Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My brother in law Bernard

Bernard (Bern) is a man of few words.   So much so that his Pastor once said "Bern, if you were any more laid back you'd be horizontal"!

However, when Bern speaks he is often very funny. (and  always wise).

Take this morning.  I had created and printed driving instructions for the folks to go from Crescent Arms to the Ringling Museum of Art.

I had included tips such as "when you pass Crossroads Methodist Church (on your right), get into the left lane in preparation for turning into Ringling".  (no time for

Brother in law John said that it was helpful, but that Bern would have to read it as they drove, and give him instructions.

"I can't do that", said Bern.  "I have my eyes closed when you are driving".

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The folks are now utterly relaxed.   Their joy and delight is to start the day by eating breakfast on a small screened-in porch which looks directly onto Crescent Beach and the Gulf of Mexico.

They are using my SUV, I have a Fiat 500 rental.  But I am the tour organiser and dictator.


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This holiday is "Gert Lush" for them and for me   (Bristolians will know what this means).


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My folks spent the afternoon at the Ringling Art Museum.   They so much enjoyed the Circus Museum and Ca d'Zan  (not enough time for the Art Museum).

They found their way there from Siesta Key using my written directions.

This was not the case on their way from the Ringling to my home, despite additional  written directions.

For reasons which I cannot explain they missed the turn from the Tamiami Trail onto Fruitville.

They realised that they were lost, and 'phoned when they were near Magnolia St (south of SMH).

I instructed a U turn, told them to go north on the Trail, to bear right at the 41/301 split, and turn right at Fruitville.

They missed Fruitville again.

Using our mobile phones I advised a right turn onto 12th St.  They missed that turn.

"OK" I said, "turn right on to  17th Street, and I'll  talk you through the entire route to my home".

That I did, but despite my best efforts they missed the only turn they needed to make - at Prudence Ave., off 17th Street. (How do you miss a right hand turn onto a clearly marked street at a traffic light?).

So once again I instructed a  U turn, then "talked them onto Prudence Drive, and  onto Glen Oaks Ridge  (my community).  Then stood in the middle of the street with my leashed Penne until they reached my home.

The two men were entirely frustrated.  The two women saw the funny side of their mis-adventure.

One safely inside my home we all enjoyed beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) with my local friends, Ed, Bob and Ben.

(My brother Martyn, his son Sam;  and my niece Beth with her b/f Jordan know Ben and Bob and like them immensely).

Then I took the folks to Alma's Kouzine for dinner (Beth and Jordan loved Alma's and ate there  three times during their recent visit).

Maureen, Bern, Jean, John and I were delighted with the food, and we had a jolly time around the dinner table.

Alma was her usual joyful and welcoming self.

After dinner I sent my family members on their merry way "home", with instructions:  go south on Beneva, and then turn right on Clark, after which it is a clear run to Midnight Pass Rd.

I added, "I will 'phone you in 30 minutes to be sure that you are safe and well in the condo".

Droll Bern said  "you should be on the stage as a comedian"  (inferring that I must have made a joke in thinking that they could get home without getting lost!)

(They got back to the condo in good time!)

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My two big sisters and their husbands.


At Alma's, Maureen and Bern

At Alma's, Jean and John


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