Grandpa or Me
I guess I should start by apologizing, but I’m not really sorry. I know that some of you want to read a story first thing in the morning, so I’m really late.
I’m usually a first-light kind of guy. If the sun is up, I’m up. I think I inherited that trait from my maternal grandfather. (Quite possibly inherited it from my paternal grandfather, but I never met him.)
These past six months have turned me into my maternal grandfather.
My maternal grandfather (Grandpa) told stories of getting up at 4:30 AM every day of his life since childhood. (More in a minute.) Get serious, I wouldn’t get up at 4:30 AM unless I had a (construction language) good reason. Something like catching a plane, a fox is in the chicken coop, or the house is on fire, something like that.
Grandpa got out of bed to do chores before school. It was a different time back then. (Obviously) School needed to take its place behind the farm. If Grandpa was needed on the farm, he didn’t go to school. You know, I might have loved that. I am not sure when Grandpa left school for the farm and a “career”, but I do know he didn’t go past the eighth grade. The man didn’t suffer any from his lack of “education”. There is a road and subdivision named after my grandfather's father. Grandpa could read and write and his simple math skills were incredible. Grandpa could speak English, German, and Russian.
I was talking about my grandfather with the church pastor one Sunday long ago. The pastor told me Grandpa could do math problems in his head before most people could get out paper and pencil. (I told you I was like him, but I don’t think he had an ego.)
OK, it's time to discuss the last six to nine months and how I have turned into my grandfather. My grandfather wore bib overalls every day. He had a suit for funerals and weddings, stuff like that. When the event was over, out came the overalls.
Recently, I went surfing the web for overalls. It didn’t have anything to do with Grandpa, but it is a pretty strong coincidence, don’t you think? I didn’t tell Elaine I was looking for overalls, and it turned out to be a great decision. I won’t say she forbade me from ordering overalls, let’s just say she was against the idea.
In retirement, Grandpa didn’t seem to have any direction as to how to spend the day. He spent his days sitting at his dining room table (actually GrandMa’s table) playing solitaire in his overalls, waiting for one of his seventeen grandchildren to play cards with him.
I'm not sure I have a good idea where retirement takes me. Since returning from the hospital I can safely say, I have spent at least thirty minutes each day playing Solitare. Just like Grandpa, I sit at the end of the dining room table playing Solitare. Where I am different than Grandpa, my deck of cards is a computer, and I am not wearing overalls (ask Elaine about that one. Fashion is important to Elaine. Her degree is related to fashion. I’m pretty sure I look great in anything I wear (and if Elaine approves of it!) including bib overalls.
Grandpa loved to be visited by any and all of his seventeen grandchildren. My mother was a co-conspirator making sure summers were spent with at least one day a week with Grandpa.
Mom: Grandpa wants to play cards today Me: Whose turn, is it? Mom: I’m talking to you, aren’t I?
This conversation actually had two meanings. Yes, Grandpa was looking for someone to play cards with, but it also meant Grandpa (and Mom) were looking for someone to mow his lawn.
One of the “lucky” grandchildren usually me or one of my brothers) would ride their bike across town to mow the lawn, drink an RC Cola, and enjoy a store-bought cinnamon roll, (Unlike everyone whose grandmother was a good cook, mine was not. God loves the woman). Looking back, I would do it all over again.
I don’t have seventeen grandchildren, I have two. Every Sunday afternoon they come over for dinner. I don’t have a lawn to mow, but admittedly, I do ask Boy Twin to do a couple of tasks that my back surgeries prevent me from doing.
Solitare is not something we do. There is no RC Cola, no cinnamon rolls, not store-bought, or for Gods-sake, homemade. I spend a lot of time watching them play games on their phones. I wonder what Grandpa would think of that? We did buy a "corn-hole game to play with the grandkids. Don't be surprised if Girl Twin takes it to a pro level. All she would need is a "corn-hole shirt" and desire.
Boy Twin will advocate between Elaine and I. “Why can’t Monner wear overalls, Grandma?” That was a question I wouldn’t have asked my grandmother. You didn’t want to take a chance that you might anger her. She was little, loving, and could swear in three languages. I'm not really sure she was swearing, but it sure sounded bad.
Grandpa and Grandma had a razor strap hanging on the back of the bathroom door. They never used it for discipline, they didn’t need to. We were afraid just knowing it hung there.
I don’t have a razor strap. It’s not like I couldn’t have used one, I just don’t know where to get one. I have chosen to go through life without a razor strap. I’m not sure about overalls. Maybe if I could convince Elaine the overalls would be knit with sport weight yarn on number seven needles. This is a yarn store blog.
Grandpa was born in the area that is now Ukraine. I wonder what would have been had his parents not decided to move to the United States. This war hits home.
Getting back to rising with the sun. I woke up at 9:00 am this morning. I apologize.
Buy yarn! Support Ukraine! God bless.
Our crazy lives!