Tuesday, August 09, 2011

it was the heat

As I walked through the heat radiating off the parking lot, I was reminded how long this heat wave has lasted. Thoughts of the difficulties this heat brings others bounced around head as I waited for the A/C to start cooling the car. Then I wondered how my uncle is coping. 

Yes my 80+ uncle. I have not talked with him for weeks and it’s been so damn hot. I need to check in with him.

Interesting that today I have his number in my cellphone list. Ever since his wife passed away earlier in the year, I’ve had his number. Strange I didn’t think of her as my aunt. His second marriage, not my closest uncle growing up, I don’t know maybe the extended family wasn’t that close after all. 

I punch-up his name. He answers right away knowing it’s me. I joke about having caller-ID. The dashboard vents are finally blowing wonderful cold air in my face. He is doing fine. 

We talk about his furnace setup and his air-conditioning repair friend. Then he brings up my brother and asks if I have talked with him recently. I don’t remember how long it’s been but tell him that I talk with my brother about once a month. 

My uncle says he is thinking of visiting my brother (who lives in the middle of nowhere). He was thinking of going in August. Then he asks me what I have going on in August. He throws out the suggestion that I could join him.

My mind is racing now (note over the past few years my mind game races have been far and few in between) quickly weighing pros and cons of a road trip with my 80+ uncle. 

“Ah sure that sounds possible,” I say with so little conviction that I’m wondering what I said as I say it. 

We start to talk about this possible trip, length, stopping, activities (did I mention he is 80+). Then a big con starts to grow in mind. Yeah this could be problem. Oh this could a show stopper. How can I ask him. 

“You don’t have a problem with me driving, do you?” I ask. 

He answers something about his car. Then he chuckles, “Oh you don’t trust my driving.” 

“Well, I’ve heard stories.” I reply. (understatement of the day - He has probably totaled more vehicles, cars, motorcycles, trucks than I have ever owned.) 

We have had a few more calls since.  We met for a planning lunch including maps and a calendar. As of today, we are going. I’m looking forward to his stories. Hopefully I’ll learn more about my dad, his older brother. 

This will be a long and winding road trip. It was the heat that started this. Maybe there are some unknown benefits to this heat at least for somebody.


Bearmancartoons said...

I tell my nieces and nephews that with no kids, the one that gives me the most
attention when I am old, get's whatever money I don't spend.

lisleman said...

Hey I pay some attention to your blog.  thanks

Reena Walkling said...

This ought to be fun or reckless, not sure  but ... I'll look forward to your tale

Jennifer Richardson said...

oh wow......brave, brave man,  you.
Stirred all sorts of claustrophobic feelings in me,  just the idea.
And then I started to feel winsome,  like maybe you'd hit a jackpot
that I would've just passed on.  Yep,  I think you're onto something here.
I love it.....please do keep us posted!
(well done you)

lisleman said...

My uncle was reckless for most of his life but at 80+ I believe he has settled down.  It might be educational.  thanks

lisleman said...

I plan to keep the blog readers posted.

winegirl said...

Definitely an opportunity not to be passed by! I would give anything to take a road trip with my 90+ Papa before he moved on (provided the driving was up to me). We don't spend enough time learning from those who have experienced a longer, more varied history. Although I prefer stories from Gma at the dinner table. Homemade meatloaf and wine is always an added bonus.

lisleman said...

Yes you are right.  Because it is an opportunity that might not be around long I do want to do it.  At the same time I'm a little concerned about how well it will go.

tracismixedbag said...

Wow! This may be a really cool opportunity. My husband used to travel to AR with his grandpa from CA up until he was 94 and he has some great traveling stories.

It's wonderful the things that remind us to call someone. I rely on those moments otherwise I'd never call anyone.

frau said...

Blame it on the heat but I think it's a win win....the things you'll learn, the test in your patience and the gold star you will get for making the trip plus check off visiting a relative! Have fun can't wait to hear the stories! 

Barbara said...

I love how things like this happen - things that seem like coincidence but lead to something unexpected and seemingly out of the blue. What a great chance to get those stories! Have fun (and be safe!!)

lisleman said...

You are right!  Except this one came out of the sun I guess.  I'm a little worried I will annoy him with too many questions.  thanks

lisleman said...

Wow thanks for the gold star - please post it on your wall.  If anything I might get some insight into the life of an 80+ year old man.

lisleman said...

Hey have you shared any of these grandpa stories on your blog?
I'm glad to read "call someone" vs. "text someone".  I wonder if years from now when today's teens are 30 somethings all the communication will be via short text messages.

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