…

      Like

    Vicky said:
    September 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Wonderful photo 🙂
    Isn’t it sad that in our youth work commitments interfere with our lives so much, stopping us doing what we really want to do.
    Then once retired, it’s a mad dash trying to fit everything in, while we are still able.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Thank you 🙂 It’s just the way of life. When I was less busy and lived closer Dad had work and younger kids’ sport commitments. Now Dad is retired, he has more time, we have less and far too much distance between where we live to be convenient. Plus as you see, navigating the city isn’t his forte 😉 Hopefully the G.O.’s workload will ease up soon… will make scheduling easier. I’m looking forward to seeing how retirement plays out for us. From the persepctive of holidays, things to be done expand to fit available time.

      Like

    Our Growing Paynes said:
    September 30, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Well the cure for the lurgy would be brass band instruments. 🙂 A great post, now to read part 2!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      September 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

      Avoidance of the lurgy was our strategy. No cure needed 🙂

      Like

        Our Growing Paynes said:
        October 2, 2013 at 4:14 am

        Good plan. Brass band instruments could be hard to get.

        Like

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