We had a whole apartment-full of people up before four this morning. Hannah was flying out, going back home to Raleigh, North Carolina where she now resides. My wife had to get up, of course. She had pack about 30-pounds of food for Hannah to bring back with her and it would take a combination of Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes to locate and pack it all.
Aunt Sylvie was up, of course, because she has a special fondness for Hannah and wouldn't dare let her leave without giving her a 87-year-old's extended hug and maybe a check for $50. And Uncle Slappy was up, of course, because at his age he hardly sleeps at all. Getting up at four is actually sleeping in for the old man.
"Ach," he said to me instead of 'good morning.'
"Good morning to you, too," I said.
"Grounds again in the coffee this morning. Two days in a row this is," he said.
Somehow my wife has the ability to serve leftovers without ever cooking the original meal and to pour coffee only from the bottom of the pot--where the grinds are.
"Let me make another pot," I offered, but the old man shooed me away.
"I don't need another pot," he said taking a long draw on this piping hot viscous. "I don't need another pot. I need a knife and fork."
He grabbed said utensils from the kitchen and made a pantomime of eating his joe like he'd eat a steak. Hannah caught the whole scene as she kissed everyone goodbye and made for LaGuardia.
Aunt Sylvie gave her another hug and said goodbye again with the ancient Jewish reminder, "Don't forget to eat," she admonished.
Hannah looked Uncle Slappy dead in the eye and asserted her membership in the club. "Don't forget to drink."
And she was off.