A Change Of Pace Can Change Everything Else

, , , | Friendly | December 19, 2020

This is a story about my friend and her husband. [Husband]’s father came to the USA from Europe shortly before World War II. The family only had enough money to send one of their two (very) young sons and [Husband]’s dad was the younger one and he got to go along with his mother. They never saw the family again. [Husband] grew up without paternal grandparents as his grandmother died early on, and because she really didn’t know how to go about searching for them, no one knew what became of the family in Europe.

[Husband] is notorious for going on vacation and driving past restaurants, scenic views, and motels because “there might be something better around the bend.” [Friend] says they have sometimes done nothing but drive their whole vacation, and the conversation often goes like this:

Husband: “Gee, that looked like a nice restaurant. Too late to turn back now, though. There’s something better around the bend.”  

One day, they are on a trip through New England, looking for a place to stay the night, and [Husband] is driving along, doing his usual:

Husband: “Oh, oops, that looked like a good place, but we’ve passed it and it’s too late now.”  

They pass a place that looks very homey and cozy, and [Husband] makes his comment and keeps going. I have often wondered HOW they could go a whole week of vacation doing this, but [Friend] seems to think things are fine. They continue driving, and half an hour or more later:

Husband: “I can’t stop thinking about that last place. It’s like a place I’d really like to stay and it looked so inviting.”

And to [Friend]’s surprise, [Husband] turns the car around and goes back to the inn that is now about forty-five minutes away.

She sits in the car while he goes in to see about getting them rooms. And she sits and waits, then waits and sits. Then, she starts getting worried because [Husband] hasn’t come back yet.

FINALLY, almost half an hour later, he comes out.

Husband: “Come with me. You won’t believe it.”

I’m sure everyone can figure out where this is going, but to finish the story, [Husband] and the owner had the same very very unusual last name. They started talking and comparing notes… and [Husband] discovered that he was talking to one of his first cousins. Years after the war, his uncle had finally come to the US. The uncle couldn’t find a trace of his mother or brother, gave up the search, and settled down.

[Friend] said that they spent most of their vacation getting to know various members of [Husband]’s rediscovered family and having a great time doing so.  

Unfortunately, the experience never did — completely, at least — change [Husband]’s habit of driving on without stopping, but at least he had relatives to visit from then on.

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