An Elderly Couple in a Customized Van Chases Away Sunday’s Blues

Sunday afternoons can often be times of melancholy. I’m not sure why, but I’m pretty sure it goes back to my days as a schoolboy, thinking that no matter what I did, having to go to school was only hours away. Not that I hated school, it was just that I knew that night the homework I hadn’t done would have to be dealt with, and the family would all be curled up by the fire watching Gentle Ben and I’d have to be studying.

Today I had more of those old Sunday blues, compounded by thinking about the kids moving out and my office moving in. So we set out with my granddaughter Sofie to visit a playground by the Connecticut river in Turners Falls. Playgrounds always cheer me up, even with this infernal boot on my foot that makes walking a chore. The sun was shining and Sofie loved the seesaw and the slide.

Later on we stopped for our first-of-the-season creemee cone. There we saw an elderly couple, the man with a tie and jacket, the woman wearing a prim stolid dress. I thought about how rare that is in our generation, wearing a tie. There’s a guy on my street who wears a jacket and tie every day to work–he stands out like a sore thumb when he walks down the street, everything thinking he must have just come home from a funeral. Ties are that rare.

Anyway the old couple finished their creemees and disappeared out back. Later we saw them leaving in a customized van, complete with side curtains and an elevated roof. Granny was at the wheel, and we both had to laugh, this wasn’t the vehicle we thought they’d drive away in. Sunday in Turners and the clouds had lifted.

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