Daily Archives: May 25, 2018


It’s nothing very unique for a grandfather to be enamored with his granddaughter. Nor should anyone be surprised if I talk about how smart or creative she is. A search in the tag cloud for Rosalie will turn up quite a few of my paeans to her awesomeness. Here’s one of my favorites from almost exactly a year ago.

Jeremy called me the other night. He’s at home with Rosalie while Ashley is camping with her 5th graders in Outdoor Ed. My conversation with Rosalie was marred by the speaker phone cutting in and out but one thing I heard clearly was that she will be celebrating her ‘half birthday’ on Sunday after her Mama comes home. How cool is that? Five and a half. My half birthday was yesterday but I’m not going to put a number on it.

Anyway, I wanted to post about a little thing she did while Sepi and I were at her house in April. Jeremy had gone off to a job interview and we were alone with her. (Ashley was at work.)

Before he left, Jeremy had come up with some scrap paper and given it to her to draw on. And draw she did! Sepi and I were finishing up a leisurely lunch at the kitchen counter. Rosalie was at her drawing table in the dining room. She came over every few minutes with a stack of colorful drawings. Some were representative and she would explain what they were. Some were just patterns or rainbows. As soon as she could satisfy us with her explanations, she would disappear, explaining that she had more papers that had to be drawn on. Maybe ten minutes later she’d be back with another stack of interesting drawings. This repeated for a while until the paper was exhausted. She clearly wasn’t!

We saved a selection of those drawings but they got into Sepi’s house and I haven’t gotten them back yet. I did save a couple of smaller works she did earlier that day. We had each outlined one of our hands on paper which she then embellished and signed. Somewhere along the line they got cut into smaller pieces before I saved them. If you look carefully, you can see the yellow outline of fingers. Since they were our hands, we were required to sign them too.

at Dad’s house

Sepi and I went down to Mom and Dad’s Wednesday. When we got there it was a little early for lunch so I asked what we could do to further the cause. Mom said there were some lemons on the tree that were pretty big and she wanted to harvest them. Perfect!

I went and got the ladder and soon filled the first bag she brought out. Then she got a second bag which was quickly filled. At this point I was having some difficulty in reaching some of the large lemons and also noticed that the tree had sprouted quite a few branches straight up. I knew that Mom and Dad wanted to keep their fruit trees below about 10 feet in height so I asked Mom to bring me some pruning shears.

This is what she brought me.

I remember those pruners from my childhood over 50 years ago! Still, they worked ok. I had to twist a few of the branches I was trying to cut but it wasn’t worth making an issue over it. What was funny was when Dad came out as I was about done. Of course he couldn’t leave the branch cuttings on the ground for the gardener who was coming the next day. He went and got the green compost can and started cutting up the branches to fit in the can.

He immediately said these cutters are no good. (I wish I could remember what he said exactly but I can’t.) I went and got some newer ones and took this picture of the old ones. When we were done it went back into the bin with the others so it will almost certainly make more appearances.

Back in the garage with the camera app in the phone open, I decided to look at his storage cabinet. It’s a microcosm of his thriftiness: reused shoe boxes and hand written labels. There’s an old wired phone that he can’t bear to throw out. In fairness, it probably still works and they do still have a land line.


Below those items are another hallmark of my childhood: reused Polaroid film boxes. At work, Dad took Polaroid images of experiments he was running to study and/or document certain things. The boxes would have been tossed – indeed many probably were – but they were sized perfectly for small items as can be seen.

I’ve had occasion to go into some of those boxes in the last few years. What an amazing melange of ancient hardware! They are the result of many years of fixing things and saving the better parts for reuse. The fact that most of them are worn in ways that would make them difficult or impossible to use now is beside the point. Thriftiness in action. How can I not love this man?