Remembering Grandpa

GpaMiller

My grandfather who passed away last Thursday at the age of 89.

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill: 
One was named Jack.
One was named Jill. 
Fly away jack.
Fly away Jill.
Come back Jack.
Come back Jill.

     That is one of my earliest memories of Grandpa.   I’m not sure if he did this to my cousins but he would sit my sisters and me at the table making Jack and Jill disappear and reappear like magic.  We would have him do it over and over and over again, utterly amazed……. until I was about 5 and figured it out. Then the jig was up!  I didn’t see it too much more after that.

     He liked to have fun often at the expense of his grandchildren….. He would be taking us someplace and “forget” how to get there.  He would stop and ask for direction and, at the wink of his eye, they would play right along.  My sisters and I would get so frustrated with him thinking he didn’t know where he was going but once, when he did it to my cousins, Danielle and Chad, Danielle got so annoyed with him not “knowing” where he was going she jumped out of his car and ran the few blocks to their destination.  She was the smart one!

     Once he and grandma were taking us back to our home and couldn’t seem to remember the way so I gave him directions but, in the usual childlike ignorance, I warned him to go this one way and stay away from bumpy East Petersburg.  I heard about that for a long time.

     He loved his German Shepherds.  I often remember going to the farm to see them to be greeted by Josie or Julie.  I remember when he got his hunting dog, Chrissy, and the small game hunting parties at the farm.   I remember doing corn and shelling basket after basket after basket of Lima beans.

     He made grandma a large bird feeding complex for my grandma right outside her dining room window because she loved birds so much, but I think he watched them just as much as he did.  It inspired the one I had Norm make for me.

      Checkers……………. he was a wicked checker player!  He and grandma loved games.  It was where my sisters and I learned to love Scrabble.  We also played a lot of Uno and grandpa taught me how to play the wooden peg game, backgammon and carom.

     He loved hunting and fishing.  Always a fish story! He loved fishing so much that Grandma would often bring a bunch of fish to our house just to get rid of them because they had so many.  Sorry, Grandpa, I still have yet to learn to like fish.

     His first two grandchildren were girls so when my mom and my aunt Linda were pregnant together again in 1971 he rashly promised $50 to the first grandchild named after him hoping for a grandson.  So when mom had another girl in October she discarded the original name she picked out and changed her choice to Glenda…. that granddaughter was followed shortly by Aunt Linda’s daughter.  It was a couple more years and two more granddaughters before he finally got his grandson.

     Music.  I remember at holidays we would gather around the piano with hymnals and sing hymns, mostly southern gospel.  They both loved to sing!

     I was looking at his obituary in the paper and at his picture and the first thing that popped into my head was Grandpa looking at it and saying, “Now there’s a handsome fellow!”

     Grandpa, I will miss you but I know you are in a better place and I will see you again sometime!

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