Saturday, February 20, 2016

My parents

My parents were different in all the big things and many of the small ones.

Dad, for instance, was conscientious about punctuality. Mealtimes and bedtimes were as fixed as the stars. His clothing and other belongings were laid out the night before in preparation for going to work. I am sure that if he were ordered to attend his own hanging, he would make sure to be on time. Once, when I had promised to take him to the hospital for surgery, I had a flat tire and was 20 minutes late. When I got to his house, a taxi was turning into the driveway.

Time was a flexible concept to mother. She did what she was doing until she was finished doing it without ever stopping to look at the clock. If she got up in the morning and discovered there were no clean stockings in the drawer, she washed out a pair and read the newspaper until they were dry. Or made a phone call. Or went into the garden to pick a few roses.

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