4 weeks ago
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
My Grandpa Hyde turned 101 last May. He's amazing! He and Norma (married now for 37 years) still live at home, make their own meals, and keep up with the political and financial scene. Even more importantly, they keep track of all the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids with great interest and near-perfect memory. If you want to know who's where and what's happening, you can just ask Grandpa.
Since moving to Maryland almost 4 years ago I've tried to get up there to see him every few months. These moments have been a treasure. Every time I go up, Grandpa has another story, memory, experience, or family fact to share with me. I am learning what an incredible man he is.
And so, why "manure pile"? Because it is my favorite of his childhood stories.
Grandpa and his sister lived with their aunt and uncle. They had horses, cows, lots and lots of dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals. Their next door neighbor had children the same ages and all the kids would often play together.
One day, they were in the midst of a rousing game of tag. The corner of the barn was "home." It was also where the manure pile was located. As his older sister, Cee, came running around the side of the barn yelling "home freeeee", she tripped and fell, face first, mouth wide open, into the manure pile!
I still laugh out loud at this story. Not just because it's so funny. I laugh because every time Grandpa tells me about this little moment in his childhood, he doubles over with belly laughs and loud guffaws as if it just happened. I love that, just for a moment, a 101 year old man can feel like a kid again.