Today is Grandparent's Day, and much like Mother's Day the first few years we were married, I get nothing. No card. No flowers. No diamonds. Nothing. Not even chocolate.
But this Grandparent's Day thing isn't something to be complained about, I guess. I've got two granddogs, so that should be enough. As if they were children, I see pictures of these horse-dogs often and hear them even more often. Any time Dana and I talk on the phone, one of those dogs is barking.
You know how parents tell their kids all the weird things the grandkids do is just God's way of getting even. That's true with the telephone barkers.
When Dana was little, she didn't give a fig if I talked to anyone in the house, but the minute I picked up the phone, there was nothing she needed more than to get my attention. She was so independent I'd sometimes pick up the phone just for her reaction, just so she'd hang on me, grab my face between her hands to turn it toward her and talk about absolutely nothing worthwhile.
When she was a baby, the only way she'd let me look directly into her eyes is if I wore sunglasses and she could see herself rather than me. Then I could look all I wanted. It just looked silly to wear sunglasses in the shade, at dusk, in the house.
Until, or if ever, I get grandkids, my Grandparent's Days will be full of remembrances of my own grandparents, Gus and Frieda Hansch and Chuck and Lyle Pitsor. Lyle Margaret Pitsor. She didn't like it that Lyle seemed a man's name so always wanted Margaret attached.
Grandma Lyle made a perfect frozen fruit dessert. When I asked my sister if she had the recipe, she nearly choked, asking why she'd have a recipe for something she hated.
Grandma Frieda made the best buns in the world. I'm thinking my sister does have that recipe. I tried to write it down once as Grandma baked, but her measurements were more of the hit and miss of a confident baker than a precise piece of a baking puzzle.
But none of that matters. What matters are the memories, and I remember both of them with love.
I remember Grandpa Gus for taking me bullhead fishing in the Boone River at Sportsmans Park south of Eagle Grove, of fixing fence across the dredge ditch with him and for a silver Virgo necklace he brought me from Arizona. I'm not a Virgo, but he loved the necklace and he loved me, so he bought it for me.
Grandpa Chuck took me with him and Grandma Lyle on a trip out east and to Quebec in Canada after my first year of junior college. I know that's the year because I could speak basic French. To a point. As he blew past a road sign written in French he said - with a high amount of snottiness, I thought - "You probably can't even tell me what that sign says."
He was wrong.
"Lentement," I spit out. "It says slow down."
He did. I remember that.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org