Sunday, December 02, 2007

Talking to the Grands

I just got done talking with Grams and Gramps. Grandma and I talked about school, and Christmas, and, oh, things. I'm excited that she and Grandpa, my parents, my sister and brother and sister-in-law will all get to see each other over Christmas. Yippeee! I told Grams that sometimes it's easiest to get stuff down over school breaks, because everything's quiet and there's fewer distractions. She said it was the same way at her work after hours. The phone might ring, but not nearly as often as during the day. There wasn't anyone else around, so you didn't get into conversations. She could get a lot done in those hours.

Grandpa and I talked about the trucking business. I'd never thought to ask him how he became a truck driver. He said that after he was in the service, he tried indoor jobs but he didn't like dealing with paperwork. It might take days for someone to track down an all-important sheet of paper because there was so much stuff to go through! He had driven hot-shots around when he was in uniform, so he decided to try something similar, but as a civilian. He took a driving test with a local trucking company. The guy giving the test just cautioned Grandpa to watch out for the top of the truck (possibly because there were some places it was unsafe to drive these tall vehicles). Gramps landed the job, and stayed with this very same company for forty years and at least two buyouts!

It's so fun to talk to Grandma and Grandpa! They've seen so many different places, and changes over the years. It's really cool to hear about their lives, the people they knew growing up, and how they made decisions.

It's easy for me to lose sight of the fact that history was once the present. I tend to see history as time fixed in formalin: matter you can take a slice of and study under the microscope. But it's not that at all! When Gramps got out of the service, when Grams and Gramps decided to get married, when Dad and Aunt Debbie came along -- those events were lived out in living color.

It also shows me why free will is such an intriguing concept. While I, from my position in time, see all those events as fixed and inevitable, at the time they were tenuous and unpredetermined.

So at this point in the present, I have the choice to examine the past, and let it guide my choices for the future. I'm glad Grandma, Grandpa, and I can share this time.