Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dirty old man

One day this past week I went out and bought some petunias, marigolds and lobelia to plant in the tires in front of our house. I am tired of looking at the dirt. These flowers are not very big, but they're a start.

Here's Dobby admiring my work.

I've been slowly packing and putting things into the truck. On Friday, Ross was out on his porch with his "lady friend" the homecare worker who keeps him company on weekdays. I waved to him and he waved back and asked me if I wanted a beer. In the summertime, he sits on his porch every afternoon having a beer, and he frequently asks me if I want one too. I usually say No because I am busy doing something or other. But this time I said Yes. No doubt I surprised the hell out of him.

Coincidentally Gretel was just returning from a visit to the doctor's, she had hand tremors that the doctor said were caused by stress and the best thing for it was alcohol. So when Ross invited her for a beer as well, she took him up on it. Gretel and I went over to Ross's porch for a beer. Ross introduced his homecare lady, Joyce, and asked her if she'd have a beer too. But she said, Not while she was on the job.

Ross has told me about his lovelife during the War. He was stationed in Halifax and a family there took him in and treated him like their own son, who was overseas in the War. Ross had a thing going with their daughter. But he was also engaged to be married to a lady in Toronto, so he was torn. In the end he chose the lady in Toronto and they did get married and have a good life together, but he always remembers the lady in Halifax with a touch of regret. So this day I was kidding him about his luck with the ladies. Turns out he has two homecare ladies, Joyce and another woman who comes twice a week to give him a bath. He ain't complainin'!

I asked Ross if he made it overseas during the War. He said that he was posted on a frigate heading to Britain, but it was struck by a torpedo and went down. Fortunately he survived and was rescued, but it so affected his nerves that he was posted to a tugboat for the rest of the War and never left Halifax until the War was over.

At one point I asked Ross how old he was. He asked me how old I thought he was. I said I thought he was 80, based on something he told me last year, and he said that he wished I had never asked him that question. He said he was hoping to get a date with me, but if I knew how old he was I'd never agree to it. He's 85. I laughed and said, Well if he was just a couple of years younger, I'd seriously consider it. He said I might be disappointed, the equipment wasn't what it used to be.

Our very own resident Dirty Old Man!

Ross's house is on a bit of rise above the street, sitting there on his porch in the sun with beer in hand, it's a nice view of what's going on up and down the street. His house is one of the older ones on the street, more than a hundred years old. His grandfather used to live there, his mother grew up in that house. When she married she moved to a house on the next street up and Ross grew up there. Ross eventually bought his grandfather's house and raised his own family there. The two rosebushes in front of Ross's porch were planted by his grandfather, so I guess they'd be older than Ross's kids and maybe even older than Ross.

And Gretel reports that the alcohol works just fine.


Wisewebwoman said...

I love the tire garden and the story of Ross, everyone has a story and everyone's is interesting.
I'm stuck in Cornerbrook, Anne, but no complaints, I'm glad I got off the road.
I waved at Fundy for you on the way by.

Anne said...

Hey WWW, thanks! Sorry you're stuck in Cornerbrook but I guess there's worse places :-) At least you're on The Rock. Safe trip home!

Gretel said...

on the subject of the dirty old man...on the weekend a woman visited the neighbourhood who had grown up in the house directly across the street from Ross and right next door to us. While we were taking shelter from the rain, we identified which neighbours are or were recently still residing here that she would remember. She remembers Ross well - only she said that you would NEVER have had a beer with the man she remembers - she laughed and said that everyone just said, "Hello, Mr. G....." and got out of his way as fast as possible. Sounds like he once got a kick out of keeping the neighbourhood kids in line! Glad to see he has mellowed with age. I'm glad you got some stories out of him. Imagine being torpedoed! Wow. That would have done a number on my nerves, too.

Anne said...

Yeah, I expect at a certain point yelling at the kids got to looking kinda futile, they just keep coming!

Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne,

Cheers for your beautifying tires so wonderfully! Hope the boys will water the flowers while you're away this summer.

I love your narrative writing! Please tell Ross he's famous on the web!

Yep, wine (or whatever), always in moderation as my father used to say.


Anne said...

Hi Barbara Anne

Oh I am not sure how he would like me calling him a dirty old man. Of course I don't mean it seriously but more affectionately than anything. I just hope he's still here when I get back.

Hugs to you