One time, to get home for Christmas, I caught a bus in Connecticut, boarded another one in a scary part of New York, rode across the nation's midsection before cutting south, and ended up in Henderson, Texas. My dad picked me up there and carried me home. He did things like that all the time.
I passed the time on the Greyhound by reading a long paperback. You know it, I bet. The writer, a Spaniard, Miguel de Cervantes, told the tale of a knight-errant, Don Quixote, and his faithful companion, Sancho Panza, in the early 1600s.
One of the most memorable (and funniest!) parts of the book springs to mind:
OF THE GOOD FORTUNE WHICH THE VALIANT DON QUIXOTE HAD IN THE
TERRIBLE AND UNDREAMT-OF ADVENTURE OF THE WINDMILLS, WITH OTHER
OCCURRENCES WORTHY TO BE FITLY RECORDED
At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that
there are on plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his
squire, "Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have
shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza,
where thirty or more . . . giants present themselves . . . ."
"What giants?" said Sancho Panza.
"Those thou seest there," answered his master, "with the long
arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long."
"Look, your worship," said Sancho; "what we see there are not giants
but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that
turned by the wind make the millstone go."
* * * *
Like Cervantes, my dad, Don Barnett, made me smile. A lot. This holiday season, I hope you, too, fondly remember people you loved and who loved you but have passed away. Also friends and neighbors and people you don't know, very well or at all, and those they have lost.
They may be giants.