Monday, March 9, 2009

Snowbound and the Six Hundred

My daughter-in-law asked me how I feel about being a Grandfather-to-be. I am not sure, uneasily. I had not thought about the prospect in that way exactly. Of course, I am thrilled, excited, joyful, fearful, cautious, and even saddened in a way. But I could not verbalize these feelings. I am saddened because a grandmom and a grandpa won't be here to meet their first grandchild.

That same weekend, 10 inches of snow hit Richmond, Virginia. It virtually closed down the town. This amount of snow there was very unusual. See the photo taken out my son's door.

The Confederates took it all in stride though. Since the neighborhood streets weren't getting plowed anyway, all the kids got their sleds and saucers out and since the street is quite hilly, formed quite a nice sledding run down the road. The adults came out as well and they soon were helping the kids build a more elaborate run out of a steep driveway onto a banked, snowpacked sled run that gave the kids some extra speed down the hill.

Then the neighbors brought out a portable firepit, set it down in the road next to the run, and surrounded it with lawn chairs. We didn't stay but I'll bet something good was cooking before long and there was hot chocolate and a Bud or two enjoyed as the kids sped down the hill/road. These folks know how to have a good time. Just don't mention the war.

During that same weekend I found myself in a sandwich shop with my 35 yr old son, Dave. Flashback: I recalled a similar scene just 4 or 5 years earlier in a very similar setting. My father and I would have Saturday lunch on many a weekend in Edison before he passed away. The routine was always the same.

Dad and I used to go to a pizza shop on a Saturday at about 11:00 in the morning often arriving before it opened. He liked to eat early. In fact, he liked to do everything early. I recall that once he showed up at 10 a.m. for an 1 p.m. barbeque at my house. We were still in pee jays, hadn't even started to clean up the house for the festivities.

Well, back to our pizza lunches, we would invariably be the first people at the shop. We'd saunter in to order a couple of slices and some sodas. I always hated the way my father spoke to the shopkeepers. His food order always sounded like a demand and even somewhat accusatory. "Are these real mashed potatoes?" he always asked the waitress in the diner.

It occurs to me that I have become him at least to some extent. Both Meredith and Kristine -- not to mention Rita -- have said I speak rudely to the restaurant help. When they point it out, I see they are right. I am turning into Dad in some strange ways. And I don't even mean to be that way.

Your Assignment Today: Compare and Contrast

Fortune 500 Company Town Hall
My Translation of an actual Town Hall I Heard on the Net

We must move forward now,
Even knowing what's facing us.
Our stock is worth less than 10% of what is was a year ago
We owe the government billions in loans
But we still and always will owe our best effort to our customers and to our families and to ourselves.

We will face challenges at every turn,but we will do our utmost to meet each one.
We will all be proud of that.
It's true that not all of us will make it to the other side of this journey,
but each of us will know we gave our best
when our customers and company needed us the most.

Charge of the Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.


  1. When I think about being a mom, I too, have those same feelings [thrilled, excited, joyful, fearful, cautious, and even saddened in a way... Saddened because a grandmom and a grandpa won't be here to meet their first grandchild]. I look forward to having special moments with my child similar to those I had with my parents.

    As always, thanks for sharing!

  2. Bob, you almost made me cry...I remember sharing some of those pizza lunches with your Dad, too. I was happy to spend some time with him when I could, and working close by afforded that. Then you me laugh - I can still hear him asking accusingly about the mashed potatoes, or that his chipped beef on toast was always cold! (I don't know how he could eat the stuff!!)

    So anyway - I'm sure you'll be a wonderful grandfather. And best of luck to you, Stacey & Dave!!!!

  3. Bob, thanks for sharing your thoughts on becoming a grandfather. I have some of the same feelings, on becoming a grandmother. I too, wish Kay and Nick could be here, to experience the joy of the blessed event. However, I think little Baby B will have two wonderful guardian angels, to watch over her.

    You will be a wonderful grandfather!


  4. My Dad was always early, too. At one point, I started giving him a time that was an hour past the point I wanted him to arrive!

    Thanks for sharing.