I drove out to see my dad yesterday, and, once again, when I called to let him know I was coming, he seemed very glad to hear it. Our visit went, really, okay. He did tell me, once again, that he doesn't think he will ever like it there. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, " was my reply, "because you know you can't live in the house by yourself anymore." Yes, yes, he allowed that was true, and we went on to the next topic. So maybe he just needed me to respond in some way - any way - when he told me that, rather than just looking at him sadly. That's not to say I think he won't ever say that to me again, because I know he will. But now I feel like I know what to say in reply.
I think the weather has brightened Dad's spirits a bit - I know it has mine. He told me has been walking downtown and back every day - a walk of about seven blocks each way. The neighborhood has gone downhill a great deal since we lived there, not that it was ever that great. I'm sure the sidewalks are cracked and hooved up by tree roots, so I worry about that. But I know he needs to get out and walk more than anything else, and I try to remember that. I wonder if he misses the walk he took for so many years around Eastern Heights. I wonder if the people on his route miss him.
All in all, we had a nice visit, which will certainly make it easier to go back the next time. Because there's always a next time.