Thursday, May 23, 2013

For GPa

Grandpa hated that we called it his man cave. We were surprised that we hadn't come up with the term sooner. It was a room filled with fragments of his life.

His printer was never broken; he never read the directions I wrote for him.

He idly let his teeth chomp. It didn't bother him, he couldn't hear it.

He unceremoniously changed our cartoons to his sports, and never sat in any chair but his own.

He spoke sparingly; a gruff voice I emulated for the high school play.

He couldn't fly R/C helicopters.

If I mentioned I liked something of his he gave it to me. Once, I liked a suede jacket that my dad was angling for, and grandpa gave it to me instead.

He gave me a belt once. Years later, he forgot he had and almost stole it back from me.

He would wander into the kitchen in the morning with his feet shuffling, his chicken legs sticking out of his boxers, and his hair sticking straight up.

He liked warm rooms and always had a space heater going.

He was an excellent photographer, and regularly transformed his back porch into a national geographic cover.

He took a photo every Christmas of the family. One year we all took portraits.  He captured us perfectly in those shots--every year.

When grandma refused to buy Kleenex anymore there was almost always a roll of toilet paper on his person.

He would sneak treats to the dogs.

He would move between interests like a curious child, taking in the minute details with a simple wonderment.  Sometimes, in his excitement, he would forget big things--like how to transfer photos, or charge a battery.

He loved getting packages in the mail.

My cousins and I would joke about going to prison when he would emerge from the basement, point at me, and say, "I need some help, the printer's broken."

They'd look at me and say, "see you in a few hours."  Sometimes that was true.  At the time it was a pain, but now I would give anything to spend a couple hours at the computer with him.  Sitting there quietly, carefully adjusting a photo for a while.  Printing the photo, wrong at first, then with a few more adjustments, just right.

I'm going to really miss him.