A Chairside Conversation

“I’ll never understand the rush you kids are in to get nowhere; the honking, the yelling at the windshields,” I said as my grandkids came over one Sunday morning, followed by my great-grandkids. I never thought I’d live long enough to have great-grandkids, but there they are three of them.

They run up and hug me, then follow me like horses to water into the family room. Before I even get to my chair, they’re sitting in front of it waiting for me to tell them a story.

“There’s a pace to this world, and it’s gotten way too fast for me,” I start, lighting a pipe. They look up in awe. “I keep it where I like it, and if it bothers those kids in their boats going seventy-five on the interstate, then too bad for them.

“I’ve wondered where they could be going in such a rush. Nothing that’s worth going to see if you’re rushing to it. ‘It’ll be there when I get there,’ I always say.

“Your grandmother thinks I drive too fast, she’s always clutching her purse over her face yelling, ‘Clifford slow this gosh darn car down, you’re going to hit something!’” I mock the motion and my wife’s voice, and my great-grandkids laugh in amusement.

“And I’d say, ‘Oh, calm your horses Rebecca, it’s the interstate. I have to go this fast.’”

“But you know Rebecca; she wouldn’t take that handbag off her face until we got to the market, and the whole way back to the house too,” they’re clinging to every word I say like I’m some kind of superhero. If I’d run into my future self and he told me I’d have three great-grandkids that loved me like Melissa, Johnny, and Kevin do, I would have laughed in my face.

“You three are going to have a wicked fast world,” I continue. They love my stories about the old days.  “Faster than this world we live in now. Just you wait. Them televisions are going to start thinking for themselves, and you’ll be carrying around telephones in all your pockets by the time you get to be my age.”

“But Grandpa,” Melissa said looking up at me in my big, overstuffed, green recliner and as I rocked back and forth puffing on my pipe. “TV’s don’t have brains; how can they think for themselves?”

For seven she sure is a smart one, that Melissa, just like her grandmother was at her age. “Well, Miss Melissa, when I was your age they didn’t even have televisions.”

“But what did you do on Saturday mornings then?” Kevin asked.

“We worked on the farm, that’s what!” I said “Lots more work ethic than you kids nowadays have. We’d be up before the sun out in the barns milking chickens and feeding cows. It’s all because of us old folk that you have your fresh milk in the stores. We didn’t even have stores when I was your age.”

“But how did you buy things?” Johnny asked, confused.

“We didn’t even have money when I was a kid, it wasn’t invented yet. We had to grow all our own food, and make our own clothes. We didn’t have all those fancy toys that you kids have. We had a block of wood, and we had to make do with what we had. And if that meant we had to eat your Uncle Bernie, then we ate your Uncle Bernie.”

“We don’t have an Uncle Bernie, Grandpa,” Melissa said, looking up at me terrified.

“That’s because we had to eat him when I was a boy,” I answered taking another puff of my wooden pipe.

My daughter, Dawn, appeared around the corner to the family room. “Stop scaring the kids, Dad,” she scolded smiling. She’d heard all my stories; she knew how they all ended. “Come on its time for dinner anyway.”

My great-grandkids jumped up and ran to the kitchen. Dawn walked with me, arm around mine. “I’ll never understand that rush to get places these days. It’ll still be there if you take your time.”

“I know Dad, that’s why one day all three of them will take long walks on beaches thinking about how their great-grandpa was right about everything.”

I took my seat at the head of the table, my family in front of me, my wife to my left, my three kids, my eight grandkids, and my three great-grandkids, and by the looks of Joanie, my fourth is soon on the way. I have the perfect life, even if it’s moving way too fast for its own good.”

I hope you enjoyed this

Until Next Time Internet,


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