Today would have been Grandpa Paul’s birthday.
Which makes the missing him more poignant.
He called me Mary for the longest time. I wouldn’t have minded… except that my name isn’t Mary. Once, when I was about ten, I asked him, “Grandpa, do you even know my name?” He smiled and said, “Well, sure. Your name is Virginia.” Confused, I asked, “Then why do you always call me Mary?” As it turned out, he called me Mary because I looked like his grandma. I wouldn’t have minded if he kept calling me Mary after that, but he made it a point to call me by my name.
Grandpa was a simple man.
Most of my memories of him are on his farm in Pulaski, Illinois. He had a sign in his front yard that said “Mr. Paul’s Fresh Fish.” Our family vacationed on that little hill every year.
I remember once I got to stay a while with Grandma and Grandpa. My sister stayed, too. Grandpa took us to the dollar store and bought us each a doll.
I also remember at some point he came to our house and helped Mom make buttermilk. Mom and Grandpa both enjoyed buttermilk. Bleh.
Grandpa was tall. Six foot four, I think. Mom had to take down t he hanging light in our dining room, because Grandpa would bump his head on it.
Each year, at our family reunion, Grandpa would barbecue the meat on his big barbecue pit (seen in picture above).
He had pigs, chickens, geese, and rabbits on his farm. As well as a few other odd birds, like guineas and turkens. The fowl on the farm all knew better than to cross Grandpa.
Happy Birthday, Grandpa. You are still loved and very much missed!