An odd combination of circumstances led to the trip. I flew a turboprop out to New Mexico, dropped the owner’s family off, and was headed home. Due to distance and time, an overnight stop was necessary.
It made sense to overnight in West Texas with Dad. Since Mom passed, he had done well. In his 90s, he walked daily, kept his house up, and was quite independent.
Never a fan of flying, he had ridden with me a few times over the past 50 years. I called, suggested he pack a bag and come home with me.
“I believe I will”.
Thus began a few halcyon weeks. Two old guys getting up early, making coffee, sitting, talking….and then he would say “we need to fix…” and off we would go, making repairs to various items around the house and hangar. Laughing memories of some great times decades ago, discussion of exactly how we would fix “X”, and he would shake his head.
“Sixty year olds. You can’t tell ’em anything”.
Were it not for him, I would not have nearly the hand skills I do, nor the appreciation for good work with tools. The laughter in his eyes as we would “discuss” methods and materials was palpable.
My taste in coffee didn’t match his, any more than my taste in recreational activity. (Mine is planes, his is fishing). An older white coffee pot was put into service, and I would make my coffee, he would make his. It was a pleasure each morning to carry the pot over, fill his cup, and then sit with him as the sun came up. Memories of sitting with his father watching the sun come up over the New Mexico countryside would flood my mind.
The pleasurable weeks passed quickly. One day he told me he was ready to go home, so we loaded the plane, and I flew him back to the desolate plains. Many times each week I talk to him, and conversation is much easier than it’s ever been. Eventually, the old white coffee pot was put back in the cabinet.
Each morning, when I make my coffee….I miss the old white coffee pot.