My grandfather – my mom’s dad – was an incredible character. Beyond his verve and caring and warmth and charm, he was a big, stocky, imposing guy who as an adult was an amazing man to know, but as a kid I was scared out of my mind of him. He was loud, and direct, and he yelled unintelligible things at us. When he wanted us to get out of his way, he yelled something that sounded like “Huss Kai Oh La Wah!” which in later years we learned may mean “Merry Christmas” in some Scandanavian language but as kids we were sure meant something like “I’m going to impale you with a hot rod!”. To get us to hurry, he’d yell “Hunda hunda hunda!” which I’m not sure has any sort of translation but still made us eager to hustle as kids. Both phrases entered our family’s common vernacular, and I find myself often yelling them at my kids in a lighthearted sort of manner, and doing so always makes me think of my grandpa and smile.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Jake and I are going into the house from taking Lane to preschool and I’m walking behind him as we make our way to the door. Suddenly he loops around trying to get behind me. I’m a little befuddled and turn to figure out what he’s doing, but he grins at me and gives me a little push and says, “Go, Mommy!” so I turn to keep walking forward. Then I hear from behind me in his cute little Jake voice, “Hunda hunda hunda!”
It’s been a whirlwind few days!
As I mentioned previously, Lane went to Buffalo on Monday. My dad was here visiting for one night with his fiancee from Sunday to Monday, and as they were preparing to leave, Lane started saying she REALLLLY wanted to go to Buffalo with Grandpa Jerry. Well, he’s retired, and she wouldn’t miss anything more than a few days of preschool and a dance class. So she went. By all reports they had a blast. Tuesday was an off weather day in Buffalo so they hung out at home and watched movies, and Wednesday they went to the Buffalo Zoo. (I am happy to report no polar bears died while they were visiting.)
Then, Jake and I drove up there on Wednesday afternoon and got there about 9:00 p.m. Thursday was general hanging-out-with-relatives, and my dad took Jake to see choo-choos (my dad used to work on the railroad).
I also had a very sweet, very frank conversation with my brother about life stuff and relationship stuff of which I will not violate his confidence by divulging the details here, but it make my heart sigh, in that good way. He’s a good egg who just needs to sort out his priorities a little and really realize he’s more grown-up and mature than he gives himself credit for.
Then, Friday, the kids and I headed for the Albany area, where we visited with my friend Amanda and her new, perfect little baby, and where Frank rendez-vous’ed with us. We stayed there last night, and then went to my friend Cari’s daughter’s first birthday party, where we also saw other friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, being caught up in the whole moving-into-our-house-and-getting-it-spiffied-up whirlwind, as we are. But there are tentative plans to get together with the other friends in the next couple weeks, and for Amanda to visit at some point in November, so we’re getting caught up, socially, which feels good.
And now we are home, and I’m sitting on my own couch, and I’m relishing that we don’t have to travel anywhere until Christmas (unless we choose to do so otherwise, before then). Not that we won’t be busy – we have a dining room that needs wallpaper stripped and a coat of the “tomato bisque” paint I bought before Thanksgiving, among a couple other rooms that need painting. But after our last two busy weekends… bring on the paint. 🙂
Posted in babies & kids, friends and such, growing up and/or old, holidays, home, me and the family
Tagged babies, birthday, buffalo zoo, car trip, family, friends, grandpa, home, home improvement, paint, polar bears, travel, zoo
My grandfather, who is still alive and 88 years old and still going strong, likes to reminisce about playing hide and seek with me. I can’t wait to see him – we’re going back to Buffalo, where I grew up, right after Christmas and staying a week.
Here are his two favorites.
When I was 3 or 4, we’d play hide and seek. My grandparents had this cabinet/end table, where they kept the 3-4 bottles of liquor they had in the house. I fit in it quite perfectly at that age, so I’d take all the bottles out, climb in and close the door. He was always good enough to pretend he couldn’t find me.
I’d also hide in pretty good spots — behind the couch was a favorite. He’d walk around, ‘looking’ for me, and would say, “Hmm, I wonder where Lisa is hiding?” and I would say from my spot behind the couch, “I don’t know, but don’t look behind the couch!”
I love hearing him talk about that because you can tell how fond those memories are for him, and it just makes me feel so loved and special to hear him talk so happily about time we’d spent together. It makes my heart smile.
My grandpa’s just wonderful. I hope he’ll be around for a few more Christmases. I’d love my kids to have some memories of him.