Topic #4 – The Car (cont.)
I will here apologize to all who deserve it for my inexcusable delay in posting this second installment of The Car. You know who you are, both of you. But after my last post I got diverted by a bunch of stuff way more important and possibly more interesting.
The first distraction was my college roommate’s outstanding coverage of his own family’s Summer vacation. Bill and I went to Dubuque? They went to Istanbul. Our drive-by through Vegas? Their week in Rome. Seriously? His is the blog you should be reading right now. Here’s the link.
Start from the beginning. A born reporter’s eye and an experienced journalist’s voice. And if the Ali massage installment doesn’t convulse you, you’re dead.
Then there was the woodpile. Sometime before I lost my job, we convinced the town to cut down the decrepit, doddering old maple tree in our front yard. It was a sad day to see it go and for some reason I convinced the assassins to leave the wood. Which they did with pleasure. Which pleasure I completely grasped when I had to chainsaw the remains, load them into my twenty year old pickup truck, drag them two hundred feet around to the back yard, dump them and then…commence to chopping them into fire wood. If you’re still reading this, I’m about two thirds through the leavings. And I’m omitting the part where my friend Dexter came over and removed the thirty foot tree trunk. It takes a village indeed. Bill has arrived home from Maine often enough to stack everything I’ve cut and split so far and we look to have a couple of chords in the hopper (and thanks, neighbor Chris Bradley for keeping Bill on task with this – huge help).
Peripherally, I’ve lost eight pounds swinging a new splitting maul over and over and I think, maybe, I could now go Monster Yard at Fenway given the right BP pitch. Or, probably not.
And then there was some family stuff. My Mother will be ninety-nine if she makes it to the middle of next February again. She can’t really speak much any more and she lives in something resembling a fifteen minute moving window of reality, with about that much short term memory but a surprising reach into the very distant past. She remembers Armistice Day, for example. What we now call Veteran’s Day. The actual day. November 11, 1918. People running into the streets and banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons. She remembers her father picking her up, pointing East, and explaining to her that the neighborhood was celebrating because the war “over there” was over. Over there. She was three.
We connected long enough for me to selfishly and shamelessly preview for her the twelve decent and five hundred shitty pictures I took of our roadtrip. A captive audience is what you need for this and she didn’t disappoint (apologies to my lovely and patient friend Paula who sat through the same slideshow). But one cool thing happened. When we showed my Mom the Mt. Rushmore shots she lit up like a Christmas tree. And we knew immediately that she remembered being there on a family camping trip during its construction. And standing in Lincoln’s eye, believe it or not, thanks to an improbable friendship her dad struck up with the site foreman who hauled the whole family up onto the job for a look-see. My sister, Kate, can tell you the true story but I think I have it close enough for the internet.
Then the Tour de France got underway and I started watching that all day. I’ve been heartbroken and angry about what a total heel Lance Armstrong turned out to be and all the other cheaters and vowed I was never going to fall in love with that race ever again. But I tuned in to day-one anyway just to spit on cycling’s grave and…a half an hour later, Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen (the best tag team in sports) had me hanging on every second and I tore up my divorce papers. Greatest endurance event on earth. Next to Glenn vs. woodpile.
Then Audrey announced that she was taking some time off and we decided to go someplace. Quebec for the Forth of July, as it turned out. Insert patriotic joke here. Then to Boothbay Harbor, ME to visit an old friend and meet her extraordinary husband for the first time. Then, on a questionable whim, to Old Orchard Beach which I think is where you give Maine an enema. But that’s class warfare and not a subject I should tackle anyway. Great take on this from Audrey’s own blog, however. Check it out or you’re missing something really special.
So, anyway, that’s why I didn’t finish the car blog…yet. Honestly? I don’t think I really want this trip to end. So, more to follow.