Intrepid Optimist

Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age

Better Late Than…Better Never Late

A short while ago, I was in a hotel in Montreal and enjoying a relaxed Sunday breakfast. Over the radio broadcast in the restaurant, I heard the presenter warn that at 08:15 there would be a snowfall.  I checked my watch – it was 08:10. Outside, the  day was overcast but I could see the streets were still dry and there were no ice crystals in the air. I laughed at the weather man.

You cannot imagine my surprise when, at precisely 08:15  I was astounded to see the first flakes drifting down and within ten minutes the street was already deep in snow. That, to me, is punctuality.

Correct me if I am wrong in believing clocks and watches were developed to enable a person to know exactly what time of the day or night it is and to facilitate being somewhere at a precise moment. How is it then, with almost every electronic instrument we now carry with us displaying the exact time, people can still manage to be late.

Mother was fond of reminding my brother and I  that my grandfather, my father  and herself were lovers of punctuality, so what happened to this excellent trait in the family gene? It certainly by passed by my children and will it resurface in the future  generations when real time will be of little importance?

My brother and I shared the punctuality trait. Some years before  car navigation systems were invented, I was working in Berlin and my brother a thousand or so miles away, in Italy. We arranged to rendezvous in the middle of Belgium and agreed on a recommended but off-the-track hotel, in the Ardennes as the meeting place.

Considering the distances, unknown weather, road conditions and that neither of us had been in Belgium prior to this, we understood it might be difficult to fix an exact time. We agreed to meet any time after noon.

Neither of us was in the least bit surprised, despite the thousands of miles driven, when we both turned into the hotel car park at the same moment, at twelve midday.

Mother would have been proud of us.

About bbryanthomas

Not so young man about town who, having witnessed and enjoyed life, is presently having fun, writing about those by-gone times and life in general.

13 comments on “Better Late Than…Better Never Late

  1. The Shining Gem
    September 18, 2017

    Oh I’m sure she’s pretty proud of you. 🙂


    • bbryanthomas
      September 18, 2017

      I doubt it – you don’t know English mothers

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Shining Gem
        September 18, 2017

        Well that’s not very optimistic of you Mr Intrepid Optimist. 😉


      • bbryanthomas
        September 18, 2017

        You didn’t know my mother

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Shining Gem
        September 18, 2017

        Having never met her, I’ll take your word for it.


  2. Christine Goodnough
    September 18, 2017

    I liked your little story of promptness. It’s amazing, as you say, that you and your brother arrived exactly on the dot.(sounds like your mother was quite the perfectionist. 😉 )

    In recent years Environment Canada has taken to issuing weather details with a specific time: “Rain will start at 4:45 pm.” This always makes me chuckle. It’s like they’re arranged this time with Mother Nature and of course she’ll be prompt.

    It’s surprising how often they are right, but when the tap above doesn’t open on time, we try to cut EC some slack. “Somewhere hereabouts it ‘s probably starting to rain right now.” 🙂

    If you want to see accuracy, you should see the Canada geese arriving at Jack Miner’s Bird Sanctuary for 4 pm feeding time. At 3:55 the skies are filled with geese coming in from all directions; by 4pm they’re on the ground waiting. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • bbryanthomas
      September 18, 2017

      That’s exatly what I thought. They were making tere own arrangments with he who shall be obeyed. One day I would love to watch the geese flying in.


  3. Bridgesburning Chris
    September 18, 2017

    Ah promptness – I love it, am always early but both my sons missed it. I always tell them dinner is an hour and a half earlier than it really is, which pretty much puts them on time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Christine Goodnough
      September 18, 2017

      I understand. Had a couple of friends like that. But I felt bad one day after I lied to one couple who was ALWAYS late. The couple wanted to see Tim before he left, so I told them, “Tim’s leaving in an hour,” when he actually wasn’t leaving for two hours. Sure enough, they showed up in two hours — so did get a bit of a chance to visit with Tim, and also delayed his departure!
      But I feel like I made it my problem when I told them the wrong time. Really how would they learn their lesson if I interfered in the consequences, plus in this case I felt like my deceit made me a liar, which I didn’t like at all.
      Not saying it would always be wrong, but it’s a judgement call when to do it and when not to. By working around their tardiness we sort of become enablers, right? They’ll keep on thinking everyone will be flexible around their being slow.

      Liked by 2 people

      • bbryanthomas
        September 19, 2017

        My answer was, if you’re not there on time – I’m gone. That helped for me but generally eveyone elses children were also tardy.


      • Bridgesburning Chris
        September 19, 2017

        Very good point Christine. The good news for me is that The Deceit is all part of this mother’s love lol

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Christine Goodnough
    September 19, 2017

    Sad to say, I’m often a bit late, too. My perception of how long it will take me to do a task “quick before we leave” is rather out of whack. 😦
    My husband and I have an ongoing debate about whether the clock should be left five minutes “fast” or always give the real time. He says you mentally allow for the clock being five minutes fast, so it does no good. I don’t think of adjustments; I just look at the time and panic. 😉
    I guess the same can be said about “adjusting” the stated time for an event for the benefit of people who are habitually slow. They get used to being on time even if they leave home too late.
    But I agree, part of a mother’s love is not wanting your children to arrive when the meal is almost over. Surely one can make that exception. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2017 by in History, leisure, Opinion, Stories and tagged , , .
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