No. 7 (and last) in a series of short things I wrote in J-school
The smallness of the stop sign caught my eye. Most places have installed the new, larger, uber-reflective ones. But this is a small town. This is my town. I’m not certain my grandfather would have approved of this new sign. The old one, even faded, did its job; no one ever fully stopped for it either.
In the blurry edge of the photograph I catch a glimpse of something else; my grandfather’s home. Built up to accommodate a growing family, literally raising it from its foundation and digging out a basement.
It’s a Monday and many years have passed since he died. He died as he lived, with a dignity that earned him special friendships and generous helpings of love. I can’t recall if Mondays were when I would cycle over to cut his lawn but it may have been. There were plums from the one lone tree he tended, fresh and cold, beside the Tupperware bowl of celery sticks in the refrigerator. After cutting the grass, we would clink our water glasses together in mock celebration and divvy up some plums; never the celery sticks for some reason.
This town is still so small and my memories of him still so large.
The house is not his anymore and a new fence has gone up. Children play on the grass that I cut under my grandfather’s watchful eye. He was a stickler for detail and, like me, I think he enjoyed the checkered patterns on the turf. There was a sense of order, not just to the grass cutting, but to to every little job I helped him with. I found out, years later, that no matter what little job it may have been, he proudly spread the word of our little successes to friends he bumped into at the post office.
Small towns afford an upbringing perfect for introverts.
This is the last short thing I have. The rest are much longer and I’m not re-typing them. 🙂