Sunday, May 15, 2011
The Adventures of Jenny and Jody…..and Edna
“Edna is waiting outside!” she quipped as she pulled my suitcase toward the door.
I was there to take part in her latest adventure. The first stop was New Orleans, where she attended nursing school. Oh how I loved the visits to The Big Easy and our walks through the French Quarter, the trolley rides, the gumbo, crab boils, gator cruises, and a fishing drip in the bayou. I must confess that I miss those drive-up daiquiris. Where else can you pull in and order a fully loaded, frosty cold beverage to go?
Then came Hotlanta, home of Margaret Mitchell and Scarlett O’ Hara. Hot it was, as we toured the plantations, took in a few ballgames and meandered our way down Peachtree Street. Sweat tea and Georgia peaches provided a break from the heat.
After she married, she settled in to work as a trauma nurse and provided aid to the sickest of patients in this southern city. She worked and she worked and she worked and she bought all of those things that were supposed to fulfill the coveted American dream. The problem was that even when we keep our parts of the bargain, others in our lives do not always do the same. It is an unfortunate fact of life that people will do the darndest things and not feel a grain of remorse, as the bells of entitlement ring in their ugly heads. Because, frankly my dear, they just don’t give a damn.
She has had some hard knocks lately, this daughter of mine, but she does what we do. We curl up for a while and lick our wounds, then get up and get on with it. So she packed up her belongings and hit the road for Canton, Connecticut, the plan being to better herself and move on to bigger things. And she will.
Jenny has always been a car person. She loves the shiny chrome and that new car smell, and the feel of a well made vehicle as it cruises down the highway. Her decision to trade in the shiny silver sports car for Old Edna, a sun blotched, brown, 1993 Chrysler Lebaron, was no small sacrifice. We giggled a bit as we loaded my bags into the spacious trunk. I sunk into the surprisingly comfortable, worn leather seats and we set off down the road.
Now Old Edna isn’t pretty and she creaked and groaned a bit here and there as we wound through the beautiful New England landscape. We coasted on into Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock for a bit of bisque under the stars. We were cruising in comfort as we bopped on into the Junk Store in Canton and trolled the greenhouses and antiques stores along the way. Old Edna made us feel a little bit safer when a wrong turn took us into the heart of the Hartford hood. We sailed through block after block of gangsta territory and noone batted an eye. Old Edna does not command much in the way of attention.
We spent our last day together as we tracked back to New London. There we located the apartment building that was the first home of my parents, Jenny’s grandparents, located in a romantic little neighborhood. This was where it all started, this 55 year love affair. They don’t make’em this way anymore. It seemed appropriate that she should end up here, rebuilding her life not far from this place.
When it came time to go home, we piled into Old Edna once more, as the tears lurked just below the surface. It is not such a sad thing to leave behind a loved one, when you know in your heart that they are there for the right reasons and that the goals they seek will carry them farther in life that any automobile ever could. I so miss her and I know the next several years will be busy ones, and that her graduate studies will make it more difficult for her to come home. So we will talk on the phone and text and e-mail the details of our days, until the next time that we reunite to take up our adventures with Old Edna there to carry us, wherever we may go.