Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Superior Outing!

Dad will be 84 this coming June.  He is diabetic, has Parkinson's and had a 6-way heart by-pass several years ago.  It gets increasingly more difficult to get him to walk, move around, exercise and his short-term memory is fading.  He would rather eat, nap on the couch and watch westerns.   I'm sure he is doing exactly what he wants but it frustrates me because I see him slowly declining and he won't listen to me.  In other words.....he isn't doing exactly what I want!!!

We just finished with some physical and occupational therapy several weeks ago and already I see the improvements he made, slipping away because he won't do the exercises.  Walking is a challenge, he shuffles because of the Parkinson's and loss of feeling below the knees due to diabetes.  He can't use a cane, the logic part of the brain and the function of moving the cane at the right time don't work together.  He can push a grocery cart but doesn't like to go to the grocery.  Dad could use a walker, but his pride won't let him.  

I am constantly bugging him about getting off the couch, trying to encourage him to do something but he worked all his life and has no hobbies.  The arthritis in his hands make it difficult to hold onto utensils and tools so 'fixing' something is out of the question.  He used to be an avid reader but now tends to forget what he read or where he was in a book.  I try to buy magazines with short articles to keep him engaged but he is only interested in westerns and there aren't many magazines in that genre.  

So why did I bore you with all his medical issues?  Well, about the only thing dad wants to do that gets him off the couch and moving around is going out to eat.  So we do.   He HAS to walk from the car to the restaurant if he wants to eat, so we go out at least once a day.  And yes, eating out that much is heck on my weight!  And it can get boring too.  Dad won't eat chicken nor does he eat Chinese, Mexican or Italian food.  Lunchtime is a circuit of the local fast food places around here for hamburgers and fries but it's easy because I don't have to 'think' about what he will eat.  Suppertime is more of a challenge.  There are only about three different eating establishments that he likes and the menus are overwhelming to him and he never knows what to order.  

After being in Arizona for nearly 4 months, I'm getting pretty tired of going to the same old places.  Last weekend I remembered a tiny, out-of-the-way cafe that I had been to several years back but without dad....Hark the Herald.....Angels are singing!!  A new place to go and just the kind of place he likes!   

So...we tested his blood sugar, packed his insulin, piled into the car and off we went.  Destination.....20 minutes northeast, up in the mountains to the, blink-and-you-miss-it, sleepy little town of Superior, Arizona.  It was a beautiful day with a brilliant blue sky and a couple of puffy white clouds.  Superior is an old mining town established in 1902 built up near the Silver Queen Mine that had been successfully mining copper, silver and gold since 1875.  

So smug and proud of myself that I remembered the old Buckboard Cafe, I could hardly wait to get dad's approval!   That is.....until I pulled into the parking lot.  CLOSED......not one single car.  I didn't know that the cafe was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and since it was Tuesday, well....we weren't going to eat there!  The only other place in town that I knew of was a Mexican Restaurant and that was out.  By now I was a bit nervous because I didn't want dad's sugar to drop since I had no food with me and it was another 20 minutes down the Mountain.  So I headed back but took the turn that leads  through main street Superior where most buildings are empty, some even falling down. We were just about out of the downtown area (only two cross streets I think!) when, lo and behold, I spotted a cafe on a corner!  Was it open?  YES!!!   Fa la, la, la, la....the Angels are singing again.  

Porter's Cafe was a bar too but I like little 'hole in the wall' places like that even though they can be really good or really bad!  The question is, would dad like it?  In we went.   It was so cool....and old...and we were both fascinated with some of the antiques in the place!   

The bar itself was almost as long as the building and sported an old, hazy mirror behind it.

I love the Sepia tone of this photo.  

The food came....we ordered hamburgers.....and they were GREAT!!!

The most interesting and ironic thing in the place was this tattered and very yellowed newspaper laying on the bar for anyone to look at and touch.  Printed on April 12, 1945, the ironic thing about the paper was that it is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Fort Wayne is only a few hours north of where we live in Indiana!  And there it was in the middle of the desert.  If only that paper could talk, I would love to know how it got there. 

As we headed back home, we decided it was a successful trip, a beautiful day,  a great lunch and something different.  

All in all, it was truly a Superior outing!  


  1. Glad you got your dad out of the house and found a good place to eat!

  2. Karen ~
    So glad you found a new place that Dad likes. You are a saint! He is one lucky guy to have you for a daughter!
    Hugs :)

  3. It sounds like it was a fantastic outing for both of you! And you still have the other place to look forward to, as well! Sounds like a double jackpot to me!

    You asked about the girls' backpacks. The ones Bunny and Morgan wear now came from Wolf Packs, which is a pretty pricey place to get a pack. They've been well worth the money for us because they're really durable and the girls wear them a lot. If I were getting one for a foster dog, I'd spend less money and get one from Petsmart. They carry a line there called Outward Hound and we have one. It's well made, but not as durable or heavy duty as the ones we carry. They run around $20, though, where the Wolf Packs range from $40 to $80.

  4. That old bar looks like a real treasure. I love stumbling into places like that. I know what you mean- I think my mom and your dad would get along great. I have only a handful of restaurants I can take her to and exercises.......forget it.

  5. Karen, I admire you for how you care for your aging dad. As long as he's happy, I think that you are doing a great job.

    I'm so glad that you had a successful little adventure on restaurant hunting. I keep a candy in the car just in case I feel my blood sugar going down while driving. JB

  6. Oh the best laid plans of mice and that how that goes...but just look at the fun detour you took because of it.
    I'm so glad dad had a good time and you too.

  7. Well I learned something Karen. I will have to remember Porter's Cafe. I did not know that Superior had much to offer in the way of restaurants.

  8. sounds like a great afternoon. It is hard when they are old and not feeling like doing much of anything. You are a good daughter to take the extra time

  9. That's so great that it worked out and you both had a great time. I bet it can be very frustrating when your dad doesn't want to get up and out. My mom has Rheumatoid Arthritis, but she could do more than she does. So frustrating. It sounds like your doing great though. :-)


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