I only had one grandpa growing up; my mom’s dad. My dad’s dad passed away when he was just a little boy. My one and only grandpa passed away in October of 2010. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year ago. It makes me sad that baby J never got to meet him. Sometimes I think about my grandparents as they were, but then I remember that things are different. They no longer live together in the house they lived in for over 50 years. I can’t go visit that house and swing on their patio swing in the back and snap beans. I can’t run around their one acre of land. (Not that anyone ever got to run around on the back 1/2 acre!) I can’t climb the tree in the front yard anymore or help the younger kids climb the tree (unless I want to get shooed off the property by the current owners). I don’t receive fresh pecans anymore as a Christmas present. Some years they picked a ton of pecans. Now I have to buy them and I can’t believe how expensive they are! I can’t look at the different walls in the house and the different furniture and remember all the memories attached to them: Sitting in front of the heater changing my clothes as a kid (they didn’t have central heat and air until I was around 20). Sitting in front of the tv with my brother and/or cousins on a blanket. We had to sit on a blanket so we could eat food in the living room. Sometimes Grandma would pop corn, (using an actual corn popper!) and when she would pour the butter on, it was amazing! Other times we would eat ice cream or something else messy, but as long as we stayed on the blanket! I remember they had this children’s book about Paul Bunyan. I think that is the only time I ever read about him or heard of him.
The reality is my grandma lives in an apartment and the house has been sold. I miss that house and my grandpa. Sometimes I see little things everywhere that remind me of my grandpa. A hat in the back window of a car or different color blazers, brown, blue, grey, etc, from the 70/80s maybe even 60s! When I see an old man mowing his grass, especially on a riding lawn mower, I think of how much Grandpa loved mowing his one acre of land. I think he took great pride owning and maintaining his land. Not many people own that much land, even today! Almost every time I eat KFC, especially if I have it for Sunday lunch. I remember that we always had KFC for lunch after church at my grandparents house. We always had the mashed potatoes and gravy and coleslaw as sides, and every time they would exclaim that they couldn’t believe I didn’t like coleslaw and I didn’t know what I was missing. If I ever get antsy to leave a store I remember that is how my grandpa was EVERY day. He was always ready to get to the next place before everyone else was. His favorite place may have been his home. I know he his in his absolute favorite place now, and he never has to be in a hurry to get to the next place so he can finally be home.
And as a final note, I must say my Grandma is one great Grandma!! I’m so glad I have one grandparent left and I hope she is around for a while for baby J to know her.