Friday, September 28, 2012

I Kept the Window Rolled Up

Yesterday was treats. Because both my wife and our daughter were home and both are observant women who could see my irritation with being on the planet what with all of this I promise to not do anything anytime anywhere rehabilitation, they decided an outing in the car might be a tonic in the afternoon.

I had discovered my cell phone was not only no longer charging when plugged into the wall but also appeared to be losing power earlier in the day so we even had a purpose for the trip. I feared the worst  when the car charger also failed to resuscitate the phone and for just a moment, Kyle in the phone store with his 'when are you eligible for a replacement?' set my heart racing, but then, because of his mastery of phones cellephonic, he determined the battery had spit the bit. Our sojourn, once interrupted, resumed.

It's an odd sensation riding in the back seat of your own vehicle, made even odder when the driver is the younger of your own children. Make no mistake, both of our children are excellent drivers in my opinion but I also think I am the world's finest automotive enthusiast. It's the rest of you motorized maniacs I don't trust.

We were headed towards the Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford a quiet, somewhat somber stretch of solitude overlooking Long Island Sound that has a sad history and feels a little bit lost this time of year. I think we all do. The weather can be quite nice and the temperatures still warm just not as warm as the weeks before Labor Day. Make no mistake, though autumn has hinted of its arrival, we saw enough changing foliage to choke a leaf-blower (and how I wish someone would), summer is still in the area.

But not yesterday afternoon as the cool air above the arm waters of the sound produced a light haze as I sought and failed to reach the beach beyond the main house past the service road beyond the padlocked gate. This being a good guy and using crutches took a rapid and steep toll on me. But not before I remembered being a very small child, about the age of the youngsters originally treated where we were, visiting my mom's parents, Gramma and Grampy at their bungalow in Atlantic Highlands. I'd stand on the beach with Grampy as he told me about the world on the other side of the water, beyond where I could see.

I always waved to the children of Europe whom he assured me were standing on beaches just like ours and peering past the horizon, or trying to and waving back. It wasn't for many years that I realized none of it was true or could ever be true, but it was a wonderful story and just a moment yesterday as I struggled to keep the crutches upright and turned around, facing in the direction of the car so we could make our exit, I was tempted to double pump a quick wave, one for the little boy of long ago on that faraway beach and the other for Jim Kelly, Grampy, standing beside me as the waves kissed the shore goodnight and goodbye.
-bill kenny    

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