Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Far Away

with 6 comments

img_ip1886eThis feels so far away from home. Breakfast on the lanai by the pool in shorts and a t-shirt is so mind-bogglingly different from my normal routine that I feel like this is a dream. Well, it is a dream, actually. We are living the dream.

Besides power-lounging the day away, the most work I did involved figuring out how to connect Fred and Marie’s smart TV to the internet so they could watch shows on Amazon Prime, and then helping Fred put air in his bike tires.

He hadn’t ridden the bike for about 2 years, but Marie told him other visitors have been using the bikes every year. He wanted to take a little ride, so we just added some air and off he went.

When we next saw him again an hour or so later, he reported he had gone for a short bike ride followed by a long walk. His front tire had blown out. First, he reported noticing a ticking sound as the wheel turned round and round. Then it POPPED!img_ip1889e

Forensic analysis revealed a failure in the sidewall of the tire. The inner tube had ballooned out and was rubbing the brake with each revolution, until the rubber tube burst.

Turned out to be a pretty impressive level of activity for the guy turning 80 this weekend.

Otherwise, the afternoon became a blur of card games, napping, and floating in the pool. Cyndie served Barry and Carlos drinks by the pool.

Around dinner time, the surprises for Fred continued as Cyndie’s brother, Steve arrived. Then, after dessert had been served, her last brother, Ben appeared with his wife, Sara. The last secret had been revealed and the kids were all present.

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We sat around the table sharing life stories and lost our breath in laughter multiple times. Fred shared a memory of his 60th birthday when the kids all showed up for a surprise gathering on a ski vacation in the mountains out west. That year, they left spouses at home.

Cyndie and I have been married for 35 years and had dated off and on for 7 years before that, so I recognized plenty of the tales that were being recollected. Reliving the many stories reveals a weird combination of my being part of the family, but not being one of the family. I’m here, but I’m not as here here as they are, if that makes any sense.

One thing that is clear, we are noticeably far away from our home in Wisconsin right now.

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Written by johnwhays

January 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. Yes, that funny thing about being a part and being apart. Victoria has talked about that in our English speaking family encounters and I know, what she was talking about in the Portuguese family circle. Yet, in the end, that is what ‘we’ are all about – a greater sense of self and family that rightly comes to encompass humanity and all life as we know it. And so we have the line, what’s love got to do with it? The answer, just about everything!

    Ian Rowcliffe

    February 2, 2017 at 9:10 am

  2. Glad you are having fun and getting some needed R and R. All is good in WI, we miss you.

    George

    January 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time. Did you replace the bicycle tires and tubes?

    Jim Parker

    January 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

    • I made a quick fix of borrowing the front wheel from the lady’s bike in the garage in case he had interest in riding right away again. More likely, the whole bike will be dropped off after the scheduled birthday events of this weekend, to be given a thorough once-over of seasonal routine maintenance.

      johnwhays

      January 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm


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