Yesterday, after church (baptism at the second service, and visit with the woman who fractured her skull), my husband and I went to visit my dad at the nursing home where he lives.
When we got there, he was sitting in his wheelchair in the main room, napping. We woke him up and I grabbed a chair from another table, which upset one of the women who was sitting there. She started talking very loudly. I decided to avoid further upset by taking the piano bench instead of borrowing a second chair.
My dad is not the sparkling conversationalist he once was, for a lot of reasons. Besides his Parkinsons, he hasn't had his hearing aids for a long time, and yesterday it appears he (or someone) had mislaid his glasses. After a few minutes I got out the riddle book and the scrapbook with all of the pictures of his days with the Swedish Male Chorus.
I started by asking him some riddles. "Why did the fireman wear red suspenders?" (He didn't know that one.) "Oh, to keep his pants up!" I answered. However, he still knew the answer to "What's black, and white, and red (read) all over?" 'The newspaper', he answered. One of the first jokes he ever told me. He also remembered a few knock knock jokes.
We took out the big scrapbook and started looking at the pictures. He picked out the pictures of my mom, as she went along on a couple of their tours. I noticed that in one of the pictures, all the members of the Chorus were wearing red suspenders. "Hey!" I said. "Why did the Members of the Swedish Male Chorus wear red suspenders?"
"To keep their pants up," said a man at the next table.
I noticed that in the Male Chorus Scrapbook, there was a singalong book. So I took it out, and tried to find a few songs we could sing together. One thing my dad could always do -- he could always sing.
Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me
Home, Home on the Range
Don't Fence me In
You are my Sunshine
A woman came up to me and asked me if I could help her with her zipper.
"Why do you want help?"
"So I can take this shirt off."
"Oh, I don't think you want to do that here," I said. As she turned around, I noticed that her shirt did not have a zipper.
So my dad and I went back to our singing:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.
What's black and white and red all over?