Archives: Carter and the Will

I drove for six hours today. My wife was in and out of sleep in the passenger seat of the car. The kids were asleep for two hours, talked for thirty minutes, and then went to play on their tablets because staring at the splendor of the countryside of Wyoming is awe-inspiring for a good fifteen minutes then you realize it is the same scene for three hundred miles and no one lives there unless they are trying to outrun a cow. Suffice to say, I have no problem with them playing games and watching movies instead of listening to me talk about Jurrasic redbeds and basalt for the entirety of the drive.

Up in the front of the car, we listened to the podcasts (The Adventure Zone is amazing) and talked, but again, the car ride through Wyoming will cure any form of sleep problem that may afflict you. So I drove. I watched glacial cut valleys give way to what was once the Western Interior Seaway and the modern (ish) etchings of meandering streams.

After two hours of this one starts to think of death. It’s just how this goes. Time is inevitable.  I mean, if ThinkGeek of all things can’t escape the desires of the Grim Reaper nothing can. Least of all a 30 something dad with a bad beard. Time comes for us all and Wyoming exists to remind us of that.

So that’s how my Father’s Day went.

Here’s a classic tale that keeps in theme with the day’s preoccupation.

Carver and the Will originally dated February 27, 2018.  I was not traveling through Wyoming at the time.


The reading of the will passed quickly, quietly.  Carver hardly knew his great-uncle, but according to the lawyer Uncle Anders held him in high regard.

“Your uncle gave special instructions for this one, Carver,” the lawyer said.  A set of keys, ancient looking and simple in their design, was placed in Carver’s palm.

“Th- thank you,” Carver said, unsure how to react to a dead man’s keychain.

“They go to a house in Maine,” said the lawyer as a stack of photographs slid over a desk.

“This house looks like crap,” Carver said examining the photos.

“Read the notes on the back of the pictures,” the lawyer instructed.

Carver read the notes. “Oh. Those are important.”

The lawyer nodded.

Others in the room waited patiently for Carver to update them on what the notes said, why Uncle Anders had provided such a mysterious gift.

“Is this a ‘stay a night in a haunted house’ scenario?” One relative asked.

“Do you get millions if you survive the night?” Another laughed.

“I have to go,” Carver said. He returned the photos of the house their folder, tucked the folder under his arm and left the room.

The room erupted in hushed tones, whispers from cousin to cousin, aunt to aunt, uncle to uncle.  Carver did not stay long enough to make out the words.

As he left the building, he laughed and reread the final note from his great uncle.  “Alright kid, now get up and leave the reading without explaining anything.  I got you out of the reading.  Say nothing about this. Ever. It will drive your aunts and uncles crazy for years.  It’ll be hilarious.”

Carver may not have known his great-uncle very well, but he certainly appreciated his sense of humor.



Thanks for reading!


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