I adore stories. I adore that my Pa is somewhat of a Matthew Cuthbert and that he tells stories. We took a smallish road trip, he and I, yesterday night – we took it to get me here, to his and my Grammy’s house. Does that count as a road trip? Are there rules somewhere that say road trips don’t count unless they are longer than an hour and are not to a known or frequently visited destination? If those rules exist, we as a society are really stupid. Actually, we as a society are really stupid regardless of our rules on the technical requirements of road trips. That, however, is not today’s rant. Today is not a day for rants at all, I’ve found that ranting takes a ridiculous amount of energy that I have decided would often be better spent on other things – so, I’m spending it on other things.
So, we were on this not-technically-road-trip in his pick up truck. Pa has always, always (and by always, I mean as long as I can remember) had a pick up truck. A company truck that he would occasionally let me drive in spite of the fact that if I ruined it, he was in some sort of trouble. Always, I had to literally climb into the front seat. Even now that I am a towering 5’6″, it takes a fair amount of effort to get into that front seat. (To all of you who think I’m delusional about my height – towering was a joke.) I love that I have to heft myself into that seat. And I love that there is room enough for me to curl up in that seat without crossing the middle barrier that is and always has been covered by a white towel to save it from mud and cow manure. I love that as I am curled up in that seat, I feel like I can take in everything because the truck sits high enough that you feel nearly on top of the world. And I love that I can be on top of the world taking everything in and still be the little girl that has to climb to get into the front seat and can fit her awkward legs beside her and feels safe and loved in the simple, quiet, pondering presence of her Pa who hums or whistles and drums on the steering wheel as we drift along, unobtrusively on top of the world.
We talk now and then – filling, for a short while, the humming quiet. I wish, most of the time, that I had more stories to tell. My words are generally few because the only stories that come to mind are silly ones that have nothing to do with anything and aren’t really worth the breath. He, on the other hand, tells stories about how his friend Popsicle taught him how to parallel park by drawing it in the sidewalk. How the guy that took his driver’s test before him backed right into a trashcan and the test administrator told the guy just to pull back into the parking space and come back next week. About the job he had in highschool and how he would meet his quota two hours early and go home, but still get paid for the whole four hours because his night guard friend would clock out at 8 for him. Or how he once took a history test and copied off of the smart girl in front of him until he got down to the last few questions, at which point he guessed at the answers because he didn’t want to raise any suspicion and how she got a 98 and he got 100. He tells them well, too – inserting just the right amount of details at just the right times and not really making anything sound more important than it really is. He lets the story speak for itself instead of trying to make it grand with the way he tells it – an art so very many have forgotten and so very few have learned.
I admire that. Adore it. And I treasure our not-technically-road-trips with their quiet and their simple and their stories.