Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Stepping into the Time Machine...
Closed the library on Friday, packed one suitcase for two and departed the Great Northwest. Left the suitcase in Chicago when we changed planes and our best laid plans. The library will be opened one day while I am gone - which means I am not important, or the library isn't or that four days of closure are just more punishment for the guilty. Could be that it has no meaning and no one will notice my shift into the future.
We are visiting my mother for her birthday, she was eighty on the 12th of February, born in a hospital in Uruguay in 1928 and living now in an upscale retirement home in almost Dixie. We find ourselves moving slower, speaking clearer and completely or else repeating ourselves to be understood. My slight limp from the motorcycle mishap has nothing on the number of Scooters, wheel chairs and fourteen types of walkers and canes. I find myself greeting everyone, saying hello with a smile and looking into everyone's eyes. I notice those that are doing things for other people seem the healthiest, happiest and most mobile, a secrect of success?
My sister shows up and hugs my wife and greets me and I immediately tell her to slow down, there isn't anything here to hurry over - she has just stepped out of her hamster wheel in her cage - she needs to adjust (slowly) to our future. We get her coffee and help her wrap a gift and talk (still too fast but we can keep up)about family elsewhere and what is going on and what is important. We don't mention politics nor celebrities.
A former sister-in-law joins us and we attack the set up of the area for the party/reception (elders have a very different party idea - no beer keg in sight). I do the thug work, five women and I just take orders and lift and tote. For fun I get to blow up the baloons, red and pink. Nice set up, nice cake and and most of the local world came to say hello, I get told I look like my father by all that knew him from his time in their world. My mother is having a wonderful time saying thankyous and explaining the pictures from the albums and years ago and far away. I have noted many pictures that I had never seen - some with a much younger fellow I could have been, except never that cute.
Party over, mother sleeping in her throne, we clean up and check the weather, sister decides she can safely return to the hamster wheel in her cage. Wish her well and a safe voyage - back to the place they depend on her for W-2s and payroll, and heartfelt hugs and good advice about home and life. She is speeding up as she turns to go... no time for my hug, but she and I aren't ever that far apart; we both wear LL Bean slip ons, and laugh immediately at the same funny, my sister.
I have a couple of more days for scouting the territory of the ancient, aged, aging, and just older than dirt. We met a ninety-nine year old at the party - she was a wonder. But knowing math the way I do, the women out numbered the men six or seven to one in that age group, I might not make that twenty year trip; I do ride a motorcycle and love to look leeringly at lovely looking ladies (not really, I just wanted to play with L's). I will continue to tell my wife she will miss me when I am gone, and I will continue to jog gently (85% of MHR) when I get back to "my" normal life pace and the walking race into the Prison from the ferry. Work harder work faster... but that is the subject of another post on another day.