I’m not here. No. Really. By the time you read this, that sentence will be absolutely true. I’m driving down to Portland to pick up my cousin at the airport. This is something like five hours away. “Why doesn’t he fly to a closer airport?” you ask.
“Well,” I answer, “because Patrick and I love Portland, and we love the Columbia Gorge, and we don’t see nearly enough of either, and my cousin has more than a touch of my Gramma Zim in his veins, which means he’s bringing his camera and we’ll be stopping at every bend in the river so he can document the amazing vistas. By the time he gets home he’ll probably have enough pictures shot and short enough intervals to be able to make a respectable flip book of his vacation.
And that’s fine. As long as I can keep him from emulating my Gramma Zim in other ways, such as going out into the driveway and scouring it for particularly attractive chunks of gravel, which I will be required to send to his Wisconsin home via UPS. Even if he does, though, I should at worst only have to contend with one bucket of gravel. Gramma Zim lived with us for five years. Ten buckets were involved that time. People in the UPS line are not understanding about having to wait while you open ten buckets of gravel and start shifting rocks from one bucket to the others to try to stay below the UPS weight requirements. But we did it, because we loved our Gramma. And if my cousin Jeffie wants to pick up gravel I’ll mail it home to him because we love him, too, and because things are so wierd at our local post office that this will be far from the strangest transaction to occur within its sacred halls.
I’m excited about this visit; it’s been too long since I’ve seen Jeffie–we’ve only been in the same state a handful of times since that long-ago Christmas when we had an olive fight. Grandpa caught Jeffie, who ratted me out. But Grandpa said, “Bodie wouldn’t do something like that. She’s a good girl.”
And I just smiled sweetly. A grandfather who loves you and considers you a good girl is a gift beyond measure.