Let’s Eat Grandad

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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

He didn’t like being old.
He certainly didn’t feel old.
But, he was a granddad, so he must be old, at least in some people’s eyes.
Sure there were wrinkles and strange bumps every now and then but he still looked several years younger than his age. His skin was still as soft as silk, then again it always had been. He remembered that in his younger days girls loved to touch his soft skin, but he also remembered that it was a serious hinderance to working with his hands. His days as a furniture restorer were often painful until the inevitable callouses developed.
In his mid twenties he remembers being incensed when asked for ‘proof of age’ at a bottle shop but since then it had been a blessing rather than the curse.
His parents had taught him that you take people as they present themselves, not by any external appearance or any second-hand assessment.
Respect
“Treat people with respect and they will return the favour.”
His guiding lights had long since died and he had been the head of his family for a number of years and life had moved forward, as life is want to do.
Now there were grandchildren.
The experience of being a grandfather was nothing like he expected it to be.
There were a lot of kilometres between him and the little ones and mostly contact came through the wonders of the internet, which was good and he was grateful for these fleeting moments but it was not the same as visiting, holding, and smelling these amazing creatures.
To ease the situation he had begun writing to the eldest. She was coming up to four years of age and was sharp as a tack.
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No emails would be sent, this was going to be ‘old school’; paper and an envelope and a stamp. The one concession to the modern world was a new printer for the computer which would print out these episodes, but even then he chose a ‘handwriting font’ so as to keep it authentic.
When he sent off the first letter he held his breath and waited for a reaction. The letter was a simple account of ‘life at granddads’.
The reaction was several days in the coming and in the end it came tangentially via grandma, which confirmed his suspicion that relations between him and the adults were ‘strained’
Families are strange beasts at the best of times and sometimes you have to put your foot down when things are going in the wrong direction. He had put his foot down but he was aware that it was going to cause a bit of tension.
Granddad was not one to be ignored, particularly by his own family. If he had let things drift along as they had, nothing would have changed. So, after a long campaign to encourage communication he had pulled the plug; ‘went dark’ as the modern ones would say.
It wasn’t working, but he had to try.
Self respect is an important part of being a strong person. It’s a compass for living.
Some people confuse it with ego. He didn’t. He knew the difference and was constantly on the lookout for the possibility of ego getting in the way.
If the communication channels with the adults were closed for the moment then he would keep the channel open with the grandchildren. To be honest, he was looking forward to them being old enough to be able to have a long conversation.
As often happens, the granddaughter had latched onto a part of his letter and it had made her laugh. Apparently the laughing went on for several days.
Part of the letter that tickled her was the description of the peaceful removal of the last of many possums from the roof of granddad’s house. The battle to keep them out had gone on for several decades and finally, after a new roof went on, the last one was out.
ENVIRONMENT_Possum_Nesting_Box
The letter mentioned that the last of the possums had moved into a possum box on the side of the house.
When he reached the end of this first experimental letter he signed off using all of the names of the humans and canines living in the house, and just for fun he included the possum. This is what tickled the little girl.
“Possums can’t write letters!”
Children don’t see the world the way we do and it seems that they don’t hear the world the same way either.
There was a promise to ‘write to granddad’ but this would obviously involve the participation of one of the grownups. A bit of time went by and  no letter arrived so he thought that a second letter was a good idea.
Keep the pot boiling, so to speak.
Now, what would this letter be about?
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11 thoughts on “Let’s Eat Grandad

  1. this is really nicely written. for awhile my kids were writing letters to their grandparents too and sometimes it was hard to tell which side was more excited to receive a letter 🙂

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    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. As a kid, except for birthdays, I would rarely get a letter, but I do remember, as a child, the excitement of seeing my name on a letter. These days it is a big deal to get a letter as there is a LOT MORE EFFORT involved. So to get a letter from someone either means that they are stuck in the past and refuse to move with the times or they are making a special effort. I got a letter from a cousin recently. She wrote (in a beautiful hand) because she is suspicious of the internet (probably with good cause). I returned the favour but she has not written back, which is a shame because she is probably my only chance for receiving a real live letter.
      Maybe I’ll write to myself…… I talk to myself so why not?
      I keep thinking of famous writers who are remembered through their letters to friends and family………… I’d better get writing or no one is going to have anything to remember.
      Terry

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  2. Wonderful stuff! Please never fail to believe in your importance as a grandparent!! There are so many things our children learn from their grandparents which they would otherwise never benefit from.

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    • Thank you for your lovely comment.
      My own experience of grandparents was mixed. My dad’s father had died at a young age and my grandma had a LOT of grandchildren of which I was just one. She was lovely and I loved her old Victorian house (it was built for a doctor in the 1880s and my grandfather was very successful before the depression in 1929.)
      My grandparents on my mum’s side lived in another state and I only saw them a couple of times. My grandma was right out of a Norman Rockwell painting and my granddad was a gruff old bastard, but interestingly this pair came through in a reading I was having a while ago, my grandfather warned me against becoming arrogant like he was in life (too late) and my grandma was very encouraging and told me that she often watches me sleep.
      I always saw them as interesting but distant in my young life and yet there they were watching over me and encouraging me.
      What an interesting life this is.
      Terry

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  3. What a sweet entry!And I love the possum pic.Cute guy!So true that kids see the world from another perspective.They won’t get too many personal letters in their lifetime though.You’re a brilliant grandad!

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  4. Pingback: The Rat | araneus1

    • I’m so glad you like this story. I had not planned on adding another chapter, but never say never. I will put it in my ‘ideas file’ and see what happens. Thank you for the encouragement, it is always appreciated.
      Terry

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  5. Pingback: What Are You Lookin’ At?? | araneus1

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