Category Archives: Age 0 to 9

Thinking of You, Grandpa

The other day I was aware all day that were he still alive, it would have been my maternal grandfather’s birthday. One of the gifts I gave my mother was the knowledge that a shitty dad can still be a good grandpa. To commemorate his birthday, I’d like to remember some things I associate with him.

fireflies in a Mason jar
being sent around the backyard to gather fallen twigs under the hickory trees as he got the grill started
the hydrangea bush that grew pressed against the shady side of the house
the rabbit that sometimes hid under there
possum stories
the way he imitated the baying of his hunting dogs when he told possum stories
his tomato garden
being sent down into the garden to pick sprigs of mint for the adults’ mint juleps
the banded woolly bears that liked the mint plants
his posture (very straight)
the funny grunts and humming that covered up his Tourette-like vocal ticks
how he always fell asleep on the sofa after supper
Hee Haw on television
and Lawrence Welk
little colored wooden golf tees
wiffle balls for practicing driving in the backyard
being taught to hit one of those little plastic balls
tomatoes lined up on the window sill…all varying stages of green to pink to red
the smell of the inside of his sedan; it smelled like a car that was never driven with the windows down
and like cigar smoke