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Gliding through life

Published October 22. 2011 09:01AM

"We have to go to Aunt June and Uncle Bobby's," I tell Harry.

"Why?" Mr. Nosy asks.

Like I need a reason to go see my aunt and uncle?

But, Mr. Nosy knows me well.

I've known for months this day was coming. I put off telling Harry what I had committed myself to. That's because I didn't want to have to deal with the eye-rolling and getting "The Look." You know. The one that says "You're nuts!" and "Can you make my life any more difficult than it already is?" all rolled up into "The Look."

Aunt June and Uncle Bobby are moving. They're downsizing from a big old farmhouse and barn in Pennsville to a two-bedroom ranch in sunny Florida. I'm thrilled for them. But they simply can't take along a lifetime's worth of stuff that they've accumulated in their almost 70 years of marriage.

Aunt June and Uncle Bobby are also blessed with good memories.

They remembered me saying years ago that if they ever wanted to get rid of their metal glider, they should let me know. I'd be interested in having it.

That's because it's not just any old glider. It was my Mammy and Pappy Wernetts' glider.

No one can determine how old it is but I know it's at least 60 years old because it sat on my grandparents' front porch for as long as I can remember.

I can't count the times I spent on that glider. On our weekly Sunday visits to their home in Albrightsville, we cousins fought over who would sit on it, trying to fit as many fannies on it as we could. As we got older, my girl cousins and I sat on it and glided back and forth giggling over the silly things only preteen girls can find to giggle about. As teenagers, we lazily pushed it back and forth with our penny loafers and shared our latest crushes and high school blues with each other. I remember the first time I brought Harry to the crazy chaos of a Sunday visit at my grandparents and managed to claim the glider for a few uninterrupted moments, holding hands and praying this loud rambunctious family wouldn't send him running for the hills.

I had many moments to enjoy the soothing glider by myself. My grandparents use to baby-sit me when I was very young. I contented myself for hours rocking back and forth on that old glider, looking at picture books or taking my baby doll for a ride.

I just couldn't stand the thought of that old glider being sold at the yard sale or even worse, thrown into some scrap metal heap to be melted down to become a recycled dishwasher.

"Linda, would you want Mammy and Pappy's old porch bench, too?" Aunt June asked me on the phone.

Without blinking an eye I replied, "Yes! Absolutely! I'd love to have it!"

That old porch bench was at one time a church pew. It too was a permanent fixture on my grandparents' porch. Painted gray, many a family picture was taken with generations of Wernetts sitting on it. Hard to date, my mom says it was there as long as she can remember and knows it has to be over 80 years old.

There just wasn't any way I could let this family heirloom slip through my fingers, now could I?

So the day I had been dreading, finally arrived. H-Day. Telling Harry Day.

"Well, you see, Aunt June and Uncle Bob are moving to Florida next Thursday and they want me to come pick up a couple of things before they leave."

"Can't your mom get them when they go out to lunch?"

"Nooooo, not really. I kind of need the pick-up truck."

"Just what are you bringing home?" he asked with suspicion.

"Uh, do you remember Mammy and Pappy 'Nett's old porch glider and bench?"

And there came "The Look."

"Where are you going to put them?" he asked sarcastically.

I'm not stupid. I knew where he would have liked to put them.

"Welllllll, I haven't quite figured that out yet. But I will," I assured him.

You know how when you're a kid, you always think things are really big but then when you get older and you see the same things from your childhood, you realize they're not as big as you thought?

Not so with the glider and the pew bench. They're still big.

As we gazed at them and the back of the pick-up, I had my doubts we were going to do this in one trip. If that were the case, boy, was there going to be a lot of eye-rolling and me getting "The Look" from you-know-who.

Uncle Bobby, Harry and I somehow managed to get them both on the truck. The pew bench hung over the tailgate but everything was secured and we were ready to roll.

A few tears were shed. Mine, because of saying good-bye to Aunt June and Uncle Bobby. Harry's, because he just couldn't believe I actually thought there was room for one more thing in the garage.

On the ride home, I kind of heard a little mumbling going on from the driver's seat. "We rent a dumpster and spent weeks cleaning things out of the house and garage and now we're filling it right back up."

I was imagining Mammy and Pappy 'Netts' old pew bench sitting on my back porch (yet to be built, but hope springs eternal in Linda's world). Plans for my glider include having our friend George refinish it in Coca Cola colors complete with the logo.

You know that old phrase, gliding through life?

That's just how I envision my golden years ... gliding through life.

And now I have a glider to do it on! How cool is that?

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