Veteran’s Day – Stuff my Grandpa Said

Grandpa, between his sister and his wife

Happy Veterans’ Day

! I always think about my grandfather on this day. He died a few years ago, and I neverheard him talk about his war experiences. He fought in World War II and the Korean War.

He made it home alive, raised children, worked hard, retired, and celebrated 50 years of marriage. During his long life, he shared some wise and funny sayings with us. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “Clean your plate.”
  • “Gettin’ old is hell.”
  • “I’ll give you 45 minutes to cut that out.” (During a shoulder massage.)
  • “You can curl ‘em, braid ‘em, or split ‘em. Just don’t pull them out!” (When we would comb the few hairs he had left on his head.)
  • “Gives the mosquitoes a place to skate.” (On being bald.)
  • “What, honey? I don’t hear so good anymore. I don’t smell so good, either.”

I would have liked to hear about his days in the military, but he didn’t want to talk about that. I appreciate and respect his service, and I honor him by sharing these memories today.

Thank you, Grandpa. And thanks to all the people who have served our country to protect our freedom and preserve our safety!

GeekMom’s Memory Lane: Smells of Springtime in the Heartland

flowering pear treeI live in the midwestern United States, in a suburban area. Although I wouldn’t consider this a rural community, you don’t have to drive far to be “out in the country.”

I consider myself a country girl at heart. I grew up on a wooded lot in rural Wisconsin, and loved playing outside without worrying about traffic. It was nice to sleep with the windows open, and not hear the noise of the neighbors’ televisions. We had room for a big garden (although we hated it when Dad made us pull weeds), and lots of space to explore and play. The ditches along our road were full of berry bushes, and we picked and ate all we wanted in the summer. I think I’d like to move to a nice, quiet piece of land again someday. But for now, we’re stuck in the ‘burbs, conveniently close to shopping and schools, and a little too close to a few obnoxious neighbors…

However, there are a couple of times each year when the country seems very near, and I am taken back to my childhood in my mind. Today, I opened the windows to let in the fresh breeze, and clear out the last of winter’s stale air. The weather is perfect today. The pear trees are in bloom, the daffodils have finally opened, and my purple and yellow pansies are smiling at the sky.

As the gentle current of air swirls through my house, I take a deep breath. Ahhhh.

Wait. What’s that smell? Oh, I know.

Even though I can’t see any fields from my window, I can smell the aroma of agriculture. Somewhere, some farmer is working today. Perhaps he is turning the soil or spraying on some kind of organic fertilizer (manure?). The odor is faint and dilute, but unmistakably earthy, and somewhat sour.

Should I close my windows? No. I will leave them open. Let in the air. Let in the smell of agriculture; the smell of good, honest, dirty work. It may not be an entirely pleasant smell, but the memories it brings are sweet, indeed. 🙂