And Bob’s yer uncle
Monday June 20th 2022, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

A clerk at Trader Joe’s I hadn’t seen before. Mid-60’s, I’d guess, older than most of the ones there. Old enough to have seen a bit of life, and his “So how’s your day been” sounded more sincere than I would have expected as he held my eyes a moment. He struck me as a genuinely nice guy.

I kind of brushed it off at first and asked about his, but the wall crumbled quickly. I found myself saying I’d been at my uncle’s funeral today. (By Zoom, because we’d been exposed to covid so I wasn’t going to pass any chance of that to the flying public nor my mom.) He looked wistful. I quickly added, He was 101. He died in his daughter’s arms as she told him she loved him.

He smiled warmly. “It doesn’t get better than that.”

“At home,” I added, nodding. I told him that my uncle had been doing a research project and had finally said, Well. Someone else is going to have to get that Nobel.

At that, the clerk loved this man he’d never met and we parted warmly.

(For the record, Robert Fletcher believed that Einstein was wrong, that the speed of light was variable, and he pursued his theory and published on the subject.)

So here’s a story from the funeral:

My aunt and uncle had eight kids. Someone decided to make them hand felted placemats and apparently they warned that the colors would run if you washed them, so everybody was afraid to use them. They were beautiful, they’d clearly been a lot of work, and especially with kids they were sure they’d be ruined the first time.

So they saved them for Christmas and brought them out for the big day, with warnings to all the children on down to the youngest not to spill ANYthing on those.

Aunt Rosemary went out to the kitchen to bring in the dessert.

One of the kids–I noted they didn’t say who–whispered that they’d spilled on their placemat!

Uncle Bob’s reaction: Quick! Switch it with your mother’s!

Aunt Rosemary came back to the table demanding to know what was so funny, because they were all just totally losing it. And then she was laughing just as hard as the rest of them.

Another story:

Again dinnertime, and Aunt Rosemary found that someone had left the tap running in the kitchen and said in exasperated snark, You’re going to empty the ocean if you keep that up!

Hey! Science! Her physicist husband immediately tasked the kids with finding out: how much water comes out in X minutes?

What is the average depth of the oceans of the world? (I can just picture the Encyclopedia Britannicas being pulled off the shelf.) Etc. Okay, then, how many gallons of water would there be in all the oceans of the world?

They had to concede in the end that it could only be a rough rough estimate but they proudly presented their mother with their conclusion: to drain the oceans through that tap? It would take a  L  O  N  G    T  I  M  E.

2 Comments so far
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Sad times seem to always bring out the most touching and often silly stories.

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 06.21.22 @ 6:34 am

Great stories! He sounds like a lot of fun. A good life.

Comment by ccr in MA 06.21.22 @ 9:08 am

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