Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remembering Grandpa Harry

This morning I was up bright and early, Twittering, reading email and catching up on some blogs that I follow. A friend-that-I-have-never-met, Rini, had a link on her blog to the writings of Adrian Plass. I was intrigued and began reading.

First off, I thought that I had found a kindred spirit (but that's another post). Then I read one of his pieces called "First Harvest," and I find myself with happy tears, remembering my time with Grandpa Harry.

Grandpa Harry was my mom's dad. Very tall, heavy and deep-voiced, he always appeared to be a gruff kind of man to me, especially when I was very small. However, Grandpa was terrifically funny and we had this totally goofball relationship. He would listen to my jokes and funny stories, and then I would laugh while he played the invisible piano, or when he would poke his false teeth out at Grandma while her back was turned. I really think it was Grandpa Harry's gift to me - my offbeat sense of humor and the ability to make people laugh.

Grandpa also kept a garden in the back. It was large and neat. There were rows of tomatoes, zucchini, beans, onions and more.

And there was kohlrabi.

I remember one warm pre-fall afternoon I was hanging out with Grandpa. We were farting around in the garden, picking some of the late tomatoes and zucchini. I got to feed the turkeys which was fun.

Grandpa called me over to the back porch and showed me this odd looking root vegetable and said, "Let's have ourselves a little snack here, chuckle head." I got the hose out and we rinsed off this odd looking vegetable. Then Grandpa took out his pocket knife and gave me my first ever slice of kohlrabi. I remember that the first bite was crisp, and it tasted all peppery and clean. It was so crunchy and was totally delightful.

We sat on the porch and shared that little kohlrabi together until it was gone. Just us. And the turkeys.

That day had to have happened almost 40 years ago, but it feels like just yesterday.

Grandpa Harry has been gone a good long time now. I miss him a lot. I miss his silly jokes, and his pretend swatting of Grandma's behind. I miss how even when I was all grown up and living on my own, his bear hugs made me feel tiny and small and oh-so loved.

And I miss his invisible meat sandwiches too, but again, that's another post in itself. :-)