My maternal grandfather retired in Newport Beach, East Bluffs. There was nothing better than getting on the bikes he kept in the garage and riding over to the elementary school to play hide and seek. Certainly that old codger couldn’t find the slippery 7-year old speedster.
Grampa was a genius at getting us to play with him.
No matter where we were, when Grampa pulled up it was time to play. Up popped the trunk and out came footballs, basketballs, softballs and bats and mitts, frisbees. It was time to have some fun.
The kids always won, no matter what the game. And if things got too lop-sided Grampa would make up a new rule and say “southern rules”… meaning that’s how they played in the South. He wasn’t even from the South, but he’d raised his family for a good stretch of time.
Time passed, and grampa got older. But he kept moving. Lifting his 15 lb weights, jumping on his miniature trampoline, jogging down the block. He was taller than everybody, and stood as straight as giant pine.
I’d go visit him on the weekends when I was in college. They’d moved to Utah, and that’s where I was studying. What at treat to visit those two characters.
Diabetes slowly brought him down. He couldn’t feel his feet, and his vision failed him. For a while I’d just read the prescriptions and medicine he was taking. Then, I’d read him the newspaper. Eventually, we’d watch a game together and he’d listen and I’d add my color to the commentary.
He never lost his sense of humor, never took life too seriously. He had very high standards for himself, and for others. I’m sure it was humbling for him to ask for help, but it was healing for me.
Tonight as I fumbled trying to adjust my seat post height I could only laugh at my resistance to wear glasses. I’d adjusted my seat post height only to realize after I’d loosened and raised the post that I couldn’t read the markings on the seat post collar indicating the torque required to tighten the bolts.
Solution?… take a picture, and zoom in to read it. Maybe it’s time for some glasses.
Where’s Grampa was, I now am… where he went, I am sure to go.