Holiday visits allow you to see the new paint color your mom chose for the guest bedroom or test out the rocking chair your dad built in his wood shop. These visits can also shed some light on mom and dad's quality of life in their current living situation, which may prompt additional conversations.
It is a lesson in patience to bite our lips and keep our fingers still rather than trying to build her the perfect piece of fishing equipment. We are slow to learn, and are still working out the right way to respond when she admits the minnow is gone. We usually just point out another fish and renew our hope that perhaps she'll be able to catch it.