Sunday, May 20, 2007

ODE to Grandpa John.

My grandpa John's Birthday was recently so Carrie rented a room at the country club. Part of me thinks that he would enjoy just a a BBQ and beer. But i have no doubt in my mind that he'll still appreciate it. We(grand kids and kids) were asked to write a memory that we have of Him accompanied with a picture to compile in a book and give him. Lauren and Sam were going to read them at the Dinner. This is mine i sent in. It turned out to be a bit long. But i didn't care :-) so...thanks to syd and her infamous "ode to..." here is my ODE to Grandpa John

Picking just one memory to encapsulate my grandpa John seems nearly impossible. There are so many to pick from and grandpa has not been limited to the typical grandfather role. He has had an impact on my life in many different ways. To me, he is a teacher, protector, adventure seeker, comedian, giver, and father figure. Grandpa has taught all of us many things that we would not other wise know. Because of him, I know how to downhill ski, ride a jet ski, start and ride a manual dirt bike, turn on and off oscar in the pool, set up a tent, change a tire on a car, check the oil, and clean off the corrosion buildup on the battery of the van. I know how to power wash a driveway, and start a blower. I also know what to do if I get lost on a mountain in the snow, the names of the mountains in eastern Oregon, and how to tell what direction I’m going when I’m outside.
All of these things are life long lessons that I would only know because I am a grand daughter of John Taylor and I wouldn’t have it any other way. One memory that I want to share is a time when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Lauren and I got to spend a weekend with granny and grandpa. We arrived and did our ritual to see who could get in the pool first, swam all night, ate dinner, and headed to bed. Even though there is a perfectly good bed in “Debbie’s room” Grandpa brings out the mummy sleeping bags and foam mats for Lauren and I to sleep on. We go to bed listening to the silence of the house, and the rumble of the train. Early the next morning I awake to coffee grinding and the TV blaring, I roll over and try to get some more sleep, but I know what’s coming…”DAY LIGHT IN THE SWAMP!!!” the rumble of grandpas voice travels down the hall as I hear him shuffling towards the door. The door opens, the hall light streaming in and I peak my eye open and see grandpas shadow stretching across the room. “DAYLIGHT IN THE SWAMP!!” as he shakes my body with his foot. A while later I come out of the room and see a hot pot of cream of wheat on the stove waiting for me with every condiment I could dream of. Me and Lauren eat and get ready to go to work; of course all I want to do is stay home and swim all day long. But, the shop is always fun to explore. I come outside ready to hop in the car and head to the shop. Grandpa tells me to go put on some jeans. “But why?! It’s gonna be hot today, and I hate jeans…” but of course I do as I’m told. I come back outside to find a motorcycle sitting in the drive way ready to go. Lauren makes it known she wants to ride on it, but both granny and grandpa tell her she’s not old enough. Granny and Lauren take off in the “red car” and I walk up to the motorcycle, my heart is racing, this thing is huge. Grandpa disappears into his garage and reappears with 3 helmets to try on, all adult sizes of course. Finally we find one and he hoists me up on the bike, he joins me and explains how to turn this particular bike on. My heart is still racing. What if I fall off? What if I can’t hold on? What if we crash?! Grandpa pulls out of the driveway quickly wrap my arms around him and hold on as tight as I can, but not too tight…I would never want grandpa to think I was scared. We pull out on the highway and my fears fly away with the wind. I even let go of grandpa, and hang on to the handles! We pull into the shop, and I’m on top of the world…I got to ride to work on a motorcycle…with MY grandpa. We park the bike, and he yanks the helmet off my head. Next, he pulls a 4-wheeler out from the big garage and takes me and Lauren on a ride in the grass out back. I was sitting on the back and Lauren in front of grandpa, he took us around the mini course until something started smoking…Laurens Shoe had been resting on one of the pipes and had started to melt. She was screaming. Grandpa quickly killed the bike, ripped off her shoe to check for burns. Grandpa always has a way of moving so quickly.
Many times after this memory I can count him showing up out of no where on the ski trail when one of us whipped out, teaching us how to get back up, or all of a sudden diving into the pool because Patrick fell in on the deep end. Patrick wasn’t under water for more than 2 seconds because Grandpa was there. I know grandpa will always be there, teaching, and waving us off with his famous Hang lose wave. The memory of riding to work with grandpa on that motorcycle will always be with me. Because that day I was the coolest person in the world, and knew then, that I had the coolest Grandpa in the world, and no one could beat me on that.

Happy Birthday Grandpa! Thank you for always being there. I love you.



At 12:43 PM, Blogger Eric said...

The ode was read out loud at the table, everyone loved it. And with the pic, it was like you were sitting there with us.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth...Good "ode"!
Thanks for the shoutout...
See you this weekend!

At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Shalaidah said...

People should read this.


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