Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Things... and Grandpa

Today's 5 things are "Five people you DO NOT want to see standing at the foot of your bed."

1. The crew from 60 Minutes.

2. A policeman.

3. An undertaker.

4. A strange figure in a black hooded robe with no face.

5. A doctor with a mournful look on his/her face.

A couple of people I wouldn't mind seeing at the foot of my bed are my mother and my maternal grandfather.

My mother died in 1993, and in 1995, when I was making my wedding dress I had the absolutely certain feeling that she was telling me she approved of my fabric and pattern choice. She was right: it was a lovely pattern and beautiful fabric. So, if she wants to show up and tell me I'm doing a good job (on whatever), I'll take it.

I was 12 years old the last time I saw my grandfather (pictured below). I was sick with the flu and my grandparents, who had been living next door to us, decided they wanted to go back to South Dakota. (I'm sure those two events were not related.)

This is my grandfather in 1903, when he was 24. Is he not a handsome fellow?

After Grandpa died in 1965, my mother told me that he'd wished he could be around to see me grown up because he thought I was going to turn out to be a neat person ("neat" was my mother's word; I don't know exactly what Grandpa said). It's one of the greatest compliments I ever got. If Grandpa wants to stand at the foot of my bed and tell me whether or not I fulfilled his expectations it's all right with me.

Grandpa built houses and other buildings. He also designed them. During one of my grandparents' moves to South Carolina, he built the house that I grew up in. He was in his 70s and had no power tools. He built that house mostly by himself and it was well-constructed and true. He was a little annoyed when he discovered that one wall was off by an eighth of an inch. My sister now lives in the house.

During the Depression, Grandpa was an itinerant carpenter and moved the family from one place to another throughout the midwest and northwest. They finally settled in South Dakota and that's where he died. The main thing that bothers me about my grandparents' deaths is that Grandpa is buried in South Dakota and Grandma is buried in South Carolina. Couples who have loved each other for as long as they did should get to lie at their eternal rest together, side by side.


Theresa said...

Something (or someone?) tells me they're together, no matter where their bones are buried. Probably looking over your shoulder while you're reading, with a cat in your lap. And your grandmother is telling you to pull out that knitting and get busy! Wait, that was me, not her. I tried! Handsome man, that grandfather.

Bridget said...

What a lovely post! Your grandfather was a handsome man, and he sounded like a talented one as well.

I never knew any of my grandparents, and always felt that I missed something.

Anonymous said...

I agree, definitely a handsome fellow!


(word verification is "winet" - is that someone who only whines every once in a while?)