Sunday, June 26, 2005
Shopping for Mom
Even though Joey had spent the night with the Valley's and Sophie was at Julie's sister's house I knew Saturday would be a busy day for Johnny and me. It was Julie's birthday, and Johnny had asked that I take him shopping for a birthday present for his mom. Julie had already told me that her mom was coming over to help clean the house in the morning so I thought that would give us the perfect opportunity to get out. Johnny had a pretty big day on Friday at the clinic, and I wasn't sure how long he would last, so I kept our list of stops to a minimum, but just as we were leaving Julie and her mom gave us a list of things to pick up at the grocery store. We decided to leave that stop till last just in case he starting getting tired.
Our first stop was at the Orek store to pick up some vacume bags (don't worry, not one of Julie's gifts). Johnny wasn't too excited about the stop and decided to stay in the truck and listen to the stereo. I wish I could have stayed with him. Our next stop was a little more exciting. Julie has been talking about needing some new clothes, but things have obviously been a little too busy for her to get out much, so Johnny and I decided the mall would be a great place to start our search for the perfect gift. As soon as he stepped out of the truck I knew Johnny was in a little more pain than he wanted to admit. His last bone marrow asperation was taken from the back of his hip, and I could tell by the way he was standing that his lower back hurt quite a bit. When I asked him if he wanted to go back home he said "no way", but he didn't hesitate on taking me up on my offer of a piggy back. My initial thought was that we would walk around and find something that Julie would like, but as soon as I felt the effect of all the pizza Johnny has been eating I knew I couldn't carry him far. It didn't really matter much because as soon as we walked through the door to Foley's both Johnny and I remembered that we don't like crowds of people, and I think we were both a little overwhelmed with the number of people who were milling about. We both knew we wanted to make this quick (a good plan for our mental health, and my back). We stopped at the first register and bought Julie a gift certificate.
Our first two stops hadn't taken too long, but it was long enough for Johnny to work up an appitite. When I asked what he wanted all I got was "french fries." We were still in the mall parking lot so we decided a stop at Fudruckers sounded like the ticket. As soon as Johnny saw the menu he blurted out "grilled cheese!" So we had another lunch of grilled cheese and fries. It's starting to become the regular meal for our outings. It was really nice eating out, just the two of us. We took our time, talked a little, and made sure no fry escaped uneaten. He declared that Fudrucker's fries are right up there with the ones his mom makes. They really are pretty good.
After lunch we decided that just giving mom a gift certificate was pretty lame, and we needed something to go with it. I gave Johnny a few choices and he decided on flowers. There's a florest between the mall and home so I thought that would be a quick stop. It wasn't for two reasons. The first is that the spot where the florest used to be is now a very large hole. It's not just gone, but there is actually about a four foot deep hole where the building used to be. It kind of makes me wonder if there was something toxic (I do remember seeing some really giant mums there once). Johnny said he was still feeling pretty good, so we decided to drive around until we found a second florest. When we eventually found one that's when we discovered that it really didn't matter that the first had disapeared, they all close at 1pm on Saturdays. Who knew? By this time we were pretty far down FM1960 so we decided to stop at a nusery just to see what they had. No flowers, but before we left Johnny saw a really pretty tropical plant that he thought his mom would really like. A plant and Foley's gift card. I thought we were doing pretty good, but Johnny wanted to get one more thing that he thought his mom would really like, new wheels for her in-line skates. Now we're talking. A quick stop at the shop, and we walked out with the fastest wheels we could find. They were light blue too. Really fast and a pretty color to boot. Julie would love them.
We had decided early on that our last stop would be at Ben & Jerry's for an ice cream cake, but we still had the shopping list Julie and her mom had given us before we left. Johnny said he was still up for a stop at the grocery store, and by this time his back had loosened up a little, so we dashed in. There were only a few items on the list, but a couple were found on one end of the store, and the others were on the oposite end. Johnny made it all on his own, but I could tell it was time to head home. I thought the stop at Ben & Jerry's would be quick, but it took a little while to get Happy Birthday Mom written on the cake in hot fudge, so we decided to have some ice cream while we waited. Not too bad.
By the time we got home it was after 4pm. We were out a lot longer than I had planned, but the time had really flown by. Julie and her mom were finishing up on the house, so Johnny and I stayed out in the garage and installed Julie's new wheels on her skates. After I had changed the first wheel Johnny asked if he could do the next. I had to help him with that one (pulling the bearings takes some practice), but after that he had it down. He pretty much changed out all the rest by himself. It was cool seeing him work so hard on something, and he did a really good job. All I really had to do was check to make sure all the axle bolts were tight when he finished. He seemed really stoked to be doing something mechanical by himself. I couldn't help but get Julie as he was installing the last wheel so she could see how happy he was working on her skates. The look on her face told me that getting her present like this was better than unrapping it later.
The rest of the evening was really fun for the family. Joey came home from the Valley's and the four of us went to Carraba's for a late dinner. Joey and Johnny were cracking each other up the whole time. I haven't seen Johnny laugh like that in a long time. Any other time Julie and I would have probably told them to cool it, but I could tell that just watching them like that was probably the best birthday present Julie could get. When we got home Johnny, Joey, and I set up the cake and her gifts on the kitchen table. When everything was ready we brought Julie in and sang her happy birthday. I think we all missed Sophie (she was still at Aunt Krissy's), but it was nice eating a cake that didn't have finger prints all over the frosting.
Happy Birthday Julie! We love you!