It’s been awhile since I spoke to or about my parents. Like most loyal British subjects, when the weather turns cold they head to warmer climes and my parents had fallen off the grid. We’re not a chatty family anyways so it’s not unusual for them to call me up and tell me that the following day they are leaving for Portugal for two weeks with no way to contact them. I’m fine with that.
My dad is usually the one that calls and then hands off the phone to my mom when he’s had enough. You can time my conversations with an egg timer with my dad. I get straight into catching him up with what I’d been doing.
“As an April Fool’s joke I posted that I was turning pro and was going to race Redlands.” I tell him.
“You?”, came his surprised reply.
“You’re still fat and your birthday is this month making you old. Who’d believe that?” Then I hear a low rumbling. I’m not sure if this is lager churning its way through his lower intestine or the sound of disbelief. He quickly changes subjects. “How’s that Bikes Gone Wild lad?” I fill him in with the pertinent details of my local posse. Silence on his end.
“Here’s your mother.”
As a Browne I am facing a milestone in aging for my family which my dad had reminded me of. While biologically I am still youngish and in good shape, Brownes usually fall off this mortal coil in their low 70’s. Not due to bad health, but more due to lifestyle choices. I am the first Browne to ride a desk as a job. Both sides of my family fought in the Great Wars, the not-so-great wars that followed, and then made a career that involved making things with their bare hands. This is not a gene pool that has ever had a long life span. However I trying my best to live into at least my lower 80s. I’m eating well, riding or running and haven’t been in any physical confrontations for at least two months. Things are looking up. But as I write this I am preparing for the Tour de Georgia, so who knows what could happen. I’ll keep you informed. And Noel, keep your cell phone near by. I feel a crisis looming as my birthday nears.