My Grandpa…

Loves mashed potatoes and chocolate cake.

Dad and Kara

When I was a kid, he used to make me eat as many mashed potatoes as I could, and then a few more.  I think he’d get downright concerned if I didn’t eat a large pile of them every time I visited.  He was right though, there was a family resemblance, and I loved them as much as he did.

He grew his own potatoes, and this is what we often had when we went to visit.  When I was about 10 or 11, he got this wise idea that I should help him harvest his crop of potatoes.  This would require that he teach me to drive the tractor, which he did.  Then he hooked the plow to the back of the tractor and told me to drive slowly through the field.  It was one big disaster let me tell you!  I could not work the clutch smoothly, and would get scared every time the tractor took off.  I couldn’t help but look behind me, and would see him being yanked forward by the plow, desperately hanging on and trying to plow the ground at the same time.  I was too disturbed by the sight of those potatoes being cut in two, their white insides exposed to the mud, to concentrate on looking ahead and driving.  It is no wonder that he never asked me to help again! But I thought it was a wonderful and fun experience.

My grandpa didn’t just grow potatoes, he was quite a residential farmer. He had fruit trees, and he grew grapes, rhubarb, squash, cantelope, watermelon, horseradish, tomatoes, and I can’t remember what all else.  In the early spring when we’d visit, I remember the kitchen counters all lined up with small seedlings ready to be planted. In the summer I’ll never forget how neat and tidy his garden looked to me. He used black plastic to keep the weeds down, and my favorite thing was to run across the black plastic on a hot day after the rain.  There was just something about that crunchy dirt under my feet that felt so strange and alien to me.  Not to mention the hot water puddles!

Grandpa and Grandma used to take us camping when we were kids. This was a great deal of fun for us and Grandma would let us stay up so late that we’d exhaust ourselves completely during the week. We’d go back to their house for an afternoon to enjoy the AC and rest.  Even though we didn’t want to rest all that much, there was something special about that lazy, nap filled cool afternoon.

Grandpa had a subaru for a many years and I thought it was the coolest car ever. It had a digital speedometer before many cars did and I could actually tell how fast we were going. I was amazed and every time we were in the car I’d spend that time watching the speedometer and telling him when he was going over the speed limit.  If my daughter did this to me I think I would end up yelling. I cannot imagine the amount of patience he must have had for me to not say a word!

My Bug is named after my grandpa. My grandpa loves mashed potatoes and chocolate cake. And I love my grandpa.

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