Monday, January 21, 2008

Pella's Windows

Mother's sister and brother-in-law were driving her home at the end of one winter's stay in Florida. So they wouldn't have to drive the extra forty-five minutes each way on Route 2, my sister offered to meet them at a mutually convenient point, claim Mother, and take her home.

The arrangements were made on the telephone. Paula doesn't always listen optimally. Uncle George was on the hard-of-hearing side. And the telephone, at best, is a prime instrument for generating miscommunication.

Paula understood that they were to meet at Pella's Windows, which may be in Newton or Waltham, or may be somewhere else.Prior to that time she knew nothing of Pella or his windows. Paula's ability to get herself to places she has never heard of is legendary. How she came to be part of the same family with me and Mother isn't clear, but that's another story.

The appointed day and time found her in the parking lot of Pella's Windows. It did not so find Uncle George and Aunt Dottie and Mother. Paula waited a while and then retraced her steps on Route 2 to Mother's, where she found them all waiting.

It seems that Pella's Windows had been mentioned simply as a landmark, not as a rendezvous point. What Uncle George meant was that they should meet at the intersection of Routes 2 and 495. They may even have been there when Paula came through --but in that sprawling cloverleaf they could easily have missed each other.

Only a carpenter from New Hampshire would think of using Pella's Windows to identify one of the largest intersections in Massachusetts. He may have said that she should take the exit from Route 495 that one would take to get to Pella's Windows, presumably from New Hampshire. I'm not sure how this would apply to someone approaching the intersection, as Paula was, from the eastbound side of Route 2.

I have a friend who will go to just about any inconvenience rather than agree to a "Meet me in St. Louis, Louis" rendezvous. In light of Paula's experience with Pella's Windows, I have to say I see what she means.