Lunch with Mom and Dad

Everytime I turn on to their (my old) street, I marvel at how big the trees have become. When the house was the newest in the subdivision, little "twigs" lined the street in an attempt to add some maturity to the brand spanking new neighbourhood.

The street that leads to theirs used to be a veritable "outpost" in east Burlington. The barely-paved road slanted to one side so badly, we used to think the car would roll right over. The neighbour behind us had a horse. Pete the Pony would be hooked up to a sleigh and pull all the kids around in the snow. Come spring the adjacent woods, complete with "tarzan vines" transformed into jungles and hideouts.

The house has changed a little over those forty-odd years; a few new walls and French doors, paint and wallpaper. The above-ground swimming pool that offered icy-cold refreshment on a hot summer night and invited great parties in later teen years is gone, replaced by a perennial garden and patio. My Dad should NOT be cutting the grass or shovelling snow. He insists the neighbours help him. My Mom tells me otherwise. She'd love to move to a nice new condo or townhouse, as long as they'd take their two little dogs, but not my Dad! "They'll have to carry me out in a pine box!", he's been heard to say. So Mom just finds "projects!" Re-paint a bedroom, a new floor here, a new counter there... My Dad reluctantly gives in to avoid the "M" word.

Pete the Pony is long gone and the jungle gave way to more new homes decades ago. The little twigs out front are tall, majestic shade trees, even the one that broke when I backed up into to it to get my confirmation photo taken on the front lawn.

So much has changed....but so much hasn't. Newspaper clippings that highlight their first born's 32-year-career in television cover the refrigerator as we share sandwiches, tea and my Mom's ever-present chocolate cake. At 50-something, a chat with Mom and Dad around the kitchen table, talking about my day, and some new job opportunities, is still good medicine.