Stick Miller: Black and blue and missing you
On paper, this is not going to look good for me and my sterling reputation. Here I am in sunny South Florida with a cute girl. I have left my bruised-up wife at home. I’m wearing shorts and a golf shirt. Flip-flops are the only thing between me and the warm earth. She is freezing while recuperating in Americus.
Rosie and I are in my new-to-me motor home. I’m enjoying the company. She doesn’t talk much and she seems to like every move I make. She has the cutest figure and a beautiful head of curly black hair.
To the uninformed, my motor home might just look like a regular vintage RV, but it is a Blue Bird Wanderlodge and in its day (and possibly still) it was the finest thing on eight wheels. Built in Fort Valley, Georgia to withstand the years and the miles, it’s looks belie its age.
I have wanted a Bluebird for most of my life. It wasn’t on my original bucket list. When I was a child I wrote my first list of “wants” in life. The list goes as follows: I wanted a go-cart, a monkey, a player piano, a Cadillac and a Rolls Royce. As a teenager I added some items to the list. Most involved girls and a deserted island and, well, you can see where this is going. And since I’m not likely to get the Rolls and since I’ve had (almost) everything else on the list, I decided about 10 years ago that a modification was in order. I added a Blue Bird motor home.
Although I’ve had other classic RVs, this is the only one in which I’ve been able to stretch out at night. Although my wife was a reluctant camper at first, she grew to love the rallies and get-togethers that coach ownership may afford. Over the past few years we’ve hardly missed a rally and our camping friends are some of our best. For us, it is all about the people.
So we bought the Blue Bird and my “friend” Rosie and I are luxuriating in sunny Florida while Elise is at home in Americus sporting a “shiner” and a knot on her head. She looks like she’s been hit in the head with a shovel. It didn’t help that, before I headed south, my explanation for her injury was, “I told her to wait in the truck.” She didn’t appreciate the humor. This time she decided to stay home and, well, let’s just say old Stick isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet.
Actually she was taking some luggage up the stairs, lost her balance, and took out two 100-year-old spindles from our front staircase. Of course I was upset about her injury but I also hated about the damage to the staircase. I now have to find some heart pine that, hopefully, will match the originals. The important thing is that she is not down for the count. When I return home I expect her to be back to normal, even if our staircase isn’t. I’ll worry about that when Rosie and I return home.
Getting old is not for sissies. Old staircases break, old heads bruise, boys young and old will be boys, and old guys eventually have to give up their 40,000-pound toys when driving becomes dangerous. Trips to Florida will become more and more difficult and one day we will just give it up altogether.
What am I saying? I’m too young for such talk. Sure, the spindles will be fixed or replaced and, from what I hear, the wounds to my dear bride are healing, and they’ll get my Bluebird when they pry my cold dead fingers from the steering wheel.
It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
Note: Rosie is my 8-year-old, 3-pound toy poodle, so forget the hate mail.
Boyce “Stick” Miller is an award-winning columnist living in Americus GA. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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