Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2018

A Christmas Story

FloridaWITH THIS BEING CHRISTMAS EVE and all, my thoughts turn to Family. Today, in particular, makes me think of my late Uncle Paul and Aunt Nellie.

It wasn’t that many years ago, on a Christmas Eve, when they seared themselves into both my memory and my gag reflex. Let me explain.

They were both in their late 90’s and living the Retirement Dream down in Florida – in St. Petersburg (AKA “God’s Waiting Room). Unfortunately, they both also had cataracts and couldn’t see a darned thing. For them those 60” plasma TVs were just really big radios.

Unfortunately, they also liked to drive and in Florida you are legally entitled to drive up until three days after death.

It was few days before Christmas when I got a call from a family member in Ohio. It seemed that Aunt Nellie and Uncle Paul had announced that they were planning to drive up North for a Holiday visit. Their plan was to get onto the Interstate System and drive 1000 miles from St. Petersburg, Florida to Cleveland, Ohio, blind as a pair of bookends.

Naturally, the family in Ohio was as frightened as a jeweler seeing Lindsay Lohan come into his store.

The family asked me to intercede. Against better judgment, I did, and soon I became truly scared.

I called Nellie and Paul and voiced the family’s concerns, what with the two of them being in their late 90s and blind as midnight in a coal mine.

Uncle Paul said that he had it “all worked out.”

When I gently said to him, “Uncle Paul, you’re blind. You can’t see and neither can Aunt Nellie. You two could play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for a week and no one would win! Your wife hasn’t seen you in 12 years! You haven’t bought a light bulb since the Carter Administration! How can you expect to drive 1000 miles from St. Petersburg to Cleveland?

“Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much.”

That’s how he talked.

The man moved here from Germany in 1933. He still sounded like he just sneaked off the boat.

“Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much.”

Now, my friends, this sounds like a punchline, but, with Larry The Cable Guy as my witness, it is a true, verbatim quote.

 “Johnnie, Johnnie, Johnnie, you worry too much. I have it all worked out.”

Here it comes. Wait for it.

“We know we can’t see very well… “So we are going to drive extra fast so we’re not on the road as long.”

Oh, sweet Jesus!

They left St. Petersburg early, before dawn. That would have made no difference to them, I suppose. All I could do was watch CNN to see if they made the news.

Late on Christmas Eve they arrived in Cleveland. How they did it I don’t know.

A couple of years later Uncle Paul was killed in a traffic accident in St. Petersburg – a 19 year old drunk driver T-boned him in an intersection.

Believe it or not, there was a happy ending to this saga.

A year after the accident, widowed Aunt Nellie remarried. She became the bride of a 93 year old neighbor. Since she was almost 100 by this time, we accused her of Robbing the Walker.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

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One thought on “A Christmas Story

  1. Great Story!!

    Like

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