I've written about our travels but not about my number one travel partner, Ed. I mean, really, if you are going to live butt to butt in an impossibly tiny van with another person doesn't that person deserve his very own page? Damn right! So, as best I can, here is the Ed we know and love...
|The man, Mr. Ed!|
Picking on Ed is out of the question! He has a loyal defender. “Gees, mom, lighten up!” Brad blurted out, "You’re too hard on Ed.” Oops! I can be pretty persnickety at times, at least enough for my kid to chide me if he feels I’m being too hard on Ed. Brad’s right, of course, Ed’s a jewel! This whole incident reminds me of Poochie, a dog I had as a kid. If my mom tried to swat my bottom he would lurch at her snarling. Not that Brad lurched at me snarling, but he did make a point.
|Ed, Fran & Brad|
When Ed and I married Brad was a teenager, with all the quirks and annoyances that come with that age. Ed met the kid challenge with the tolerance of a saint. Brad, yelling across the garden, “Hey Ed, can I borrow the car.” Ed, “Sure, here’s the key.” Followed by, “Got a couple extra dollars?” Ed, “Yep!” Light hearted easy interactions like this paved the way for a lasting friendship and deep loyalty.
Ed’s that guy you see race walking through Langley with poles a swingin’ and hips a swayin’! Staying physically fit drives him. He sets goals and records statistics. He says, with conviction, “Old age is for training.” Yoga, weights, biking and walking are the activities of choice these days.
Mental acuity is also a driving force. Growing up in a small North Dakota railroad town, good grades were the only way he could figure out how to make his strict dad proud, and they pleased his mom too. As an only child for the first 12 years of his life, he learned to dodge his dad by playing 50 cent golf in the summer and sticking his nose into books in the winter. Hanging out with the railroad workers as a kid, in a small town, stuck with him too. He's a townie to this day.
|Ed the townie with Sharen & Simon|
Books became Ed’s friends early on, "they're my tools" he says. "I underline, mark them up.” For more years than I’ve know Ed, he’s been copying quotes from books he reads into a journal. Our library shelves are bent with volumes and volumes of leather bound quote books.
Easy Ed is a nickname for a very good reason. Staying calm and thoughtful when others are near hysteria, is his trademark. I've managed to bring him to the brink on a couple of occasions when I've been particularly beastly, but mostly he can skirt my outbursts. Naturally, he isn’t a model of perfection. He can be revoltingly stubborn causing others to be hugely frustrated. His most irritating times show up when he's especially right! Deliberately right! Annoyingly right!
|Ed the student|
The three of us (now four with Brad’s sweet wife, Yessi), are a close-knit family. We play and work lightheartedly together. Sometimes we grumble or yell, but more often we laugh and joke. We share feelings of affection and love that can be interestingly tangled up with disappointment and fury. Yep, it’s the thick and thin of family, but always Ed’s right there, supporting us and caring for us, no matter what’s going on. He loves family! This good humored man is a gentle and learned soul. Not in the least religious but he might be the most ethical person I know.
|Ed with family and friends|
At the end of a long tiring day, sitting down to rest, Benton comes storming into the house wet and muddy, shaking with delight, throwing himself into Ed’s lap with his favorite slimy toy, saying with his enthusiasm, “Let’s play! Let’s play!” Yep, we all love Ed.
|Buddies, Benton & Ed|