Monday, June 28, 2010

My Grandfather

I had the great fortune to grow up in close proximity to all four of my grandparents. My parents met in High School, and their families lived only a block apart. This situation stayed the same until my father's parents moved to Florida. I think I was nine or ten when they did. My mother's father died in 2005, rather unexpectedly. My father's father is now ailing in his Florida home. I spoke with my mother this morning. She and my father will soon be on a plane to Florida. It doesn't look good. I thought, then, that it would be good, before word comes to me one way or the other, to write about my grandfather.

He loves television. I recall that the largest unit was up on the second floor of their Long Island home, and it dominated their Florida home's living room when they moved there. Sports are the prize shows, especially those featuring New York teams - most particularly the New York Giants. I learned my first curse word from my grandfather, who could often become irritated at his team's progress during a game.

I came to love the water because of him and my grandmother. They had a pool while they lived in New York, and I spent every summer of my remembered childhood there. When they moved to Florida, I was crushed, but they visited often, and we visited often, and there was still swimming, and there were amusement parks, and laughs, and card games, and fun. That is what I remember most about my grandfather -- he was fun. He was light-hearted, full of banter, full of stories. He was warm. We haven't had the chance to speak as much as I would like these past few years. I am busier and less organized than I want, and he was less well. But ours isn't much of a talking relationship, anyway. It was a doing relationship. With grandpa there were things to do. He loves food as much as I do, and movies, and eating out at restaurants. There is a picture I will always treasure from our last visit with him. He is holding Thorn, our son, and I am sitting next to him. Grandfather, grandson, and great-grandson. The oldest and the youngest members of our family together at the same time. It is a beautiful picture. I will tell Thorn all about his great-grandfather, and he will have that picture to know, for it is evident in it, how warm, generous, and loving his great-grandfather was through all his life.

I love you, grandpa, and I hope you pull through. We're praying for you.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Ten Book Challenge

Fox and I own a lot of books. We both had fairly significant individual collections, and in the six years we've been married, we've managed to increase our library by several hundred books a year. We do not, alas, read several hundred books a year, and so we have a growing, ever-growing number of unread books on our shelves. In order to stem the tide, before we are overwhelmed, I have decided to institute the Ten Book Challenge.

I pledge that I will not purchase any new book until I have read at least ten books from my personal library. Books from other libraries do not count, which, you see, makes this challenge rather difficult, as most of my reading is school-library related.

Ten Book Challenge begins now!


"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff." - The Doctor

I don't know if the Doctor is right about time, but his statement certainly can apply to blogs. My last entry, sometime in late April, was all about working, about getting enough courage to start working, to stick working, to keep your head up and soldier on. I didn't really do that. I fell. I wept. I shattered into a million pieces, and now, with June rolling to a sweltering close, I am finally putting myself together again.

I have decided to pick up my own challenge. It is necessary to write every day. Writing must become an addiction. I've tried so hard to make it one, but each time I fall short. Well, folks, I'm starting again. I need to. I can't explain why yet, though I think it has a lot to do with sentiments of self-worth, but I need to try again. I need to get it right. Today is Sunday. It begins my week. Tomorrow, Monday, is the first step in my challenge. We'll see how it goes.

Love to you.

~ Sparrow