Monday Smiles 10/12/2015
One Monday a month, my wife, Muri, and I spend several hours delivering Meals on Wheels to people even older than we are. It’s an easy enough sort of service done mostly by people ten or twenty years younger than the clients to whom they deliver. We arrive at the MOW office at around 10:30 to pick up a cooler holding the days meals. We also pick up a book that tells us what meals each client gets and gives turn by turn directions to their houses. Our clients are spread over a wide area and periodically change, so we never quite get to memorize our route. I drive and Muri reads the directions, interspersed with an occasional, No, no, turn right when I don’t listen. And we talk … sometimes a lot … enjoying time together with no interruptions. Occasionally l miss a turn, and if I think I know the area, I find a different route.
Today I missed a turn onto Esperanza Road and decided to take La Palma Avenue, which runs parallel, then cut over to Esperanza. When I reached Esperanza, the map in my head said, Turn left. Just to be sure, I asked Muri and she agreed. I don’t remember what we were talking about but it must have been very interesting because it was five minutes before I noticed that we were on a steep and winding road through a wooded residential neighborhood. Where the hell are we, I said, feeling completely disoriented. Did I turn somewhere? Muri looked up from the direction book. I don’t know where we are, either. I didn’t feel you turn. It was block before we saw that we were on Hidden Hills Road, which is the continuation of La Palma Road at the East end of town. Left hadn’t been right.
At our age, we can either decide we were the on on-ramp of the Dementia Highway … or we can attribute it to a moments glitch in Older Eyes’ internal GPS and enjoying each other’s company so much … even after all these years … that we weren’t paying attention. We chose to do the latter and laughed all the way back to the Meals on Wheels office. It’s Monday … I’m smiling.