Sunday, February 13, 2022

Turn around.


     It was 6 a.m., still dark, when my brother and I set out to the Wonderland Creek Greenway Trail, just beyond our parents' town home in Boulder, Colorado. We spoke of the practical and emotional difficulties of closing down the place where our folks have lived for 35 years, and moving them to Chicago. We paused to admire ducks on a pond, the sky slowly brightening, and went about a mile and a half when we decided we'd better turn around and get back at our task.
     The "VEHICLE CROSSING" sign was illuminated by the first morning rays. It practically glowed an I briefly considered taking a photo of it for future use. But "VEHICLE CROSSING" is not a particularly enigmatic sign, not like "CAUTION" or "GO SLOW." It didn't seem something that could prove useful to me here, not worth fishing my phone out of my back pocket and bringing it to my eye.
     But some subsystem in my brain must have been working, considering what the sun bouncing off the sign meant, that faint pink cast to the clouds. I stopped and looked behind us.
     "Hey Sam," I said. "Turn around."


  1. Reminds me of the "SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY" sign on Fair Park Drive in front of Paul Avellone's house. As a child, I had genuine, innocent, wonderment.

  2. Best of luck assisting in your parents’ move. It’s a difficult task that many, perhaps most of us will have to contend with at some point. I did it with my mother three times, although there was less “stuff” each time, so that made a difference. And never to a different state. Welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Steinberg!

  3. Best of luck in the relocation of your parents. I imagine the pride they must feel in having such an observant, curious, articulate son. And no doubt his brother as well.

    My father lived with us for 17 years after my mom passed. Such a gift for our family, especially our children.

  4. I used to fly to Indianapolis to teach a class, and returning my rental car always passed under a sign that seemed ominous: TERMINAL PARKING.


  5. Almost twenty years ago, the same week that Gulf War II started, my wife and I spent a couple of weeks cleaning out my parents' Florida condo. We spent days packing boxes, sorting household goods, and donating a lot of stuff to charities, churches, and recycling outfits. We also took TV news breaks, a beach break, and a lot of pool breaks. I still have the front page that screamed out one huge red capital letters.

    After my wife flew home, it was time for me to back up the truck, load it up, and hit the road. Shlepping up to Ohio consumed another 2 1/2 days, and killed any remaining notions about the romance of long-haul trucking. All the bills and receipts from our experience went into a file folder labeled "Operation Mothertrucker."

  6. Luckily I did not ha ve to move my mother out of her condo. She became ill and we started to look for a place. The day we took her to the hospital was the last time day she lived in her home. We had some hope she would recover as she had no underlying health problems. Two months later she passed away. She was 89. I thing her body just fell apart. She was still driving until about a month before she fell ill.

  7. Yes, closing down after 35 years is not easy. Glad you have your brother there to help.

  8. It takes so little for our brains to connect to the beauty of nature.


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