Sunday, February 14, 2010

My sick uncle, and an ode to Grandma's "stuff"




On Friday evening, I got a strange call from my uncle. He asked me if I would take care of his dog (Duke) if he had to go into the hospital. It was a very odd and shocking question, so of course I had to ask why. It turns out that he had shoveled his driveway, then a path 100 yards to the woodpile, and was on his second wheelbarrow load of firewood when he got a tight chest, hot, and a bit dizzy. (keep in mind he's 74) I told him to call my mom since she's 5 minutes away and go to the ER, but of course he said no since he was feeling better. We talked for a few minutes, but after I got off the phone and talked to Lisa, I decided to pack an overnight bag and head over there to be with him in case something happened or it was worse than he made it sound.
He seemed ok that night other than a mild headace, so I slept on the couch. He told me in the morning he was fine, and after an hour or so of talking I headed home. On the way I called my mom to ask her to go see him, which she did. When she got there, he said he was having pains in his arm and leg, so mom took him straight to the hospital. They admitted him, and he is staying there tilll at least Tuesday morning so they can watch him and run tests. I'm staying there with Duke and watching the house while he's gone, but came home for our usual Sunday dinner with friends, and to gather work clothes and lunch food for tomorrow. Some Valentines weekend, huh? *sigh*
While at the house early yesterday, Lisa and I decided the place needed cleaning and started at it. It wasn't messy by any means, it just needed dusted and swept. While I was helping, I kept noticing things around the house. This little knick-knack on the mantle, that ceramic something-or-another on the buffet, little things all over. Everything I saw reminded me of Grandma, and made me miss her more than I usually do. Afterall, I was in HER house, still full of her stuff even though she has been gone for almost 14 years. My uncle still hasn't changed a thing, other than putting away all of her sewing stuff. Every little nook and cranny in the house had something of grandma's, whether it was some sort of decorative item, or something she made, or her cookware and more plates and bowls than anyone would need to feed a family of 40. Even her bedroom remains unchanged, other than her clothes are now gone. Walking around and seeing all of her stuff made me happy and sad at the same time. I'm happy to see things that remind me of her, but I'm sad to remember that she's gone. But...with all of her stuff still around, and all of the memories in my head, she'll never be gone.
I stood at the back door this morning with a cup of coffee, staring out over the 8 acres behind the house and trying to picture it in my head how my dad and uncle said it was when they were kids. I tried to picture the chicken coop, the pigpen, the dairy cow, and the fruits and gardens grandma had all over. At the same time, I pictured how I would return it to the way it was when the time comes that I inherit the place, and wonder if grandma would be proud. I can only hope that she would be. I watched some birds eat from one of the feeders, and saw 5 deer walk through the very back of the property near the creek. I smiled the whole time, remembering grandma, enjoying the view, and thinking how someday I will make this yet again a working homestead as it was when my grandparents moved there in 1930.
I love you grandma. I miss you. And I will take very good care of your property, and your stuff.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I have dreams where I am visiting with my grandparents and it is always a very happy time. They have been gone for over twenty years yet it is like they have never left. FATKAT

small farm girl said...

It is bitter sweet when you go to a loved ones house like that. Your post was beautiful. I hope your uncle gets better.

Patrice Farmer said...

I hope your uncle gets better, and you are making your grandmother very proud!

Jen said...

That was heartfelt Dawgus. *wipin tear. I too am surrounded by my Gramma's memories.

I sure hope your uncle gits to feelin' better. I just know that someday you WILL make the place like it was yesteryear. ~jen

Laura said...

Your Gramma must have been an amazing woman to have so inspired you and for you to hold such special memories of her. It will be like the place has come full circle when you begin to make it a homestead again.

Barb and Steve said...

Such a heartfelt, beautiful post Chris. I hope your uncle is better soon. Don't worry. Your grandma will be very proud of you. You are a caretaker of the land, just like they were in the days your grandparents were there.

Marmee's Pantry said...

So glad your uncle is doing a little better. Oh, I know what you mean about missing you Gr-ma. I don't know why or how (as I am the 'baby' of 52 gr-children; my mom is the 'baby' of 14 kids), but I was blessed w/many of my gr-ma's things. I understand that happy/sad feeling. She lived w/my family most of my younger years. She died in 1977 when I was 18. My biggest regret is that she never met my husband or our girls; oh how they would have loved each other.

Blessings from the other end of Ohio...Kim<><

Mark said...

Ok, You are turning into woman..think ur wife likes unemployed woman with her? Watch what happens when u try 2 hide from world,

Chris W said...

Thanks for the comments folks. My uncle came home today and it doing fine. He just has strict dr's orders of NO shoveling snow, which he's not happy about.
Mark, whoever you are-I was going to write a long pissed off comment, but I've decided not to. Instead I'll just say HOOKED ON PHONICS WORKED FOR ME. For gods sake if you're going to write an insulting comment, at least try a tiny bit of proper grammer on the damn thing.

littlegreengardengal said...

Grandparents are never truly gone, no matter how many years ago they died, that is for sure. My grandparents and great grandparents who I grew up around live on in my heart and pretty much every day I think about them, use something that used to belong to them, and/or use a skill one of them taught me. I miss them so much, but I smile from all the memories. Thanks for writing such a great post for all of us to read.
And glad to hear your uncle is home.

Chris W said...

I never got to meet my great grandparents on my dads side, though I did meet my great grandmother from moms side once when she was 96. My grandfather W passed away in 1941, so of course I never met him either. My moms parents lived 8 houses away, but we were never close. I have very few good memories of them. She didn't like my dad, and us kids always paid the price for that.

viagra online said...

viagra online
generic viagra

Blog Archive