This is pretty funny stuff:
Granny, my Mom’s mother, passed away yesterday. She was 94.
She was the grandparent I was closest too. For almost 5 years, I ate lunch with her 4-5 times a week. Almost every day I showed up, she would have a little project for me to do. Whether it was change a light bulb (her bathroom lights would go out 2, 3, 4 at a time) or take out her garbage, I was her lunch time handyman.
Our lunch time is something that I will always cherish. It gave me a chance to really get to know my grandmother. We would spend lunch talking about anything that popped into her head.
I loved the stories of her childhood and youth. She told me how her and my grandfather met. She told me of their early years in Murfreesboro (where we live now). She told me about the time my oldest Uncle found my grandfatherâ€™s pistol, when he was only a toddler.
I remember staying summerâ€™s with her and my grandfather.
She would make the largest pancakes and waffles for breakfast. They would cover the entire plate. I remember falling asleep to her scratching my back. I remember her smacking my bare legs with the fly-swatter if we misbehaved.
I remember Christmas at her house. The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always got together once a year over there. The larger our families grew, the more insane each holiday would become. The last Christmas we were all together, there were eight great-grandchildrenâ€”all under the age of seven.
As of yet, Iâ€™m not overly sad. I will miss herâ€”as much as I missed her when I changed jobs almost 3 years ago and I was no longer able to eat lunch with her.
At least I have the memories, the photos (see above) and the rest of my family.
Iâ€™ve long embraced being a geek. Itâ€™s something I enjoy. Part of the reason I embrace it is because I know it does not define everything about me. Iâ€™ve picked up tons of things from my Dad. Every time he visits, he usually teaches me something else. Heâ€™s an uber-handyman, Mr. Fixit and amazing engineer. I can call him on the phone, describe a noise the car is making and he can point me in the right direction.
Although my Dad did read Uncanny X-Men and G.I. Joe with me for a few years when I was a kid, I would never have called him a geek. I do remember piles upon piles of old Sci-Fi journals, books and magazines when I was a kid, but again, I never would have called him geek.
However, that has changed. He recently sent me the photo on the left and it made me realize, he is a geek. He just geeks out about different things than I do.
This is a board for a game Carter and I invented one rainy day. Carter wanted to play baseball, but the rain kept us from going out.
We grabbed a dry erase board, some markers, a four-sided die, a six-sided die, and within an hour we had a fun and quick game.
The six-sided die determines if you get a hit or not. Numbers 1,2 = a hit, 3, 4, 5 = strike and 6 = pop-fly/out.
The four-sided die determines the number of bases your get if you roll a 1 or 2.
Itâ€™s all pretty simple, but fun and entertaining.
On our recent trip to Texas, I casually mention to my Dadâ€”the night before we leave, no lessâ€”about this game Carter and I created and how he should make us a board to play it on. I quickly sketched it out.
Less than a week later he sent me an in-progress photo and this past weekend I get the completed image above.
Yep, heâ€™s a geek. Give him a good idea and he makes it work. Somehow, if the internet were around 30-years ago, I can imagine him creating a site like Instructables.
Itâ€™s funny how much you pick up from your parents. As a kid, you think that youâ€™ll never be like your parents. Later, you discover that youâ€™re more like them than youâ€™d like to admit. The final stage is realizing how proud you knowing theyâ€™ve taught you well.
I hope that my sons will look back on me (and Jill) someday with the same feeling.
A few years ago, I gave my Mom a great present that cost practically nothing.
I used to work close to my grandmotherâ€™s (Granny) house and I would eat lunch with her several times a week. She would often have little chores for me to do when I arrivedâ€”change a light bulb, get something off a shelf or out of a closet.
One closet retrieval trip I found a huge box of old photos. Some of them were over 50-years old and others I remember from my childhood. We donâ€™t have many photos from when I was young. My Momâ€™s housed burned and our photos were lost. That was about 15-years ago.
So, I asked her if I could borrow this box and scan a bunch of them in. Granny told me to just take them, she didnâ€™t want them anymore. Reluctantly I took them, knowing they would be safe with me.
It was probably a year later, just in passing, my Mom mentioned how she missed having the photo of her Dad (we called him Paw Paw) in his Army uniform. It, like all the other photos, was lost in the fire.
I remembered seeing that photo in the box Granny gave me. So, I did a little digging and found it. It was a little beat up. So after a quick scan and a trip through Photoshop, I had a great looking photo to print and give to her.
It was the simplest gift, but meant so much to her. Those are the gifts I life to give.
In a few years, I will make it to Disney World in Florida for the Star Wars weekend. I can’t wait to take “the boys” (Carter and Riley) when Riley is old enough.
When we visited Disney/MGM last year, Carter wasn’t quite tall enough to ride the Star Wars ride, so we had to make do with the large AT-AT and Speeder Bike on display. We did manage to catch the parade at MGM (which I highly recommend) and the appearance of Darth Vader, R2, and C3-PO were his highlights for the day. A full Star Wars takeover of Disney would be a blast.
View more photos from the Star Wars Disney weekend on Flickr.
While in a Star Wars mood, check out the photos on the Growing Up Star Wars Flickr Photo Pool. Featuring all vintage photos of Star Wars memorabilia, there are lots of photos like the one above. Somewhere in the Duncan archives, there’s a photo me wearing that Yoda costume.