Mom, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Fred–DON’T READ THIS PART. For the rest of you, yesterday I had a new muffler and tailpipe put on the Jeep. It has 226,600+ miles on it and this is the third exhaust system I’ve put on it. Things don’t last like they used to. Anyway, I had walked down to Pennock for a 9:00 AM meeting while the car was being fixed, and was on my way back down town. Two or three teenagers wheeled around the corner in a car and yelled out the window “Fat F#*%”. I looked around and I was the only one I could see, so they must have been talking to me. First of all, when they can tell from that distance I’m fat, I need to go on a diet, so I will. Yesterday wasn’t a good day to start ‘cuz it was Robert’s last day here, and I knew we would go out for dinner. Today wasn’t a good day to start ‘cuz I had a lunch meeting at the hospital and tonight is $3.00 burger night at the County Seat. Maybe tomorrow.
Secondly, they don’t know me so how do they know I’m a F#*%. And what is a F#*% anyway? I wasn’t so crude to call “it” that, but I always thought “it” was a good thing. Maybe I didn’t hear the rest of the word and they actually meant a F#*%head, or a F#*%off. I really wasn’t all that offended. My guess is that they’ll yell that to one of their parent’s friends who recognizes the car, and they really get into trouble. Or they’ll yell it at someone who gets their license plate, tracks down their car, and modifies the windows with a hammer. Or, they’ll yell it at someone whose car is close enough to jump in, track them down, and beat the crap out of them. Any way you cut it, no good can come from calling someone (other than me and I don’t care) a Fat F#*%.
OK Mom, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Fred, you can start reading again. The cottage hasn’t sold yet and hadn’t even been looked at in the last six weeks until Saturday. I spent a good share of Saturday cleaning the place and making it look as nice as I could. I talked to the realtor today. He said the couple that looked at it liked it, and it seemed to be just what they were looking for. Then they saw the next door neighbor’s pit bull and were instantly turned off. The funny thing is, that dog is only at their cottage two or three weekends all summer and this happened to be one. However, the dog, plus a bulldog, plus the owner’s dog (part pit bull) are there all week. Just our luck. My feeling is that if they really, really liked the place, they would have asked if the dog was there all the time or just visiting before they wrote the place off.
A week ago today I drove from Hastings to Traverse City and back to visit my mother (up from Florida), my Aunt Margaret (we call her Didge…up from Kentucky), and my Aunt Juanita (we call her Neat…lives in Troy). It was fun seeing three of the four living sisters together again (Aunt Sharon is in Colorado and Aunt Willie (Wilma) died several years ago). It’s been ten years since I saw Didge and two years since I saw Neat. The sisters were telling stories, laughing and remembering things about their trips to Traverse City before the cottage, and the family vacations there after it was built (the summer of 1950, when I was three years old). We took lots of pictures, ate lunch at the cottage, and took a ride to Moomerts for ice cream. It was just like when I was a kid, only in very slow motion. It was a great trip with lots of driving, but I got to take another trip down memory lane. Thanks Mom, Aunt Didge and Aunt Neat.
I’m thinking quite seriously about renting the cottage out for the school year. We won’t be using it much during September and October, and we’ll be gone from November through the end of March. If I could find the right family with no pets, non-smokers, and willing to live there for nine months with a for sale sign on the lawn, while they decide where they want to buy, I’ll probably go ahead with it. If not, that’s OK too. I know it’s a lot of conditions, but maybe…….
I attended a hospital board meeting today. I’ll attend two more and my tenure will end. I’ll leave with mixed emotions. It’s been a great experience for me and, hopefully, I’ve helped make a difference in how the hospital operates. But it’s time for me to go. I feel comfortable turning the reins over to very qualified people. If they decide to change everything back to the way it was done “before Jack”, I just ask that they not tell me. I want to think I have some kind of legacy.
Just (Still Limping A Little, But Getting Better By The Day) Jack