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Another Jersey road trip with dad

August 16th, 2016 at 03:11 pm

Dad invited me to join him on another trip to Rutherford, NJ, where my half-brother lives, so dad could collect his mail. In the eyes of the state of NJ, he is still a New Jersey resident. There was something he was waiting to see, and although it would be far simpler to have my brother mail dad his mail every week or so, dad prefers to drive 2 hours to get it. I think it gives him something to do.

So I joined him. It was more quality time with dad, that's why I went. But first before leaving we shopped at an exorbitantly priced organic grocery store where my sister, the health nut, has encouraged dad to shop. We bumped into someone who noted that the medium-sized zucchini she was buying was costing her $6 and from there we had a conversation where she told us her recipe for eggplant parmesan. She was younger than dad, but older than me. Turns out she's had a lot of auto immune health problems and thus she's shopping at this grocery store. Dad eventually went on to shop while I continued chit chatting with this incredibly nice woman, who gave me a hug. It was just one of those random encounters where you feel perfectly at ease with a total stranger and can tell them anything.

We dropped the food off at dad's apartment and then continued toward the Tappan Zee Bridge. I really prefer to drive when I'm traveling with dad and take every opportunity to do so, but he was behind the wheel and said I could drive on the way back. For the most part, he seemed to do ok except that while I anticipate things by looking ahead at people braking, I don't think dad could see that far in the distance and so he often didn't slow down til rather late, but that could just be me, back seat driver.

We arrived at Rutherford; my bro and his family were on vacation on the Jersey shore but B. knew dad would be coming for the mail, which he leaves in a basket inside their screened porch. Well, the porch door was locked. The window was open and dad could SEE his mail in the basket but could not get to it.

Sigh. I suggested to dad he might do well to get a spare key to B.'s house so this kind of thing doesn't happen. I doubt he'll follow up on doing that.

After that, we had lunch at the diner on Rt. 46 and then took a drive up to the "Paterson Mts." which was frequently scrawled on the back of many old b/w phots my mother had saved all these years filled with friends and boyfriends who seemed to have a real fondness for this place. My dad bluntly told me it was where everyone went to "make out."

Today, it's known as the Garret Mountain Reserve. We actually found an old stone tower featured in my mother's childhood photos(!) and I would have liked to explore it and get out of the car but it was a one-way road, I knew dad has trouble walking and so I let it go.

After that we pulled up to the lookout which dad was also familiar with. You get a bird's eye view of the city of Paterson, NJ.

Not quite Manhattan, but still impressive. At night it must be something to look at.

After that, we just headed home and dad continued to drive, much to my chagrin.

It was kind of a wasted effort as far as his getting his mail, but I consider it priceless, like other trips I've taken with him now. We talked A LOT and I have a deeper understanding of my parents' marriage, and why it came apart. It's very sad it all had to happen the way it did. My life could have been very different.

Unlike my sister, who dad agrees is a very black-and-white person who forms an opinion quickly and never deviates from it, I believe in gathering as much information as possible when forming any opinion, and even though the truth hurts, I would rather illuminate my understanding of life events with The Truth.


How many caterpillars do you see in this photo? There are four.


A view from the top of Garret Mt. Reserve of the very urban Paterson, New Jersey, pop. 149,000 and the state's 3rd largest city.


Driving home with dad on the Tappan Zee Bridge, which they are rebuilding.


My elephant ears are doing great in this heat, but they were SUPPOSED to be a dark purple color and I was very disappointed to get solid green!


My gazania daisies are looking very lush and healthy becus I am being more conscientious about daily waterings.


Not sure how best to pull off the baby plants but i guess i should before winter.


Last night's early evening sunset, when I was surprised to see the moon out so early.

4 Responses to “Another Jersey road trip with dad”

  1. Carol Says:

    Your pictures are always great!

  2. NJDebbie Says:

    It was pretty hot in NJ today! My son's friend, who is an engineering student, is doing an intrenship at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Apparently it's a multi million dillar project. Great pics by the way.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Trips like that definitely are a thing to be treasured.

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Love the cacti!

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