I haven't been up to visit my father in several years. I can't remember how many years, at that. Although he lives only another 40 or so miles northwest of my grandfather's house, it's the 40-plus miles further away from my home in the Bay Area, and I rarely am going quite in that direction. Today, I remembered another reason why: he lives in a nice house (which was built to his plans, and which I do admire), but it's up a very steep dirt road that I really dislike driving. Lisa's van took it without much trouble as far as the climb goes, but the branches were so low-hanging that they were clipping the van even after pulling down the many antennas on the roof. (The van's roof is about nine feet high not counting the antennas; with the tallest antenna, count it as 14 feet 3 inches.) And I don't mean brushing, either: I mean large branches hanging down in front of the windshield. It's like driving through a tunnel -- a low one at that.
Anyway, aside from having to slowly ease our way through the branches, Lisa trying to pick the path that would do the least amount of harm, we had a fairly uneventful hour or two, with me bringing Dad up to date on the last couple of years of my life, including the diabetes. (I guess I hadn't told him earlier.) I got the impression that he -- or at least my stepsister's husband -- would have been happier without me there, so they could concentrate on the football game they were watching (Nebraska vs. Colorado) when I arrived. So we didn't stay all that long.
For some reason, when we got back to the hotel, I felt like I'd been traveling hard all day. Those trips must be more stressful than I thought.