Brake Wind

A family tradition that we’ve maintained since I was a kid is that on certain holidays we will pay our respects to beloved family members who have passed by placing flowers on their graves. I’ve always felt it to be a peaceful way to spend part of our holiday and I like to see the cemeteries turn into beautiful fields of flowers.

Veteran’s Day is a major one for us and we always visit the graves of my wife’s parents and that of my father who is interred at Punchbowl. This past Veteran’s Day the weather was especially beautiful, although it was pretty windy with reports of gusts up to 30 mph. We usually stop by a grocery store on the way to buy flower bouquets to place on the graves.

My wife does all the flower arranging. Her methodology is to remove the cellophane from one of the bouquets and place it on the ground and kneel on it to keep from getting dirty. This time, however, when removing the cellophane from a second bouquet, it got away from her and took off in the wind. I’m not about to litter in such a reverent place, so I went after it.

It blew across the ground like a tumbleweed and I tried to trap it with my foot by stomping on it. It was as though it had taken on a life of its own, for it would lie still and just as I tried to step on it, it would move away. The wind was kind of whipping in a circular way, so my attempts to capture this with my feet looked like me doing the Electric Slide – very badly.

It was ridiculous as I chased after this cellophane up and down Punchbowl, taking much care not to step on any of the grave markers. But I was determined to get it and after what felt like a marathon, I finally managed to grab it. Panting and drenched in sweat, I returned to my wife who was thoroughly entertained by my vigorous romp.

She stood up to give me a playful hug as my reward. That’s when the cellophane under her knees got swept up into the air.

Round two was about to begin.