July 29, 2007

Saturday Afternoon

Scene from a Stewart's Rootbeer stand.

Luke and Seth had plans last night. Luke went to a Camden Riversharks game with a friend, Seth walked to Wendy's with a friend to make sure he spent every last dollar of his lawn mowing money before it burned a hole in his pocket. One can never be too careful. Anyway, that left Stan, Sean-E-pie and me holding the fort. Well, I haven't visited my Pop Pop for a coon's age, so we decided to head on down to the bay and pay him a visit.

(You may try and ferret out all the slangs and cliches in this post, if that'll blow you skirt up.)

First, I called Pop Pop to see if he was up for visitors, and of course he was. Why, Aunt Doris had just left with her broken foot! I asked him if he wanted me to bring him anything and he requested buffalo wings. You probably don't know this, but traffic here on summer weekends, on certain highways and byways, can be pretty heavily packed like sardines due to the day trippers to the shore. So, in order to pick up his favorite wings, we had to go over the river and through the woods to circumvent the mess.

But we finally got on the road, the beautiful road to Pop Pop's house.

When my kids get in school, I will be serving you up a special post about this area. I am willing to bet that there's not a one of you out there who knows just how beautiful southern New Jersey is. I'm going to take along the camera and give you a tour of some of my favorite places so you can see our "God's country." He did not forget us, though we may be the butt of many a joke.

Did you catch "When my kids get in school?" That's another post coming soon to a blog near you. ~Sigh~

When we arrived, Sean was asleep, Stan was asleep, and I was listening to a tape called, "3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice." Within 3 seconds, they were both asleep and I was beginning to glaze over. A car was in Pop Pop's driveway and upon closer examination I discovered that it was my Aunt Joyce's. What gave it away? The Rod Stewart seat cover. Yeah, that Rod Stewart.

Pop Pop is 93. His dad lived to a ripe old age of 101. Not only that, he had all his faculties. (Once I made the mistake of saying that he had all of his facilities and it brought a laugh, I felt stupid, and I try and use the right word as often as possible now.) Big Pop Pop (that's what we called him) said, on that fateful day at 101, "I think I'll lie down and take a nap!" (I put an explanation point there because Big Pop Pop was hard of hearing and yelled everything from the age of 89 on.) He did lay down, and he did fall right to sleep and, being a man of his word, has been sleeping ever since.

But now "Little Pop Pop" is "Big Pop Pop" and my dad has moved into the coveted "Little Pop Pop" role. And Big Pop Pop hasn't been himself lately, he grew very weak over the winter. As a matter of fact, something happened this spring that has never happened in the history of Pop Pop's little corner of the world. Pop Pop didn't go outside and plow, weed, plant, "start," or trim. He didn't till. He stayed inside. Yesterday we found him in the living room with his swollen feet propped high on his walker, watching the game, chatting with Aunt Joyce. And instead of Pop Pop forcing bushels of vegetables into the trunks and back seats of our cars (that we'd have to share with friends, passers by and long lost neighbors), we brought him tomatoes and corn on the cob. This doesn't happen, people. I might as well have been carrying a six pack and a carton of cigarettes into his house, the way I felt bringing MY grandfather VEGETABLES.

This summer he has continued his winter habit of studying the Bible instead of going out to work his garden, tend his boxwood, sell his spruce, trim his hollys. He sits and we come. Aunt Doris comes to visit her big brother with her broken foot (just on the heels of her broken tailbone, I might add punfully), Aunt Joyce brings him tasty stuff from the grocery store, my dad mows his lawn, my son pulls his weeds, I bring him vegetables and grandsons and an ear willing to listen to the stories of Barzillai, David, Jonathan, Saul, Jacob and Esau (pretty much in that order, sometimes with a little Genesis thrown in, but always Old Testamenty.) And life goes on at Big Little Pop Pop's down by the bay.

And on the way home, we stop at Stewart's and get floats and fries.


chocolatechic said...

It is so hard to watch them grow old.

rosemary said...

All of you are so blessed to have this extended family. Some day there will be the same kind of wonderful memories for your children to share. Having almost no family close growing up was painful actually. I missed grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles. Reading about yours feels like home.