Well, a week has flown past quicker than I could have imagined, and now I wait for my flight back to St Louis. I’ve lived in STL for five years now, and before that lived in Los Angeles for 21 years, but Orange County will always be ‘home’.

I wish I was in a position to live in OC again, but between the cost of living and the horrendous traffic, I just don’t know if I could do it. My wealthy sister and her family just moved into a $1.2M house, but I don’t think I could make the kind of compromises required to live such a lifestyle. I am more-or-less content with my relatively simple life, and don’t feel any paings of jealousy regarding huge houses and fancy cars and other material trappings.

I’m assuming that what I’ve experienced in the last week must be what it feels like to be retired. I did some cooking projects with mom and taught her a few new things on her phone and computer. I went to the gym several times with dad and helped out with a number of projects on and around the house, like fixing the data link between the solar system and the computer, extending the wifi network and attempting to repair a broken hose tap on the back of the house. It hasn’t really been touched in 37 years and now it’s worn out. We tried what we could to repair it, then replace it, but never could get it out. I was made aware of my folk’s mortality, as well as my own, when he said it only needs to last another ten or fifteen years...

The luggage is a bit lighter for the return trip. I gave them all sorts of goodies, including 9 bottles of beer, a Foodsaver machine, a powered knife sharpener, a couple of wifi extenders, but I’m taking back a couple of pieces of mom’s pottery (I hope they survive the bag smashers). I also left with them the Apple TV I just bought. I had dozens of channels on it, but dad set up just two. They’re not getting the most out of it now, and they may never add more channels to it, but that really doesn’t matter. I figure that as they move away from cable and start watching things via streaming they’ll probably take advantage of its capabilities.

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Reality awaits, despite my futile attempts to avoid it...