My truck was at the mechanic, which was about a mile from the train station, not a bad walk at all. It was pouring, and I had foolishly turned down a ride from a friend on the train, thinking my rain jacket and hat would be enough. Man, was I wrong. As I stepped from the train, the heavens opened and I made a mad dash for the shelter. My ride was gone. Plan B was not looking too exciting unless I wanted to swim. As luck would have it, a Port Jervis cab pulled up, and I was able to get in for a ride.
I hate cabs; I hate the unnecessary small talk, climbing into the back seat, not being in control, I guess. I have something in common with these drivers: I drove a yellow cab in Manhattan in my younger years, so I know it from both seats in the cab. As we drove he received a call on his radio, and I could tell from the voice it was a child. “Grandpa, when are you coming home?” said the youngster. “Right after I drop this customer off, Jeremy; see you soon,” said the driver.
“Grandpa, when are you coming home?” said the youngster. “Right after I drop this customer off, Jeremy; see you soon,” said the driver.
Thus the silence was broken. We spoke of his grandchildren and mine, and now the short ride seemed not long enough. I wished him well as I exited the car. On the drive home I was still smiling, thinking of my own grandchildren and how lucky I was to be called “Grandpa” or “Papa Dukes,” depending on the family. My guys are infrequent visitors. Two are living in Maryland, and one is in Seattle. When they do visit, it’s like Christmas, for me at least. You see, in our house I am the big kid. I click my heels together when they say they are coming, and there is a spring in my step for weeks before and after the visit.
Don’t get me wrong: I love it when the older kids that make up our blended family visit, but now that they are bringing grandchildren it’s a whole new life experience. Yes, I’m the one who plans which toys will be brought up from the basement or in from the barn. I’m the one who waits for them with bated breath. I am sure my wife is excited, but no one can be excited as I, at least in my mind.
Granted, I need to give credit to the parents and Grandma who do most of the hard work, dealing with the diapers, feeding time, struggling with them to get dressed or take a bath. During the necessary time out when the brother pushes the sister, tears are flowing to be sure. All is smiles again once they are back on Grandpa’s lap reading a favorite book. I admit to being a bad influence on them: I am responsible for teaching them that the word for banana is “apple” and vice versa. I am also the one who starts the burping contest. Yes, I am the one who taught my grandson what a “wet willie” was, which he thought was gross till he did it to his mother. Guilty, guilty, guilty as charged—but enjoying all and will do it again.
Yes, I am the one who taught my grandson what a “wet willie” was, which he thought was gross till he did it to his mother. Guilty, guilty, guilty as charged—but enjoying all and will do it again.
If you thought this article was going to be about the mess New Jersey Transit will be over the next three months as they install the long overdue Positive Train Control, you were wrong. If you were thinking about the extended delays to a three-hour commute for us Port Jervis rail riders, wrong again. If you thought “Grandpa’s Ride” couldn’t get any worse, I say, “Who cares?” I am busy planning for my next visit with the munchkins in my life, when it actually will be Christmas. Whoohoo.