Monday, November 2, 2015

Time Enough

I grew up in a loving home with what were essentially two sets of parents - my mom and dad, and my maternal grandparents - until I was in the fourth grade and Mom and Dad built a new home for us in the late 60s.  My grandfather, affectionately known simply as Gramps to my sister and me, was my first hero, and to this day remains as the one person I'd most like to be like if I ever grow up.

I learned many things from Gramps.  Calligraphy.  Music.  Cleverness.  I learned, such as the time when I got a spanking with his belt for using scissors on a Sunday, that the Lord's Commandments were to be taken seriously.  (That "Keep holy the Lord's Day" thing meant no servile work in our house.)  I learned that St. Anthony was the go to guy when things were lost.  (Gramps would sometimes hide something he knew I was going to be looking for, and then tell me to pray to St. Anthony.  Lo, and behold, if after saying a prayer the thing for which I had been looking didn't show up right in a spot I knew I'd already checked.  Another miracle!)  But if there was one thing I learned from Gramps above all else, it was that being late for anything was unforgivable!

He used to say frequently, "It's better to be an hour early than a minute late."  I thought it was an original saying of his until I did a bit of research before starting to write this entry only to find that it was The Bard himself in "The Merry Wives of Windsor," who wrote, "...better three hours too soon than a minute too late."  I grew up knowing that being late was simply something I'd better not ever be.  To this day I have a very low tolerance for persons who are known for being late to everything and who show up just expecting their lateness to be okay.  It isn't.  It says, "I'm better than you.  I expect you just to wait patiently until I decide to bless you with my presence."  It's rude.  It's inconsiderate.  I deserve and expect better than to be kept waiting for anybody.  But I digress...

It was when I was resetting the clock on the dashboard of the scooter this morning that got me to thinking about time - its passage, its fleeting quickness when one is doing something pleasurable, its crawling slowly when one is about doing things that aren't fun in the least.  Its being considered an illusion by more than one philosopher.  Its being constant and continuous except at the speed of light at which point Einstein theorized that it is neither.  Its being the one thing that on my deathbed I will painfully regret having come to the end of that portion of it that was allotted to me.  For this last reason, I detest when my time is wasted in pursuits that are not to my liking or in waiting for others who haven't the decency to be on time.

As I finished resetting the time on the digital display and took off, time was on my mind and I knew my thoughts about it would somehow end up here.  That's why I rode downtown first - to get this picture which I knew would well accompany anything I might crank out to share with you.

I realized as I thought about it that I enjoy getting around the city and surrounding municipalities much faster on the scooter than in a car.  With the twist and go transmission I'm away from a stop like a bullet compared to the cars that take a good while longer to lumber along and catch up with me, and I can usually sneak through even the shortest of yellows at traffic lights with a nimble twist of the wrist on the throttle.  I can zip around obstacles for which other vehicles have to wait and I can get to most places at the last minute (but still on time) and create a parking space just about anywhere.  To someone as obsessed with being on time as I am, the scooter is the only way to fly, perhaps short of literally flying itself.

Though he never owned a car, I think that Gramps might have liked having a scooter.  I wish he'd had one.  I might've gotten more time to spend with him in the time he might have saved in getting from one place to another - on time or obnoxiously early, of course.

Although it might not still be up there when you're reading this, I created this picture to serve as the blog header for a while.  Behind me is my grandparents' former home where we lived with them till I was 10, and where I learned the importance of being on time.

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