Taking care of the "family antique collection" seemed to be the theme of the day when I recently took my Dad to a doctor’s appointment and my uncle was along for the ride.
My Dad is the kind of guy who gets a kick out being referred to as an antique. But in my book, antiques are valued treasures, and he is definitely one of mine.
So, a funny thing happened on the way home from the appointment – where my Dad had some testing done. While we headed out for breakfast I remembered that the Stanley Steamers were touring in Canandaigua. These antique cars are all open-topped and run on steam and have the greatest horns ever.
I took an immediate detour into the Inn on the Lake parking lot to see if we could get an up-close-and-personal look of one of these gorgeous steam cars. Dad and Uncle Kenny are salt-of-the-earth retired farmers, and farmers always want to know how engines and mechanics work.
“Hey, get (those gentlemen) to hop in here and I’ll take them for a ride,” one very generous and kind Stanley Steamer owner said to me.
We expected the ride to be around the parking lot as the cars were heating up for the day – but when we got in and another car owner volunteered to take our picture, we learned we were in for more than a parking lot ride.
Off we went down Lakeshore Drive and Routes 5 and 20 – the original east-west route of New York State.
It was a mash-up of years in my mind. The car was a 1909 Stanley Steamer. I was reminded that my grandfather, now deceased was born in 1908. My father wasn’t born until 27 years after this Steamer took to the road. And, here I was snapping pictures with a 21st century cell phone.
This car was loved and cared for, as my Dad and Uncle Kenny learned.
The pictures tell a lot about how the story played out. It was such a thrill to hear the horn, feel the rush of the steam released through the engine, smell the fresh crisp air and feel the wind in our hair.
This impromptu stop was beyond awesome. We all felt like little kids sneaking in a side trip when we were supposed to be doing something “serious” at the doctor’s office.
My mother, who spotted the pictures on Facebook before we got home, asked if we scored this experience before or after the doctor’s appointment.
“After,” I replied.
But my father corrected me.
“It was part of the doctor’s appointment,” he said.
And, you know what? He was right.
We were keeping our "classic moments" shined up.
That’s what I call healthy living.