Surprise Day!

In anticipation of my annual physical check-up my physician told me to have some routine blood tests. It isn’t necessarily a surprise to have walked into Life Labs this morning, had my blood withdrawn, then walked out and driven back home in under an hour.  But you have to admit it is pretty good; and it stands for the value of living in this small town with these social conveniences so readily accessible.  We can walk to everything here, bank, baker, doctor, dentist, grocery store and hospital.  It never ceases to surprise me because it reinforces how clever we are to live here, to awaken to a sunrise over a meadow, to be free of urban traffic and to have all those amenities I mentioned.

Though I was clearly fuelled by that experience, I wasn’t as pleased about having to take my car to the dealership today to have a replacement computer module for OnStar installed.  I just hate having to part with my car.  I never trust them to handle it as carefully as I do, silly I know.  And I’m particularly irked about how they’ll install this new module.  It’s like surgery to me, a study in invasive procedure.  When I finally got to the dealership I was surprised – there’s that word again – to be greeted by someone whom I have never met with words to the effect, “We knew you were coming so we got a car ready for you“.  This was naturally followed with the usual social banter about how accommodating the chap was (particularly since I have no idea how he knew who I was when I arrived as I hadn’t even checked in with the Service Writer).  And before I could recover from that unanticipated fuss, the Senior Service Manager descended upon me and began overseeing what the Service Writer was composing for the Work Order.  I drew the Senior Service Manager aside to explain to him a quirk I had noticed with the vehicles CUE settings.  Before we engaged in that matter however we began to speak of his sons with whom he had recently spent dedicated time.  Not unexpectedly as a parent he took some pleasure in recounting information about his two sons, both of whom were adopted native indians.  This piqued my interest because of my acquaintance with the former owner of First Air (now apparently owned by the native indians). For some considerable time the Manager and I fleshed out the details surrounding our respective communications. In the end I was given a small Cadillac to drive until mine is repaired.  While the small car is peppier and more nimble than my larger, lumbering hulk, I have no misgivings about my choice of vehicle.

The next stop was my mother at her retirement residence.  Upon entering the building I encountered an elderly lady being pushed in her wheelchair by a woman my age who I assumed was the old lady’s daughter.  The daughter exclaimed aloud that I was the man who played the piano and enquired whether I intended to play today, which I said I would do about a half-hour later after I had visited with my mother.  I asked the daughter if her brother (whom on several occasions I had previously seen with the same old lady) also intended visiting today.  She corrected me and advised that she was just a friend of the family and that the brother  (so-and-so by name) was the old lady’s son.  I instantly recognized the name because it is unique. I recalled that I had met the fellow about 40 years ago when he articled for a law firm where a friend of mine was practicing at the time.  This of course explained why, on those previous occasions when the fellow and I had crossed paths, there was some inexplicable electricity between us.

Over the next hour I visited with my mother. As usual I summarized her financial affairs and assured her that all was in order. I enquired whether she wished to sit outside in the sunshine or go for a ride in her wheelchair but she declined both suggestions, preferring instead to remain in front of her television. I left my mother and proceeded downstairs to the main floor where I met the old lady and her friend again in the café.  I told them I was going to play the grand piano in the front lobby.  They decided to follow me there where we were joined by several others.  After my performance the old lady’s son appeared on the scene. Within minutes he and I completed our reunion, now armed with the scant detail to fill in the gaps.  Indeed it was almost exactly 40 years to the day since we had seen one another and the substantial interval assuaged our previous hesitancy. The chap asked me to extend greetings to our mutual friend and to two other lawyers whom we both know, which I subsequently did.

The drive home was by comparison far less illuminating, grocery shopping.