Today is my older brother’s birthday. For a change I was aware of its approach and I pre-purchased and sent out a card well in advance. I even remembered to call him and we talked for hours. While this isn’t an unusual thing for me, some people might find it for him. As a kid, Jerome was the one who always managed to find something interesting to do and didn’t mind if I watched or tagged along. Granted he often got into trouble with his thinking outside of the box activities (I think Dad still has pieces of that lawnmower you disassembled.) I know I’m probably repressing some of the torturous moments, okay I’m not, I still remember being locked into the tire well of the family station wagon. I still don’t like tight spaces.
But I mostly remember the fun times, like sneaking off on a Saturday morning to take a bus all the way to Yonkers to see the latest James Bond movie. Of course we would stay in the theatre all day long, y’know because they wouldn’t kick you out if you were behaving yourselves. And the sledding ramp he showed us how to build was great. I can remember taking pitchers of water outside so that we could ‘set’ the ramp. Setting meant going out after dinner and pouring water over hard packed snow in the shape of a ramp until it froze solid. So now we could careen through the air into the piles of snow the plows left at the bottom of our dead end street.
He also helped me to be more self-sufficient. In high school if we missed the school bus, rather than going back home to incur the wrath of Dad and have to listen to him yell at us for the entire 20 minute drive to school, we’d walk into White Plains and catch a bus to school from there. Sure it would take 40 minutes, but it was a peaceful 40 minutes and at most I’d miss 1st period, which was usually band or a science lab. By the time he graduated, I was able to get around most anywhere by bus. This is a good idea when there are so many kids vying for the keys to the car.
But with all of these things, chatting on the phone for hours is not something Jerome is known for. This seems to be a late-in-life trait he’s developed. I can’t even tell you all the things we talked about, although talking about work or computers is a good bet. Otherwise it could be anything. I totally forgot to ask how his bees are doing.
And just as I was thinking about how much I appreciate and enjoy my brothers and sister, I get an email from my s-i-l, Hyunjoo. It’s a great newsy letter that just made me grin. So I suppose I should expand my thought to include my sibs-in-laws too. While they don’t have all those weird idiosyncrasies you get when you grow up in the same house, they are still pretty damn cool. Not everyone is so lucky.
In general, life’s been good. I’ve been procrastinating about things I want to get done. But things seem to get done eventually. I guess a better way to look at it <watch for the spin> is that I am enjoying the summer more by doing things I enjoy with people who are fun. If that means that I drive around another two weeks with my funky taped up top and primer grey fender, then okay. I can deal with that. I’ve seen some great movies, had engaging conversations, and seen vistas of San Francisco that would take your breath away. Oh yeah and all this at the lowest stress level in years. So you know when you ask someone how they are doing and the respond, “Oh can’t complain.” Well they really mean to say things are good and I’d like it to stay that way for a while.
Got any complaints?