I was uneasy about traveling. My daughter got me a plane ticket for Seattle so I could celebrate Mother’s Day with my 89-year-old mom, who hasn’t been out of her assisted living facility for more than a year. In concept this was a lovely idea and I was so touched that my daughter would think of such a thing.
In reality, I was anxious about going to the airport, being in a crowd, getting a rental car and driving on the freeway. You see, I have extreme anxiety driving on freeways and bridges — I avoid them at all costs. Seattle to the East Side is all freeways and bridges. I was dreading it. When I lived in Palm Springs, I didn’t have to drive the freeway at all. I think I got out of practice. I saw a therapist and she told me to practice. She wanted me to get on the freeway and drive to the next exit one day, go a couple more the next. I did the one exit with sweaty palms and sweat pouring down my back. My legs were shaking and I could barely manage the accelerator or brake. That was it for me. There’s been no reason to drive the freeways since.
Back to Seattle, I asked my college best friend to pick me up at the airport and I’d get a rental car closer to my mom’s home. She agreed, because that’s the kind of friend she is. But, I soon found out that I had rented a nonrefundable car at Seatac, the airport. So, I faced my fears and strangely enough, I drove without a hitch. This happens to me whenever I get back home to where I grew up. It’s as though a different part of my brain wakes up and takes over. Also, the drivers in the Seattle area are an entirely different breed than California or Arizona drivers. You put on your turn signal and nobody steps on the gas to cut you off. In fact, they slow down and wave you over!
The other thing that was a show stopper on my trip was my mom! It’s as though she’s getting younger, more fit, and more alert. This COVID year seems to have the reverse effect on her than the general population. I was sitting in her room on my first visit and the activity director knocked on the door and asked if we wanted to join the croquet game. She said, “YES!” This is totally contrary to her usual behavior. Normally, I have to beg her to get out of her recliner and out of her room. I was quite shocked. We are big croquet players in our family, and my mom brags that she is practically a professional. She made her way with her walker outdoors to the croquet court and she played the entire game. I had to help her to each shot, where she slowly got her feet in the right position. She was so engaged and excited to play.
Each day, I took Mom out. We went for beautiful drives along Lake Sammamish, out to eat and my Aunt Linda joined us after her drive up from Portland, Ore. Here are some of the photos of our highlights of food and scenery:
I was momentarily jealous of your trip to Seattle, but then I remembered, My Dawta is flying in to AZ on June 9th and will stay until the 14th. I was drooling when I saw the clams.but we have some Copper River Salmon on the way from Pike’s Place. Glad you had a great time, and hope you get to do it again soon.
I love ordering seafood from Pike Place when I’m not there. Have fun with your “Dawta.”
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Thanks for your interesting comment. I appreciate your input.
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Sounds like a lovely trip!
It was perfection. My best friend from college and I were driving over the floating bridge to Seattle on day one to Pike Place Market and we had hail, pouring down rain. We parked the car and the sun broke through the clouds. My mom was more engaged than I’ve seen her for 10 years. My Aunt is a gem and we got alone time together. And that’s not counting my favorite foods — Dungeness crab and clams!
Dungeness crabs are delicious!
My favorite food! When I was a kid we had a boat and caught and cooked them right away. Within minutes of catching them.
It looks like you had a lovely trip, anxiety be damned! I suffer from anxiety, so I laughed when I read about you having to practice, as that would be something I would have to do as well. Your pictures are beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit that area and you are giving me even more of a reason.
It’s a beautiful place to visit. The weather is iffy. We went from pouring down rain, to hail, to sun peeking through the clouds in one afternoon.
This looks lovely!