My in-laws are lovely, loving people. But their health is declining - something that happens when you cross over into your 90s. The difference between them since we last saw them in the spring and now and today is marked.
My mother in law is now tentative, forgetful and has adopted a nervous chortal that she uses whenever she forgets what words to say.
My father in law is profoundly deaf, unsteady on his feet and has gotten involved with telemarketers who try and rip him off on get rich quick schemes. Its gotten so bad that he uses lulls in conversations to ask us "Who wants to be a millionaire - it can happen if you are willing to take the risk."
All of this is stressful. It's hard to see people that you love in this state.
When I was very young I used to think that people who would say "if you have your health, you have every thing that you would ever need to be happy," were out of their gourds. Now that I approach a landmark birthday, I regret not heeding that advice sooner.
These are the life lessons that you learn as you become a little older and a little wiser.
And when you have these visits, your time is not your own. No real fun side trips. Although I did steel away yesterday for an hour visit with a dear friend from my college days and his lovely wife who live about three minutes from the inlaws, where I learned that his brother in law lives, literally, around the block from us in Baltimore.
Thats the beauty of life; you never know where you'll be when Kismet finds you.
Anyway, now its time to play the game of moldering decay run amuck "What did Cookie find in the in laws fridge?"
You each get to look at this picture and guess not what it is, but how old it is. In this picture we have a mummified avocado. It is in a stage of decay. HOW OLD IS IT?