Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What's in a Name?

     I'm on day eight of my ten-day trip to Florida. The weather has been "iffy" at best, and cold and rainy at worst.

View from the back of my airbnb
     I really hate it when my friends tell me, as my golfing buddy who winters in Florida did the other day: "Tom, this is the first day it's rained since we got here at the beginning of January."

     And then my sister who lives here said on the phone, "Oh, you should have been here last week; it was sunny and in the 70s every day." My sister is the one who, whenever the weather is bad in Florida, accuses me of bringing the snow and the rain down from the Northeast. (Maybe she has a point: it's 23 degrees today back home in Pennsylvania.)

     I played golf with a friend from home on Friday. It was chilly in the morning -- long underwear chilly -- got warmer during the day, and clouded up before we finished. Then Saturday I met up with an old friend from New York, and it started drizzling on the first tee. We nevertheless trundled down the fairway, hoping for the best. It cleared for a little while, then started to rain again. Afterward, with wet feet, we stopped and had a drink at the clubhouse. When we came out it was pouring. So . . . I guess we were lucky.

The windswept beach
     On Sunday it rained all day, temperature 55 degrees. So I did the wash and cleaned up my room while watching the Australian Open on TV. As I told my sister . . . exactly what I'd be doing if I was home.

     Still, although the weather hasn't been great, I got to play two rounds of golf so far. And I also went the Bonita Springs Rec Center and played a couple of hours of table tennis -- and the good news is that both my arthritic knee and my arthritic ankle survived the session.

     But I am staying in an airbnb one block off the beach ... and it's only today that I went to see the Gulf. The weather report predicts that tomorrow, when I head up to Jacksonville, FL, the temperature will be in the 30s. Too cold for me to go out on the frost-bitten fairways (although some intrepid souls, some older than I am, will go out and actually claim to enjoy it).

Nobody's sitting outside today
     So my snowbird effort has not been perfect, so far. However, I did play golf; I did spend time with some friends; I will see my sister and her husband. I played table tennis, and may possibly make a comeback in my Ping Pong career -- with ankle braces, Advil and a nightly icepack.

     And then it's on to the historic city of Charleston, SC, where I will meet up with my more immediate family -- my wife and her son and his wife and their son, our grandson.

     He's our first grandson and just starting to talk. My wife wants to be called Grandma B. They want to call me Grandpa, but I'm a bit uncomfortable with that. I'm not really the boy's Grandpa; I'm Grandma B's new husband. And also . . . I just don't feel old enough to be a Grandpa. Maybe Uncle Tom will suffice -- whaddaya think?

19 comments:

DJan said...

I just got back last week from Florida, where we had several unseasonably cold mornings, but it only rained once, overnight. And it warmed up each day until it was perfect. I'm glad I went when I did! It's always a crap shoot at this time of year. I think you'll get used to being called "Grandpa" before too long. :-)

Barbara - said...

I think Granfpa is perfect, and yea, that's what you are. There's no limit on the number a kid can have either. I feel like its warmer and drier in Colorado than two thirds of the country most of the time lately.

Janette said...

How about PaPa Tom. Lol-you are hardly an Uncle Tom.
Weather has been amazing in Phoenix. We are home tomorrow-just in time for the polar vortex. I’d father be in South Carolina!

Anonymous said...

Tom you are correct. You should insist on just being called "Tom". This is your wife's grandchild, not your grandchild. This grandchild and the other grandchildren have biological grandparents.

Anonymous said...

I guess florida can get cool just like Arizona, here in the pacific northwest we live inland from the sea but it is sunny and warmer at the coast than where we live..we enjoy the sun this year and little rain..Grandpa is great in my book I don't have either parent nor my hubs, my child who is nearly 42 doesn't want kids so I go gaga over my friends grandbabies and they call me nonna and or auntie, I just am over the moon with that..You cannot do anything about the weather but enjoy each and every day..happy Chinese new year the earth pig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DavidH said...

The saying “LUCKY YOU LIVE HAWAII” is so real. The weather is so wonderful and consistent. Overnight lows in the mid 60’s and highs in the upper 70’s. We haven’t had much rain all month. Hawaii is truly paradise!

gigi-hawaii said...

Go with Grandpa. It's nice to be with your wife's grandson.

Rian said...

I love the view from your airbnb. My dad's family lived in Jacksonville, Florida when my grandparents moved to the States from London in 1920. Dad eventually moved the whole family to New Orleans when he got a job there. But we used to visit Jacksonville a lot in the summers when I was young. I hope the weather gets warmer so you can enjoy the beaches while you're there.

Olga said...

I am in Florida and I am freezing all the time. I have my heat on. Don't tell family and friends still in VT.

Barbara - said...

Gotta respond to the person up above. The biology matters not. I am part of a "mixed" family. Remarriages on every level. My second husband's parents were absolutely also her grandparents when it came to my daughter and with divored and remarried grandparents it is the same thing. Now, if someone else is also being called Grandpa, you may want to go with the "papa" or "Grampy" thing but in our house it was just Grandma Betty And Grandma Sara and so on and so fort. Personally, I would respect the wishes of the kids in this case.

Jono said...

Long undies in Florida? I don't believe it! It is well below zero here with windchills around -40 to -60. Pretty nippy even for us!

Anne Donovan said...

Be careful what name you choose Tom. As a step-grandmother years ago, I was one of 6 "grandmothers and great grandmothers". I became Grannie Annie which was cute then but now that the oldest grandchild is 16, I am feeling too old with that name. It reminds me of the Beverly Hillbillies Granny. So, pick something you will be comfortable with for a long time....Pop? Papa, Big T, T-Dad, GT (GrandpaTom), Tom or maybe just what that little person calls you the first time might stick.

Unknown said...

Only thing worse than spending my weeks vacation in Key West with 7 days of rain is having locals tell me how unusual it is for that many straight days of rain.

sbjdncmls said...

Grampa Tom sounds about right and it seems to me only an adult, young adult or sibling would call you Tom. Makes it easier for B and consistent, plus easier for the grandchild too.

Wisewebwoman said...

Weather can no longer be taken for granted. I prefer cold to heat any day and the semi-tropics are nearly always wasted on me. Tho I do sympathize with your reality not meeting with your golf expectations.

As to your step-grandson perhaps you can come up with another honorific, "uncle" hasn't had such good press. Poppy Tom? Poppy is used out here on the Edge instead of grandpa and I do like it.

XO
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BethNY said...

Tom, I just stumbled onto your blog and I am really enjoying it. I turn 60 this year and can use any help possible to quell my anxiety about the future, on multiple levels.

As to your Grandpa question, your own words were, "He's our first grandson..." so there you have it. Blood is not the issue. The relationship is what is important. I have a friend who was in the exact same position years ago. The children are now grown and as far as they are concerned, not a second thought is given to the fact that she is their Grandma. If anything, they are closer to her than they are to their blood Grandpa. Grandpa Tom has a lovely ring to it.

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