I have not blogged in so long that I feel like a child who has been out sick and has lots of homework to catch up on!
This is a busy time. My grandpa turned 91 this week (really 3 weeks ago), so my mom and I traveled to his farm for a visit. It worked out well because I had a bridal shower in CT as well.
I adore my grandpa. He knows so much about so many things. For example, in the course of an hour, he explained to me how to make a frame for honey bees that would go in their hive, how a carbide drill works in drilling rock on the side of the road, and chatted about Antiques Roadshow. I’ve talked about Papa before. As my only living grandparent, he is precious to me. I pray that I have his genes and live as long, and as healthily as he has thus far. At the same time, I think it will hit me very hard when he goes. I have a funny feeling it will be quiet and fast. One morning my uncle will come over and find that he isn’t out of bed and that will be it. Ok, I don’t want to talk about that.
My grandpa has a cat named Miss Kitty. She is a beautiful silver furred cat with a very pink tongue and a loving but firm personality. Miss Kitty appeared in my grandfather’s life a short time after my grandma died. They had been married 58 years or something. Miss Kitty was a wild cat who began life in the barn. Gradually, with Papa’s love and encouragement, she became more friendly. Now she is loving and happy - sleeping on your lap and crying when she wants more food. We are generally not a superstitious family, but Papa believes Miss Kitty is my grandma’s soul. I have to say – I don’t think it’s that far fetched. My grandma was a strong woman with firm ideas and a tough exterior. She was also very loving, kind and generous. She expected a lot of us, but she loved us unconditionally. Miss Kitty is my grandpa’s companion. He has hearing aids that he doesn’t like very much. He can no longer see well enough to do his beloved puzzles or read the small print of the newspaper. He works doing inside farm work (planting seeds) in the cold winter, and gets out to the greenhouses and for a walk in the good weather. I imagine sometimes that his life must get lonely. My uncle is in and out all day working on the farm, but he does not have much time for "visiting.”
All this to say – I love my grandpa very much. I learned how to give the best backrubs from my grandpa because he loves them. Since my grandma isn’t around to give them, it’s always my job when I visit. It’s our thing. His back is itchy a lot so a backrub really helps.
Papa lives in my favorite place in the world. The farm has always been my escape – the place I can get away from real life. He does not have internet (he still has a rotary dial phone!) and I can read or knit or just sit and not feel like there are eight projects waiting for me. I have fond memories of adventures in the brook as a child, or working selling vegetables at the stand. It’s family, it’s love - it’s the place I bring to mind when someone says “Go to your special place.”
This post goes absolutely nowhere but in a circle. Do you ever have those times that you hope never ends? Do you know those people who are such fixtures in your life that you cannot imagine life without them? I should get there more often. Grandpa never says anything, but I know how much he appreciates the visits. Call those people in your life and let them know you’re thinking of them.