My Grandfather And Others
As I deal with people, some of whom are very close to me, I think of my grandfather, whom I have mentioned before. He died of "fever" in his kidneys at 87 years of age, and it was said that if you listened carefully at his grave, you could still hear his heart beating. My point is that the way he chose to live was very easy on his heart. I never saw him excited, and his lifelong habit was to be 20 minutes early for everything. I remember him on Sunday, with the horse and wagon ready outside, sitting reading while waiting for the rest of us to appear. A couple of months before he died, he had mowed the front lawn carefully with a scythe, in preparation for our arrival from Halifax for the summer vacation, and then had run over a mile to help put out a fire at the creamery in which he held shares. He was part of a bucket brigade bringing water from the lake, and this is how he developed the kidney trouble that took him away about two months later.
With the exception of emergency situations like this, my grandfather was knowingly not under stress, and was always ready ahead of any appointed time. Not everyone is like my grandpa -- some like to see how close to the line they can come, and they frequently miss, some being late by a predictable 20 minutes, which seems to be the magic length of time to be late or early. For myself, I am on time for things. In fact, as a deadline creeps up on me, I resort to my training in radio and television before there was tape delay. This means that I tend to be about five minutes early for whatever is happening, and it is so calming that I do not know why everyone does not deliberately follow the example of my grandfather.