Many times I have started writing the post about my grandparents. It goes to the drafts folder every time. There is nothing I can write to do justice to the legacy of love they have bestowed upon our family.
My grandmother taught me how to hide candy, shell peas, husk corn, plant beans, pick berries, and love people with all your heart even in the moments you are sick of them. She used to let me comb her hair, fake-shave my legs with lotion and a metal nail file, and play Johnny Cash until she was probably desperately tired of him. She spent hours looking for four leafed clovers in the soft patch of grass between the house and the grapevine.
She walked downtown with me to the IGA when it was still there for years. I remember my shock when I asked her to go with me one day and she declared herself too old. She sat on the swing down under the pine trees in evenings as the heat faded and I remember singing with her, and her singing to me. One song I especially remember is about telling Aunt Fanny the old gray goose is dead. Tomorrow I will embrace her while somehow trying to squeeze all of those moments into one good hug.
My grandfather let me paint the basement with him when I was five years old. I have always loved to paint, probably because he is the one who taught me. I don't remember him teaching me anything, I just remember sploshing paint on uneven stone walls with an over-saturated brush. It is a feeling I will never forget. He presented me with a Mickey Mouse watch after the job was done, and I felt oh so very grown up. If I was at his house I felt safe. He taught me to hide candy under the couch and that your stomach does not know what time it is.
I'm still deciding if his theory, which he still contends to this day, is true: "That's what you looked like when the picture was taken." His other ideas have also been met with some resistance. For example "You don't come out of the bathroom looking AN HOUR better, so you don't need to be in there for an hour" seems to have some flaws in it as far as I'm concerned. I think my sense of humor comes mostly from him.
These are just two of the people I am ever so thankful for this Thanksgiving. I was going to write about a bigger handful, but believe me, these two are a handful all on their own!