At about 18.6 miles past the teeny-tiny town of Springville, CA I lost cellular connection and was cut off from the world (electronically) for four days. My heart didn’t sink but my grey-matter registered the moment. Into the Redwoods we went.
On Monday the 29th of May at about 16.4 miles from good ole Sprinville my phone came back to life and with it a myriad of familiar pings, dings and screeches. My grey-matter registered the moment and my heart sunk quite a lot.
While sitting here at the Real Estate office this morning I found myself going about the usual routine. I had my coffee by my side, the Monrovia Weekly had been read, I had already traded pleasantries with the agents in the office and the computer was on so I could get to work. As usual I started with email and I found that most was inconsequential…then one caught my eye. It’s uniqueness was glaring. My son had emailed me and now I was staring at this note on the screen where he asked for some homework help. I’m transfixed by the account-avatar he chose (his current favorite animal) and how much punch his one sentence digital note is making on my analog heart.
He’s starting to live in a brave new world. I better be a good guide!
The retirement strategist shared with all the small business owners this morning some helpful data about days-sans-work and planning for them.
He lost me for a moment I’ll admit.
When he mentioned the statistical gap that says that it is likely that I will die several years before my partner does my mind began to wonder of what I’ll miss. One day her hands will turn really wrinkly and I may not get to massage them. Will it turn out that like my father I’ll miss hearing the coos of my first grandchild? It’ll be a shame not to unleash my inner curmudgeon at the Thanksgiving table and then take a nap right after. Then one day it could be that I’ll be just a picture on the wall and some people may tell tall fond tales of the handsome young guy I used to be.
I snapped back to real time just as the presentation ended. I’m thinking about this stuff a lot late. Could it be it’s because my 30s are coming to an end this year?
They didn’t sell him in stores. I loved Snoopy though and my mom had skills. She bought some black and white fabric and in the evenings after supper she cut, she sewed and stitch by stitch made me a beagle of my own. It didn’t quite match the Schulz version because one ear was too long. I didn’t have the heart to tell her and I think she may have known. Thanks Mom!
I could not wait to get into the water so I ignored my mother’s order to walk and not run towards the surf.
This was the early 80s and unlike kids today I did not have to wait to apply sunblock or unload a myriad tools. No, all I had to do was open the car door and jet out towards the water with my parent’s yells become less loud with every rushing step. I stuck to the shallower part of the beach for some minutes allowing the frothy water tickle my toes. This made me shiver. Eventually I stepped further into the beach and started to really size up the waves breaking up ahead.
I must have taken a step to far before I realized I was out of my depth and instinctively turned around to head to dry sand. Too late, a big heavy wave pulled me towards it and heavy water pounded on my shoulder and head like a hammer. The next sensation was the pressure at my back pushing me into the depths while my scream let out a hundred air bubble out. Next came the sting of a rock hitting my knee and the feeling that this would never end. Somehow I found footing and I raised myself enough to get some air. That’s when the next wave hit and I was plunged back into the fear. Finally I felt a tug at my hand as my dad fished me out.
When I cleared my eyes I saw him standing there with the water barely lapping his shins. He asked if I was okay. I told him I was.
Years later, right before he died he retold me recounted his memory of that day. He said he thought I’d be okay in life because moments soon after this happened I was once again chortling out belly laughs while in the surf while occasionally keeping an eye on the breaking waves.
One has to wonder what Ludwig may have thought if he had come upon our local Middle School and watched 3rd, 4th & 5th Graders playing Ode to Joy 193 years after he composed it!
Happiness & Exuberance comes to mind.
We found each other having a moment in the evening that belonged to us.
The kids had been summoned to their beds and the HBO queue played an episode of Girls. At one point Oasis’ Wonderwall played in the soundtrack and my bride and I reminisced about the Cornell death and all the young talent recently passed on. Just about the point when the song sound swelled loudest my oldest manifested from the shadows. Our loud rock and/or roll music was keeping him up and he did not much appreciate it.
Once scolded we turn the music down and apologized. Soon after he hit the hay we realized we were the adults in the house.
I’ve developed a bit of a bad habit as of late.
Whenever I’ve caught one of the Torres children using an idiom I find myself inquiring on whether they really know its meaning.
I don’t want them to play things by ear. Saying random things not knowing their meaning is for the birds. So I rather hear it from the horse’s mouth if they really know the meaning. It’s my goal that before I kick the bucket to teach them the fun and wonder of language. So as a parent I am taking the bull by the horns by quizzing and teaching. One may even said I’m taking care of two birds with one stone.
My old man used to promise me “the belt” from time to time.
It was one of his most priced possessions and one day he’d pass it on to me. I could not care less of it. It represented how it bound him to the house that I wanted to leave desperately so I could go hang out with friends like other teens. In time I moved out permanently at what happened to the belt I do no know. I only thought of it today as I shopped for one so I could keep my most used tools near now that I’m working on home projects left and right. They aren’t chores and I have fun doing them.
I suppose I have fallen in love with Casa Torres. My children might say I’m bound to it.
So here I sit.
Among a throng of about 30 other shell-shocked parents about to discuss the last 30 days of Elementary school life for our children. How fast a half dozen years went by! How common did these school grounds become! How invested did we get in the daily ebb and flow of PTA and more. How familiar are we with many of the faces in the room.
I find myself in awe of the family we have become as time has passed by. I also now realize that we are due more shell-shock in a few months