Monday, January 26, 2009

Days two and Three....

Grandpa's barn is one of the oldest two story barns in the county.  The inside is not in the greatest shape, but Grandpa is adamant about keeping the history alive.  It is filled with very old farm equipment and other tasty antiques.  It is like a dusty museum of my Grandfathers youth.  I spent several hours perusing the goods.  It is mind boggling to think of how many hours he used that stuff, and the backbreaking labor it took to run it.  He completely has my respect!

This portion of the farm is kind of a center point.  From it you can see all the surrounding hills and valleys.  It is also the place of many indian conflicts.  Though out our time on the farm, many arrow heads, battle axes and other weapons were found.  It is also the "overlook" for an indian burial ground that lies directly below.  The indians buried their loved ones in mounds, together with forefathers, but with no belongings.  It is still considered a holy place.  The university has even sent Phd's out to study the land.  There is an old "race track" where they would test their manhood.  It was very dangerous, and many were hurt and even killed in this sport.

About a quarter mile up river is where General Grant crossed on his election platform.  The river was then named "Grant" river, which just down stream empties into the Mississippi.  Back in the day, river boats (paddle wheelers) would come up stream to collect wood for the steam engines, and corn for food.  Over time, the farmers began trading other products as well, which turned into a good business until the depression hit.  During the depression, the farmers in the area survived on their own crops and animals.  Money was not needed for survival, but the times were definitely not easy.  Grandpa is loaded with tales from this time frame, but recalls the Potosi Brewery did quite well!!!  Imagine that!

Back to the trip.....

On Day two and three I was free to spend quality time with Grandpa.  I had gotten all the serious stuff out of the way on day one, so just hung out listening to Grandpa's stories.  He has lived quite a life.  He talked about how satisfied he is when he looks back on his time spent on earth, and is quite proud (for the most part) of the family he raised.  His son, my father, is his only regret.  I explained to him that he is not to blame, and that he did more then his share on making me a better person then I thought I would have been.  We reached a mutual understanding and respect for one another.  It was quite something to sit with him, speaking man to man.  It is a moment I will always carry with me.

Every morning, I was able to help Mark with the chores.  He was a little shocked that I remembered how to drive farm equipment, but soon got over it.  It was nice to play with the cattle, the cats, the chickens and to watch them run and play with each other!  I think I could easily fall right back into farm life!  The work is hard, but it is very rewarding!  (heck, it beats the hell out of cubical life!)

I had been spying on Grandpa to make sure he was getting along okay.  He was not taking showers, but instead washing up at the sink.  He was also not eating a balanced diet, or reading very well.  With my new found confidence, I broached those topics with him directly.  It seams that since his knees were pretty much shot, it was hard for him to shower with his "short" chair.  He could sit down, but was having problems getting back up.  His issues with reading, I think were do to poor lighting, and his diet was due to "ease of preparation".  So, off I went to the store with my Aunt Jean and my Brother Mike.  I bought Grandpa everything that was single serving, microwavable, and would keep fresh a long time.  I also bought him fruit, cheese, milk, juice and ensure.  I also thought it best to buy food for visitors.  That way Grandpa could somewhat entertain.  After two carts of groceries, it came to just over $400.00.  My Brother about flipped out!  My point was taken well and accepted, you see, they are there and check on him all the time.  They have done far more for Grandpa then I have had the opportunity too, so groceries were a very small sacrifice.  When we unloaded them, Grandpa kept watching us take trip after trip to the car.  I made him "peruse" through the new products, as I don't think he knows much about groceries.  To date, he is keeping the packages of the stuff he likes as well as a list of the particular flavors of things.  Especially Activa yogurt!!!  Needless to say, I will put some weight back on him if it kills me!!  He seems to be enjoying his new found tastes quite well.

I also replaced some light bulbs with increased wattage, as well as my Uncle Mark getting a higher chair for Grandpa to shower with.  All three problems solved! 

In this process Grandpa and I had a few tasteless moments.......

Grandpa was in the bathroom for quite a while, so I knocked on the door and said "you aren't jacking off in there are you?", to which he replied "nope, just jacking!"

He said "You know, when your Grandma and I got together, she could not figure out how something so small could get so big!  She always thought I was really well hung, and I was very grateful that she had been a virgin when we got married!!!!"

When I was a teenager, I would go through a lot of tissue.  You can imagine why.  Anyway, I had a waste paper basket, but would never leave a tissue in it as to not have to explain to Grandma.  So one day Grandma approached me and said, "My you are going through an awful lot of tissue, are you feeling okay?"  I froze in shock and did not know what to say.  Grandpa saved me with his response "Well Hazel, he only had half a box to start with, and you know how this family is with hay fever!"  After word, outside Grandpa walked up to me and said "start jacking off in the barn, better privacy and you can hide magazines up there!"

Seriously, the man is filled with jokes and quips, so I have got to record him on a long winded run!!!  Maybe I will print a book or something!!


Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. January 26, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

You are lucky to have a wonderful Grandpa! I cant wait to read more!
Thanks Predo!

Unknown January 26, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

LMAO at the last three granda quips!! So friggin halarious!

I am glad you were there to make sure his life is a little easier! Do I need to send grandpa a cake? Yours will be on it's way soon...Death by Chocolate Pound Cake for you and Jimmy to shar eon V Day? Let me know.

I love reading about your time at the farm.


(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl January 26, 2009 at 7:38 PM  

You guys and your wieners-at ANY age! You crack me up!

(P.S. SSG is PRETTY sure her life on the cube farm has prepared her for actual farm work. She is SO GOING WITH YOU next time you go back!)

Anonymous,  January 27, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

I can't read your "Grandpa Stories" fast enough!!! What a GEM:)

I'd like to visit with you one day - I can actually drive a tractor! Although, I once stuck a pitchfork in my foot while getting up hay.......It all balances out in the end!

The Rev. January 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

Ah, grandfathers are amazing, aren't they? There's just something about the grandfather/grandchild relationship that lends itself to more of a friendship than anything else.

I had the good fortune to live a block away from my grandparents while I was finish college down in Florida, and every week we were able to get together for Sunday night dinner.

Your gramps sounds like a class act-

Bella Della January 29, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

I am catching up on your posts today. Grandpa is hilarious. You are very, very lucky. I never knew either of my grandfathers.

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