Happy Birthday, Dad! Glad I got to visit Grandpa in Iowa with you this month. It was a very memorable experience ❤
Tag Archives: family
“I didn’t think any of my family would go to Thailand or Korea unless they were forced to in the military.”
“Outlive everyone you have a life insurance policy on.”
On Books Read So Far This Year:
“I’m in two but I already read one of them. Thing is, I’ve forgotten it so I have to find out what happens.”
Grandpa: “Well, I’m becoming quite a little homemaker. I just made dessert for 4.”
Me: “But Grandpa, there are 5 of us for dinner tonight.”
Grandpa: *long pause* damn
“Pass the salt.”
Truly an awesome visit. Glad I got to go.
Today we headed over to the World’s Largest Truck Stop and visited a truck museum with vehicles ranging from the early 1900s to the 1970s. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was actually a really fun experience, especially with my Grandpa and Dad nerding out every few steps.
We then stopped by one of the world’s oldest ice cream parlors. (Wilton Candy Kitchen. Check it out if you are ever in the area!)
It was a most historical day 😉
Tonight my Grandpa, some of his brother in laws, my Dad, and I went out for Friday Night Fish Fry. The diner dates back to the ’50s and in many respects looks it. Most of the clientele are retired. The booths are vinyl, the coffee bottomless, and pie a forgone conclusion.
Conversation flowed as you would expect. Politics, family, fishing, Hawks football. But being Iowa, it came with its own flavor.
Waitress: “And what will your side be? We have everything listed plus vegetables.”
Guy 1: “You got corn?”
Waitress: “No, I’ve got baby carrots?”
Guy 1: “No corn? Mph, I guess I’ll take baby carrots.”
Waitress: “And how about you?”
Guy 2: “You got corn?”
* Guy 1 perks up * “If he gets corn, I want corn.”
Waitress: * still smiling * “We don’t have corn. Try a salad.”
Guy 2: “Huh. No corn, eh? I guess I’ll also have carrots…”
Guy 3: “She already said she didn’t have corn!”
Guy 2: * looks flummoxed * “No corn, huh.”
Uproarious: provoking loud laughter; very funny.
Also how my Grandpa ends every day. First he watches his show (a war movie, a Western, an episode of Last Man Standing. It changes night to night.)
Then at about 9:30, he pauses and goes, “Well, I can’t go to bed without watching an episode of Cheers.”
And then he puts it on and laughs at every line. Not even the studio audience can keep up with that kind of commitment.
The only word for it is uproarious. It is hilarious watching with him.
And man, what a good way to live. End every day laughing till you cry.
We lost Grandma Bea this past February and since then my Dad has come by a couple times to spend time with Grandpa. But this is my first visit with him since Grandma passed. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But I’ve been heartened from this visit so far. Besides all the amazing people always checking in with him, my Grandpa has a truly inspiring attitude towards life. He is always trying something new.
Every conversation goes something like this: “I made a bunt cake. I hadn’t made one before. Even made the frosting! First time.” “Never made fresh lemonade. I decided to try it.” “Well, I usually grill hobo dinner. But I thought I’d try it in the stove tonight.” He plants flowers. He cooks. He invites friends over.
It is fun being around him because he is not letting old age or grief keep him from continually trying something new.
I offered to run some errands for Grandpa and needed to put my number in his phone. He wanted a picture of me to pop up when I call and I protested that I hadn’t showered or done my makeup. He laughed it off.
A few hours later, he looked at the pictures and announced: “Yeah, I should have let you do your hair.”
I got back from running errands and handed Grandpa the leftover cash.
“Change!” Grandpa exclaimed. “If my daughters brought me change, I’d be a much wealthier man than I am now.”
So far I’ve seen my grandpa salt his gas station pizza, salt his sandwich, and salt his french fries. Finally I asked him about his salt consumption:
“Well,” he answered, “I figure eventually they will get on me some diet for my blood pressure, but they don’t have me on one right now, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! And anyway, I never thought I’d live this long. I expected someone to have shot me by now.”
Today my Grandpa and I ran errands in his 1966 cherry red Chevy Impala. As we drove, he told me about his adopted Dad (a tavern owner) who would drop by every tavern they passed when they went anywhere for a few beers ‘to be neighborly’ with his tavern buddies.
He died of sclerosis of the liver.
After a long, thoughtful pause, reflecting on the death, Grandpa announced: “Let’s stop for a beer.”
So we found a tavern in “a one horse town without the horse” and kept up the family tradition.
I’m visiting with my paternal grandpa this weekend and today I got to see some family pictures of his dad and grandpa. (My great-grandpa and great, great grandpa.)
And what do you know…they look like him! And my Dad! And all my aunts and uncles on that side!
Makes sense but I usually just see pictures of my Mom’s side. This is going to be a fun visit.