“This is great, nephew,” my uncle remarked as he looked out a window at Windham Mountain a few miles away. “I’ve never been up here [to Windham]. The views. Wow. It’s spectacular. Just spectacular.”
My (now late) uncle had owned a small place in the Catskills in the 1960s and early 1970s. However, he hadn’t been back to the upstate New York region for a couple of decades. After finding his way finally (after getting lost) to our house near Windham in 2011 on what turned out to be his only visit to it, hearing that his second wife (not my Italian-German aunt I’d known all my life as “my aunt,” which is decidedly another story) observed playfully, “That’s been the word of the day: Spectacular. Everything’s ‘spectacular.’ He’s been saying that the entire last part of the drive up here.”
Over the weekend here in the Canary Islands, we stumbled on a coach tour on the net. It would pick us up at a nearby hotel and take us up to Teide National Park for the evening – to see the volcanic, highest mountain, in Spain. It included dinner and drinks (the latter particularly always welcome!) and finished with some stargazing.
A guided tour? Dinner? Drinks? All sounded much more appealing than renting a car or going by public bus (as we had considered doing it for ourselves). We were lucky, getting the last two seats available for Monday’s excursion:
That last photo was “a toast” to the memories of my mother and my uncle.
As you may know, my uncle loved Spain; but he also never got to the Canary Islands. I love the Catskills too, but Teide National Park is “spectacular” in the truest meaning of the word. My mother never got on an airplane in her entire life, and never would have made any such trip with us; but had he been there standing alongside us, and if I’d reminded him of his carryings on about the Catskills, I’m sure he would’ve smiled and sought to come up with another “word of the day.” 🙂