The Union Recorder

January 18, 2014

ROWLAND: Not exactly an Oscar, but husband of the year ain’t too shabby

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Well, by my calculation, it has been nearly four weeks since Mama and I last saw our grandson. In case you didn’t know, my youngest son and his wife made us grandparents back around the middle of November. They were all home for Christmas, and the little guy just captured the hearts of everyone.

You should also know that he lives in Virginia … an 8 1/2 hour trip from here no matter your route or how fast you drive. That being said, Trudy and I made a pact that we would try to figure out how to get to Virginia at least every other month.

Of course, she can go anytime she wants and stay for as long as she wants. She’s retired. I, on the other hand, have to work in order to fund our trips. A labor of love to say the least.

So we squirreled away enough money for two plane tickets, and we have a whirlwind trip planned in a few weeks to see the new love of our life. We Skype with him regularly, but he is just so cute that video chat doesn’t do him justice.

We just want to get our hands on him. After all, at 9 weeks old, he can’t play catch or ride on my shoulders or swing in the park. Did I mention he is so cute?

My oldest son and daughter-in-law have birthdays on back-to-back days. In fact, Meghan’s was yesterday, and Steven’s is today. Honestly, I hope Mama remembered to send them a card with some money because that’s just not the kind of thing a dad remembers.

I will remember, however, to call them both on their respective days. They are in Florida - not nearly so far away. I’m beginning to understand why it upset my mother so much when I left home. I miss having them all close enough to hang out.

Be that as it may, I am proud of them all and the niche each one has carved in life. Makes a dad proud when he realizes his sons have become responsible adults. Reminds me, too, that I am getting older - as if I needed the reminder given the fact that I am just now recovering from two weeks of being down in the back.

Getting old stinks!

I spend my weeks working a job in Atlanta, the Big City. It’s really pretty cool, but it does require that we have a city living arrangement and a country living arrangement. I spend the weeks in Atlanta and go home on the weekends.

Mama pretty much comes and goes as she pleases. You can do that when you are retired. I was retired once, but in a moment of weakness or after a night of heavy drinking, I can’t remember which, I went back to work.

So, my Thursday night ritual is to visit a local pub for Beer of the Month Night. If Mama is in town, we make it a date. My good friend and Great American Pat Schofill usually tags along. He and Mona have kind of the same arrangement, and when she is in town on Thursday night, we all go together.

Now Pat and I were on our own this week, so we are sitting at the bar having a beer of the month, which, by the way, comes with a nifty beer glass that you can take with you. I have quite an extensive collection. We joke about how the boys will be rummaging through boxes in my shop some day after I’m gone and one of them will say, “Hey here’s Dad’s beer glass collection!”

I figure they will fight over who gets the beer glasses, which serves them right for running off and leaving me!

Where was I? Oh, so Pat and I are sitting at the bar when I take out my phone and show him the most recent picture that Trudy has texted me of my Little Buddy.

“Pat, look at this,” I say with a grin that only a fellow grandpa can read.

“Why don’t you just take off tomorrow after work, drive five or six hours, spend the night, and you will have him in your arms by lunch,” Pat responds as if I couldn’t have figured that one out on my own. “After all, Monday is a holiday.”

“Let me text Trudy,” which I do as the bartender arrives with beer of the month number one.

“Whatcha think about leaving for VA tomorrow? … Develop (dang autocorrect … meant to type drive) about 5 or 6 hours … and the rest of the way Sat. Drive home Monday.”

Pat and I anxiously await a response.

“I’m in,” is her immediate reply. “Call them to see if it’s OK,” I text back.

Five minutes later she calls to say it’s all arranged. I get Husband of The Year. Being an “I cannot tell a lie George Washington type,” I say, “It was Pat’s idea.”  He gets Friend of the Year.

So, by the time you read this column, I will be well on my way to Grandpa Heaven. It’s not exactly an Oscar, but I have Grandpa of The Year in my sights!