Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life's A Gas

The other morning after my mother had gone on her walk and while I was still in my jammies catching up on my Facebook buddies, I heard a truck drive up to the ranch house. I looked out my bedroom window and panicked. It was an Airgas truck with large, metal cylinders in the back used for welding. My father, who’s been suffering from a memory loss, can’t be entrusted to convey accurate information. So, fast as a jackrabbit, I stripped off my pajama bottoms and whipped on a pair of jeans, yanked on a jacket and stuffed my feet in the nearest pair of shoes.

I walked out on the porch to meet the country fella headed towards me. How could I tell he was a country boy? It could’ve been the bowlegged swagger or the dusty, worn boots. But mostly, it was the scruffy, long mustache with ends that hung down low past the corners of his mouth, nearly to his chin.

The Airgas man smiled a toothy grin and said, “Boy, am I glad I found this place!” I looked again at the truck unsure why he was here. “Uh...could you excuse me for just a minute?” I walked inside the house and asked Dad if he’d called the Airgas company. Rising from his chair, Dad looked outside and said, “I don’t remember calling them, but perhaps I did.” I returned to the front porch and asked Mr. Airgas if he was perhaps at the wrong location. “This is the Murray place, isn’t it?” “Yep, you’re in the right place. Why are you here?” He explained he was picking up some used cylinders, so I motioned him to drive around back to the barn.

Dad was already at the barn, opening up the large sliding door as Mr. Airgas backed up his truck. As I entered the barn, I saw the two old cylinders to be picked up. My cell phone rang and it was my mother. “That truck is here to pick up two metal cylinders in the barn.” “Yes, I know,” I replied, “He’s loading them up now. Did you call them?” She did, but had forgotten to tell us. Dad was relieved. With his memory fading, I’m sure he gets worried and frustrated by the details he can’t recall. I guess between the three of us, we can figure it all out around here.

As he rolled the heavy metal cylinders around to the truck lift, the country boy began telling us how he drove his Harley out here on our county road sometimes. “Oh, so you’re the one who’s been messin’ up our peace and quiet.” I said, jokingly. Mr. Airgas, who really was full of it, went on to tell us how nice it is to take somebody on a ride out here in the country. Then, he asked if I was the Murray’s daughter, and I said I was. “Well, I didn’t know there were any single gals out here!! Maybe you and I can go for a ride sometime.” “No thanks,” I replied. “I sold my Harley a few years ago and have had my fill of motorcycles.” “Well, lemme know if you change your mind,” he said. “I’ll have my Harley paid off in three months. My car is paid for, and my house is all paid off.” TMI…too much information! At least he didn’t ask me to marry him.

I walked over to the barn door and made like I was going to slide it shut. Mr. Airgas seemed to get the drift, and after strapping the cylinders down, he finished up the paperwork and pulled his truck out of the way of the door. I slid the barn door shut, locked it, and then hooked arms with my father as we walked back to the house. I just had to shake my head and laugh. You just never know what unusual events await you out here in the country, especially these days.

So, how many Murrays does it take to work with a service man? I dunno. I forgot.

Make a Happy Memory, Y’all, Before You Forget!!

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