My Father-in Law Paul was fun to have around. I truly miss him. He and my Mother-in-Law were married over 55 years..... in spite of the story I am about to tell you.
It was a warm spring day. One of the first of the year for this Vermont mountain town so everything was a buzz. Cyclist out for a spin, birds and frogs singing up a storm, you could almost see the leaves pop from the trees, and people out for walks.
"Mother", as he affectionately called her, needed to go to town for groceries. She never had a drivers license so to get to the store required fitting it into other peoples schedules. Paul happened to be home that day, so they loaded the car with Gramma (who had just broken her arm and was living with them) into the front seat of the car and started for town.
Now it took awhile for "Mother" to find a spot in the back seat to sit. Paul had worked construction for many years and did not own a utility truck so he had turned his olive green Dodge Coronet into a "workshop on wheels". The back seat was almost level with work jackets, power tools, tool boxes and the sorts. After a minute Mother had a small place secured and they were heading off the mountain for the store.
About a half mile from home they met my wife and her sister heading in the other direction in another vehicle. Mother needed to talk to them so she yelled "Paul STOP!" and he did... but not after they had past each other by about 50 yards. She quickly got out of the car and walked up the road before her daughters could back up and started to talk.
Early in the conversation she realized she could hear the school bus coming up the hill. When she looked in the direction the bus was coming from and noticed that in her haste she had left the car door wide open. So as to not be a danger for the bus she walked back to her car, closed the door, then crossed back to the girls.
Now I am never sure what those women can find to talk about but I do know that their conversation will usually last awhile and this one was no exception. Now having finished with business they exchanged parting remarks, Mother stood, and the Girls took off up the hill and out of sight. When Mother turned around to go back to her car she realized that the car was no longer there. You see Paul, having heard the car door close, assumed Mother had gotten back into the car so he had started for town again.
Now Mother was sure he would discover she was not there, so instead of walking the half mile back home, she decided to walk towards town.
I am not sure what was the bigger shock for Paul, who as he turned into the store parking lot some seven miles from home, said to Gramma "Mother must have fallen asleep.... it's pretty quite back there". The shock of not being able to find her when he opened the back door and started moving around tools and work clothes.... or the warm greeting he got when he walked through the house door having returned from town.
As for Mother... she walked a mile and a half towards town before giving up on her husband and phoning the girls to come get her and bring her home where she had a fair amount of time to "prepare his pipe and slippers".