From The Ground Down

Photo by Lukas on

I have a lot of people that I admire but I will pick close to home.  My grandparents I admired a lot as I grew up.  I didn’t really comprehend what they had done in their lifetime until I was much older.  They were just teenagers when they married, 16 and 17 I believe.  They got an acre of land and bought a trailer to live in.  When grandpa got out of the service he began to dig.  Well, both of them did actually.  They dug an area up for a basement poured concrete for the foundation and began to build their own house.  They lived in the little trailer with their first born (my dad) and worked on the house.  When the basement was done, they moved from the trailer into the lower level of the house.  As my dad grew old enough to help, they did some beautiful stonework for both the fireplace downstairs and the main floor too.

As a kid grandpa used to get after me and my sister if we bumped into the walls or got toys too close to the woodwork.  They had shutter doors on both entryways into the living room.  Me and my sister liked to play with them too.  Grandpa did not like that either.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized this house was his masterpiece and he was just protecting his artwork.

To dig a basement, to build a house and do so with (eventually) three boys… took a lot of work and patience.  And this was while grandpa worked too.  Eventually grandpa started his own repair and handyman service; I remember he was almost always fixing screens and windows or going to install awnings.  And grandma was his accountant, bookkeeper, receptionist, assistant… she did a lot.

But through all that work they stayed happily married into sixty plus years.  When grandma eventually convinced grandpa to retire, his “job” became fishing and taking grandma on cruises.  They had a lot of fun.  I look back now and wish I hadn’t missed all those years seeing grandpa only as a disciplinarian instead of the craftsman he was.  I learned much earlier all the work grandma did to keep up with the business and care for the cooking and the cleaning.  Later in life they also took in my grandma’s mom and grandma cared for her too.  She was always on the go.

On top of everything else (if that wasn’t enough) they volunteered at their church a lot.  Mowing the grass every week, doing repairs and cleaning.  And weekly they would mow grandpa’s mom’s yard and do her grocery shopping too. 

I have probably typed my longest post, and this only scratches the surface as to why I admire my dad’s parents.  They are greatly missed and still a part of my life, always in my heart.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August (FDDA) #8 – something or someone you admire

A to Z Challenge – G

A2Z 2020 logo

The letter G…

I think I was pretty lucky growing up.  When I was a kid my sister and I would travel to spend two weeks with my grandparents.  We each got a week alone and then shared one week together.  And while there one of out weekly events was going to my great grandma’s house to visit.  I remember playing dominoes with her while waiting to hear her cuckoo clock chime on the hour.  Then probably when I was about 10 or so my other great grandma came to live with my grandparents.  She was an amazing woman and I was often told I inherited her love and ability to craft things.  I only have limit memories of my great grandfather.

I also got to spend time with my grandma who lived here in town.  Only thing was spending nights at her house I was unfortunate enough to “have to” take a spoonful of cod liver oil… Just the thought gives me shivers. But she had the best garden with wonderful fresh raspberries, and it was often in summertime we would help her pick them – pick one, eat two is more like it!

I only had my grandpa on my Dad’s side of the family.  He was pretty strict but mellowed in later years.  Anytime I see a squirrel I think of him and his battles to keep them out of the bird feeders.  Also, when I get upset, I recall a phrase he would use that I have never heard anyone else say – Well doesn’t that just frost you?  Have any of you heard that before”

The time I spent with all my grandparent and great grandparents is time I will always treasure, yes even the memories of cod liver oil.  My only regret is that I never knew my mom’s dad as he passed away when she was still young. So, my grateful G is grandparents, I miss all 5 of them very much.

On The Missouri

The cabin greeted us

Every summer as kids

With warm memories

To be made in nature

The gentle sounds of the river

As it lapped against the banks

The gentle sounds of raindrops

Hitting the tin rooftop

A glimpse of a deer

Taking a drink of water

From the other side

Of the flowing river

Birds all over singing

With their distinct calls

My grandpa was good

He could name them all

And grandma would always

Wake us with the smell

Of pancakes on the griddle

Waiting to be devoured

There were plenty of walks

An occasional bike ride

Horseshoes and badminton

And an old swing set

It was sad to see it go

My grandparents now gone

And the family not interested

It was an old worn out cabin

But I still carry it with me

Deep in my heart

And remember it fondly

Especially during a gentle rain


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – cabin