Today’s guest post comes from Ben.
I saw one of those plastic tips from the old ‘Tiparillo’ cigars lying on the ground the other day. It reminded me of my Dad as he smoked those for a time when I was a kid. He always said he spent more time chewing on those tips than actually smoking which is just as well.
My folks were a pretty good example of how to be married. I would hear them lying in bed at night talking and laughing. My wife had good examples of relationships too and we’re lucky that way. My Parents Joe and June grew up together. The story goes when they were infants both their Moms belonged to the same social group known as ‘The Mothers and Daughters Club’. At the monthly meetings Joe and June’s bassinettes would be put together behind the furnace at the town hall. Dad said he didn’t expect to date anyone but Mom and Mom grew up on a farm so she didn’t intend to be a farm wife. She says he had to work at it and in the end his twinkling eyes and Irish charm won her over.
Skip ahead about 60 years after they got married.
My Dad decided it was time to give up his job and therefore Mom said they only needed one car. Dad informed Mom he was NOT getting rid of his car. She was rather indignant about that “He didn’t even give me a chance! Who made HIM ruler of the roost!?” she said. My parents ‘fight’ in a rather humorous way… I asked if we should leave so they could work this out? Mom informed me it was already worked out because HE decided!
I was at their apartment with my son to pick up their now extra car because my son wanted a car with actual heat in the passenger compartment. (As compared to his old car that didn’t have heat. I told him having a car with no heat builds character. My first car didn’t have heat either and look how I turned out. Son thinks he has enough character for the moment.)
It was Moms car we drove home.
Mom has always had some spunk in her. When they were farming together Mom wasn’t afraid to inform Dad that his Universal Hand Signals left something to be desired and he could bale his own Damn hay. Among other things…
I only knew my paternal Grandpa and maternal Grandma. This was Grandpa’s farm before ours so he still had a garden out here when he was able. Built himself a little garden shed, cut his own hair – and boy did that freak me out when I saw it—and at the local mall played Santa Clause for a number of years and in 1976 played Uncle Sam.
It was his father that came to our current farm location in 1896. People ask how we got so far off the road and down in a valley but that’s where the water was. They settled next to the natural springs. Grandpa hauled sand from the creek banks to his garden plot so he could grow peanuts and watermelons.
My dad says his Dad didn’t like change and didn’t like to make improvements to the farm. Whenever my dad made a change his dad criticized it. And when they decided to tear down the old farmhouse they didn’t exactly tell Grandpa about it. He drove in about the time the old house was pulled down and I’m told he simply turned around, drove away and didn’t come back until he was invited for Thanksgiving dinner in the new house. Which he did admit was a nice house.
My maternal Grandpa died before I was born. Grandma called every night at 7:00 to talk to my mother and if I answered the phone there was a pause and a little laugh and then ‘Ben?’ Yes, Grandma, it’s me… she also told me not to eat candy cause I was gonna get fat and, in the 70’s when I was trying the ‘gold chain necklace look’, she saved me from myself by informing me that only girls wore necklaces.
One of my favorite memories of Grandma is riding in her car when I was a kid, stopping at an intersection and a couple boys about 10 yrs old on bikes had to stop as we blocked their path and one kid said ‘Aw ya dumb old lady….’ And Grandma laughed and waved and drove off. I think about that a lot; I think how well she handled that (we never talked about it so I’m not sure what she thought of it), but I think there was probably a good lesson in there for me as a 10 yr old. And as a future grandparent.
Grandma’s house was where we watched the fireworks on the fourth of July. All my cousins were there with watermelon and squirt guns in her back yard.
And her 1967 Plymouth Valiant was my first car.
Yep, driven by a little old lady.
What comes to mind when you think of your grandparents?