Old Mr. Bound-to-Fail

My mom looked at him quizzically, as she often does, “Why bring it up if you don’t know all the details?”

Poor dad har-umphed and shrugged, squinting into the sun as the sea air tousled his hair, “I didn’t know I was going to be quizzed. Next time I’ll prepare more thoroughly.”

“Oh, don’t be cross,” my mom teased. Her smile was warm, but I could never tell when the two of them were joking. I supposed I’d learn later.

“I know,” I blurted, ill-timed as ever, “It’s cause you want to move to Switzerland!”

Mumbling into the lapels of his parka as he double-checked some lines he said something like, “Maybe I do, and so what about it?”

Mom’s laugh carried on the salty air like a siren’s song, though dad didn’t seem to see the beauty in it, “Oh don’t be silly. You’d never last five minutes in a foreign country. For goodness’ sake, you get lost on the way to my parent’s house in Machias.”

Dad just grumbled the way he always did. And we all just laughed the way we always did. At least, how we did then.

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