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Time

We may have had a breakthrough in honoring a basic rule of the universe.

On Easter Sunday, I loaded up Grandchildren One through Three to see if the Ranger would start.

It was a perfect day, unlike many Easter Sundays when I can remember the Easter Bunny trudging along in snow up to his little giblets.

But on this Sunday, the temperature was over seventy degrees, with sunshine and no wind. It seemed like a perfect day for an outing.

One and Two were in the pickup, but Three was lagging a bit.

One opened the window and yelled, “Move it! We’re on Papa time.”

Be still my heart.

Three didn’t move noticeably faster, but it’s the thought that counts.

I’ve never understood why the whole world fails to realize that they’re all moving about one third as fast as they should. Why don’t you want me to be happy? Just pick up the pace, Sparky.

To my knowledge, I’ve never used the phrase, “Papa Time,” but I’m beginning to suspect that it may have been used behind my back.

It makes me wonder about other quirks people may have noticed about me. Just a week ago, we had dinner with our youngest daughter and her husband. We’d gone into the Twin Cities on an errand and took the opportunity to get some food that not always available in our neck of the woods. We ordered pizza from a swanky place that uses out of the ordinary ingredients. It was good, but by the time we’d settled down and started to eat, the pizza wasn’t hot...just sort of room temperature. My daughter looked at me and said, ‘I’m sorry. I know you like your food hot.”

Once again, to my knowledge, I’ve never said, “Dammit, I like hot foods hot and cold foods cold.” Somehow, though, people close to me have gotten that impression.

Maybe it’s because at holiday dinners when the food is on the table but the whole crowd of people is standing around like a flock of turkeys in a rainstorm, I can’t help but comment.

I admit I have a stronger sense of time than many people. I don’t own a watch, but I can almost always guess the time within a few minutes. One of my daughter’s best memories was of a family trip to the Black Hills. When we moved from Central to Mountain Time, I was badly discombobulated. By the next morning, my internal clock had reset itself, but the experience was unpleasant.

Sometimes I share the unpleasantness. A couple decades ago, I was on a statewide church committee. It was a large group, about thirty people in the room, most of them pastors, but a few lay people, too. The atmosphere was a little relaxed. The chairperson would say things like, “Let’s take a ten-minute break. Try and be back in 15 minutes.”

I’d be back in my chair at the appointed time, quietly fuming, as the rest of the herd trickled in.

About midway through the second day, I said, “Excuse me. I know you’re all very busy people, doing important work, but I thought you would like to know that, thanks to you, I’m two hours closer to dead with nothing to show for it and it’s all your fault.”

There was a moment of stunned silence and then someone said, “So, Brent, tell us how you really feel.”

That broke the ice and the room filled with laughter.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I was embarrassed. In my defense, I believe the schedule tightened up considerably after that. So, a win.

Still, even twenty years later, I blush a little thinking about that outburst, and I’m sorry, yet again, that I made the mistake of saying what I was thinking.

But not that sorry.

Copyright 2021 Brent Olson