I moved from Seoul, South Korea back to my childhood home in Northeast L.A. (Eagle Rock) to care for my 93 year old dad, Phil Sr. I’m Phil Jr.
I haven’t been here for years — in fact, for nearly two decades. To say this move was jarring for me doesn’t even come close to capturing the flood of memories and emotions. I moved back in October 2016 to care for him, because my mother passed away in April of that year. She did everything. Pop turns 92 this month. I’m his primary caregiver now, replacing my mom who did everything for him, and the house. Mom is a tough act to follow, but I’m doing the best I can.
chauffeur service zurich I’ve gotten in touch with the caregiving community and I’m learning a lot. I didn’t even know a “caregiving” community even existed until now. This blog is about cookies, and care giving.
Why Papa Phil’s Cookies? I always loved baking, especially cookies. Since I got back, I find myself in the kitchen of my childhood a lot, and baking every time I am in there. Baking cookies has become an obsession of mine. I did it a lot when I was kid (more on that in future blog posts.) Dad loves eating my cookies. I love baking them for him.
I know I’m not the first Angeleno to love baking cookies. Wally Amos of Famous Amos notoriety, the man who could easily be credited with making the premium cookie what it is in America today, got his start in L.A. He’s a hero of mine. I met him when I was kid multiple times through elementary school field trips at Area 7 Alternative School, the hippie school I attended in Highland Park. (That’s fodder for yet another future blog post here.)
Dad and caring for him has inspired me to focus my passion for baking. Now that I am back in my hometown with dad, I want to transform my passion for baking cookies into a profitable cookie business. I think of us as a team in that way.
I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for dad. It’s only natural to love baking cookies for him, too. And he sure likes eating them. For dad, it’s with a glass of milk with a few cubes of ice. He has inspired the name of my cookie business: Papa’s Cookies.
Sure, I haven’t been home in years — decades, really. I was working as a journalist in Seoul, South Korea. Actually, I had been working and living on and off in South Korea for about 15 years. I even attended graduate school there. Korea had become a veritable second home for me. I learned to speak Korean fluently, and everything. I loved it there. I even met my wife there. She’s not Korea; she’s Mongolian. At first all we spoke together was Korean, though.
You see, my mom had passed away in 2016. Until then, she was the one who took care of dad. When she passed away, there was no one else. I had to come back to L.A.
Dad has a tough time walking. It is really hard for him to get from one end of the house to another. I help him to do everyday tasks: going to the toilet, bathing and eating. It’s frustrating for him, too. So, he’s grumpy sometimes. He was a civil engineer and his mind is still as sharp as a knife. But his memory is bad, and he cannot manage his finances. He needs me to do all of that for him, too. At first, it was difficult to change his adult diaper, and clean him up and stuff, but all of those messy jobs have since become routine for me.
When I got back to L.A., I started reacquainting myself with my hometown. I grew up in Eagle Rock, went to elementary school in Highland Park and high school in Silverlake. I don’t have much money. So, to save money I walk and take the bus everywhere. Not having a car in L.A. is tough, but I love it. It is the best way to re-visit my old stomping grounds. It’s a trip seeing how my little corner of Los Angeles has changed so dramatically.