Originally posted October 9, 2012. Note: “Uncle B ( C )” = Uncle Bus. His real name was Clarence. 🙂
It was such a beautiful day on Saturday I rolled my walker onto the grass and sat on it so I could watch my children ride their bikes, laugh at their antics and discuss how skillful they are with Mom, who stood next to me. I think both of them are excellent bikers. Karine just turned 6 and mastered the 2-wheeler she received for her birthday within a week. Ezra is 2 (3 in December) and loves the little foot-bike his parents got him. It’s a bike that’s low enough so that both feet can rest on the ground and propel the rider forward since there are no pedals. When going down a hill, however, there is enough momentum for Ezzie to lift his feet entirely, and he balances expertly as he rides out the incline, swerving around corners and enjoying the wind in his face until the bike is going slow enough for him to put his feet back down on the ground. The absence of pedals means the absence of brakes, and although Karine has brakes on her bike they both so used to riding in close proximity to one another that she rarely needs to use them – they just steer around each other and so maintain a constant speed.
The phrase “constant speed” has cracked me up for the past year and I have to share. Last November my friends the J’s came to stay with us while they were on furlough from working in Burundi. We had Sunday lunch at the Tans’ favorite Chinese place and as he sat down, JJ asked me to remind him who the two gentlemen at the other end of the table were. “Oh, that’s Uncle B(C) and Uncle B(W),” I said. Recognition immediately clicked on JJ’s face and no other introduction was needed since I had apparently filled the J’s in on these two Uncles while I was in Africa.
To clarify, they are technically not my Uncles – they are everyone’s Uncles, and since I have not had the opportunity to know my own grandpas, they do really well as stand-ins. It was Uncle B(W) who told me not to worry that I had completely run over those cement parking things in the chapel lot when I learned how to drive. “You can’t do any damage the snowplow can’t,” he assured me. And when Uncle B(C) found out I wanted to be a missionary he sent me an encouraging letter that reduced me to tears. But I digress.
A few minutes before everyone had arrived at the restaurant I was sitting at the table with Uncle B(C) and Uncle B(W), two of very few people Mommy would venture to leave me alone with in public. I have had hearing loss, but I could hear well enough to understand that Uncle B(C) was accusing Uncle B(W) of changing lanes 5x within the space of one city block when Uncle B(C) was trying to follow him to the restaurant. Uncle B(W) made no defense, nor any attempt to deny that such lane changing had occurred. The only explanation he offered was this: “I like to keep a constant speed.”