I was lugging my cello to the bus stop, finally bringing it home from Bildersee Junior High School so I could practice over the weekend. A familiar mustard-yellow Toyota Corolla pulled up to the curb next to me and I saw Zada, my grandfather, roll down his window. “Lindele, let me give you a ride home,” he called out.
“Thank you! How’d you know I’d be taking my cello home?”
“Your mother mentioned it to me, so I thought I would see if I could catch you on my way home from work.”
Zada was coming from Danilow’s, the commercial bakery where he worked, wearing his uniform: a white short sleeved shirt, white pants and black belt. Hunched over the steering wheel, he was nearing 70 years old.
I carefully manipulated the cello into the back seat and climbed in the front, relieved not to have to manage the cello on the bus – actually two buses and a long walk across Seaview Park to get home.
“It’s going to rain,” Zada told me. I saw no sign in the sky, so I asked, “How do you know?”
“I feel it in my bones. Uncle Michael told me he felt it in his leg this morning, too.” I harrumphed dismissively.
“What? You don’t believe me.”
“You can’t tell the weather with your bones,” I said, choosing to put my confidence in science instead.
Uncle Mike had badly broken his leg the previous summer and according to Zada (his father), it would function as a barometer for the rest of his life.
“Wait, you’ll see, you’re young,” Zada said.
Conversations with my grandfather often went this way. I could argue about anything with him, including the weather, but I usually didn’t make any headway and neither did he.