英语美文,与老朋友们保持联系 Staying in touch with old friends

I recently met an old friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

He said that he had been busy and also didn’t really know to contact me.

I told him the same.

The truth is, we have a few mutual friends, if we had really wanted to contact each other, we could have.

But with busy schedules, and family life--and all sorts of things going on --well, I guess we just lost touch.

So, I got to thinking about the people I am in touch with now and those I’d like to contact.

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances,

I used to have many more. Somewhere along the line,

we just lost contact with each other.

I’d like to contact some of my friends from high school.

I’d like to say hello to some of the people I used to know in New York and California,

I know I could do it.

It wouldn’t require me to bend over backwards,

but I am not sure if I should.

I mean, I have my hands full right now with family and work.


Plus, I have people that I am in contact with now,

and I fell kind of guilty that I am not able to spend more time with them.

Who needs more guilt? Not me!

The last Saturday in June, Grandpa suggested we go fishing, since we were caught up on everything. The pond was in a low pasture near the woods. Years before, Grandpa had stocked it with fish. We drove the pickup to the pond that day, looking over the livestock as we went. We hadn't expected what we saw when we got to the pond that morning: One of the swans was dead. Grandpa had given the pair of swans to Grandma on their 50th anniversary. "Why don't we see about buying another one," I suggested, hoping the situation could somehow be righted. Grandpa thought for a few moments before answering.


He finally said, "no... it's not that easy, Bruce. You see, swans mate for life." He raised his finger to point, holding the fishing pole in his other hand. "There's nothing we can do for the one that's left. He has to work it out for himself."

外公想了一会儿才回答。他说:“不,……没那么简单,布鲁斯。你知道吗,天鹅是终生为伴。” 他一手拿着钓竿,另一手抬起来指了一指。“对于留下来的这只我们无能为力,只好靠它自己了。”

We caught enough fish that morning for lunch. On the way back to the house, Grandpa asked me not to tell Grandma about the swan. She didn't get down to the pond much anymore, and there was no sense in her knowing about it right away.


A few days later, we drove by the pond while doing our morning check on the cows. We found the other swan lying near the same spot we had found the first one. It, too, was dead.


The month of July started with me and Grandpa putting up a new stretch of fence. Then July 12 came. That was the day Grandma passed away. I'd overslept that morning. Grandpa had not knocked on my door, either. It was nearly eight o'clock by the time I could hurriedly dress myself and get down to the kitchen. I saw Dr. Morgan sitting at the kitchen table. He was a neighbor of my grandparents' age, long since retired. He'd come to the house several times before on social calls. I immediately knew something was wrong. This morning, his tattered old black bag was by his feet, and my grandfather was obviously shaken. Grandma had died suddenly that morning of a stroke. By the afternoon, my parents were there. The old house was soon crowded with relatives and Grandpa's friends.


The funeral was held the next day. Grandpa had insisted on having it as soon as possible. On the second day after the funeral, Grandpa announced at the breakfast table, "This is a working farm. We have a lot of things to do. The rest of you should get back to your own lives." Most of the family had already left, but this was Grandpa's way of telling the rest it was time for them to go home. My parents were the last to leave after lunch.

第二天举行葬礼。外公坚持尽快举行。葬礼后的第二天,外公在早餐时宣布:“农场要干活,我们有很多事要做。你们剩下的人都请回吧。” 家族大多数人已经走了,而外公就用这种方法告诉剩下的人是回去的时候了。我父母吃过午饭后离开了,他们是最后走的人。

Grandpa was not a man who could outwardly express his grief around others, and we all worried about him. There had been talk of his giving up the farm. My parents thought he was too old to live out there alone. He wouldn't hear of it, though. I was proud of the way the old man had stood his ground. The rest of the summer flowed by. We stayed busy working. I thought there was something different about Grandpa but couldn't quite put my finger on it. I started to wonder if he would be better off living with someone after all, but I knew he could not leave the farm.


September was nearing, and part of me did not want to leave. I thought of skipping the fall semester and staying around a few more months. When I mentioned it, grandpa quickly told me that my place was back at college.


The day finally came for me to pack my car and leave. I shook his hand and chanced a hug. As I drove down the driveway, I saw him in the rearview mirror. He waved to me and then walked to the pasture gate to start the morning livestock check.


Mom called me at school on a blustery October day to tell me Grandpa had died. A neighbor had stopped by that morning for coffee and found him in the kitchen. He died of a stroke, same as Grandma. At that moment, I understood what he'd clumsily tried to explain to me about the swan on that morning we fished together by the pond.