Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

The fourth of July has always been a double holiday in our family. My grandfather was born on the fourth of July, so until he passed away in 2002 the fourth was always doubly joyous. I've written about my grandfather here before, and I'm sure I'll write about him many times after this. He and my grandmother have been so incredibly important in my life.

Weren't they gorgeous? I remember looking at this picture when I was growing up and thinking that they both could've been movie stars. Their beauty was overwhelming every time I looked at it. They look so perfect in this picture. People who didn't know them might think they lived in one of those houses with impeccable everything. A look-but-don't-touch house with a froofy girly dog and a four-car garage. In truth they were farmers for most of their lives. They lived on a farm road in a quaint house that I spent most of my youth in. My love of wide open space and Texas sunsets grew out of my time at their home. My grandmother was an avid flower gardener and rock collector and my grandfather was an avid vegetable gardener and talker. My grandmother was steely with a wicked grin and mischievous eyes. My grandfather was a kind, tortured soul whose actions never left me wondering if I was loved.

Today leaves me reflecting on past holidays. The whole family would get together and we'd have a birthday dinner and fireworks. They had a huge german shepherd/doberman mix named BG. He was terrified of fireworks, so my grandfather would feel sorry for him and let him in the house to sleep under the dining room table. When we were done with fireworks we'd sit around the table and talk until all hours. That was unusual since my grandfather usually went to bed around 7:00 or 7:30 to lay in bed and listen to baseball.

I miss the little things about both of them, but about him...the smell of his pipe, long talks about nothing, poker and Candyland, Big Red at the service station, the way he called me honey, overalls, really old country music, "Graciouuuuuus."

It's almost three years since he's been gone, and I laugh through tears thinking of him.


  1. When I was a child and my divorced mom went to work, I spent summers and time after school at my grandparent's house.

    My grandmother baked the most delicious pies and cookies. She also canned strawberry preserves and sweet pickles. Every day she'd make my lunch. She took care of me when I was sick.

    My grandfather was a farmer as a youth and a mechanic later in life. He was the primary adult male role model in my life. He was a kind, wise man who was happiest when he was with other people, talking and laughing and reminising.

    I'm older than you, Andi. It would be unrealistic to expect my grandparents to still be alive, but I still miss them and I always will.

    Thanks for writing this post and sharing with all of us. Thanks for reminding me of my own grandparents.

  2. Ooh, preserves. Mine canned a lot and would let me help in the kitchen. Such good memories. :o)

  3. Your grandparents, like you my dear(!) are beautiful.

    I hope you had a good day today full of great memories of all that encompasses this day.

  4. You're so sweet! Thanks a bunch, Stella.

  5. Beautiful post sweets. I miss my grandpa so much when you talk of yours. They were a gorgeous couple, inside and out, and made you the same way.

    My grandpa smelled of the cigarettes he wasn't supposed to be smoking, his hair...I don't know...stuff, and something that was uniquely him. Sometimes I smell it just out of the blue and feel like he has come to visit me. Sometimes I ache with loneliness for him. It's been three years too.

  6. Andi,

    beautiful post! Loved seeing the pictures of your grandparents. They were really strikingly beautiful and handsome.

  7. What amazing gene's you have!!

  8. Heather,
    Smells take me back alll the time. Especially aftershave. I used to watch my g'pa shave when I was little, so shaving cream and aftershave send me into a tailspin.

  9. Hi, Mrs. T.! Thanks! Although, their strikingness jumped right over me. lol


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