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Friday, October 24, 2008

Land of a Thousand Nooks

So, can you imagine packing up whatever you could fit in a four-dour sedan and a mini-van, not knowing if you'd ever see your home again?  That's what Grandaddy did when he came to live with us.  At the time, we took about a week's worth of clothes. (I think he only owned about two week's worth.) I can't even remember what all...I remember using the "if someone were to break in, what would they take" test.  Some depression glass, two TVs and a few collectible, antique toys that he loved.

I found it interesting the things he had on his list to get from the trailer.  He assured me that it was just little things and we could fit it all in the car with us. And, he didn't think it'd take much time at all.  Buwahhahahah!

By the time we loaded the van to go to the next stop, we looked a little like the Clampet's when they moved to Beverleeee.  I had to climb over a ladder to tend to the kiddos in the back.  Yes, a ladder.  But that was Brian's find, not Grandaddy's.

Here are a few things Grandaddy wanted to be sure to get:  a piece of rope, a ball of twine, pliers and a rat-tail file.  He also packed a few ink pens, a little box of keys (go ahead and ask me what they're for), a soldering iron and a hand-held engraving tool. While he searched every single drawer, closet and cabinet, he made sure to get a couple more ink pens, a pocket flashlight and several more pocket knives (to go with the two he keeps by his chair).  

I really believe mobile homes should be renamed to something like "crevices for every need" or "secret hiding places on wheels."  I've never seen so many little nooks and crannies. And, it was always a surprise what you might find.  For instance, in the bedroom, we opened a cabinet and there was one blanket (no, not a surprise); a box of pocket knives (no, not a pocket knife, a BOX of pocket knives); a box of other sharp knife things that have sheathes that I don't know what you call them...a whole BOX of them; and, of course, what every bedroom needs, a bunch of electric wire.  In the closet, there was a coffee pot.  That's still the bedroom, mind you. 

We also went through a whole slew of records, with no fewer than eight Statler Brothers' albums.  Grandaddy was specifically hunting for his Brother Dave Gardner and Ace Cannon albums.  We found the Gardner ones, but no Ace.  I'm thinking she had to hock them for this special one:

Was Grandmother a closet-Trekkie?

All kidding aside, we did come across some special things.  I found a Madame Alexander doll in a box under the bed that was in great condition.  Grandaddy showed me a set of drafting tools that were his dad's from around 1900, made in Germany and still in their original case.  He also found some sheet music where his dad had written words to a song that Grandaddy later had a friend put to music more than 30 years ago.  Also in the closet next to the coffee pot was a tin box full of sympathy cards from when my mother and brother died.  Tucked in it were a few cards to them from my mom on Mother's Day.  It was kind of cool to see her handwriting.

To be honest, it was very hard for me to be patient for those few short hours we were there.  I kept shaking my head (in my mind) every time he dropped something into the box.  Then I'd have to remind myself that this is his life, his home.  These are his memories.  And, if a pocket knife and a ball of twine makes the man happy, then so be it.  I know he was energized by the trip.  He's been happily tinkering with his things ever since we got back.

Part of the energy came from the next leg of our jaunt.  We headed to Little Rock to visit my I'm-sure-we-were-separated-at-birth friend, Tracy.

I'll tell ya more about that next time. Keep a look out for the post called "Be A Flirt, Lift Your Shirt."



  1. If I'd known you were going to bring all those pens home, I would have loaned you my car top carrier!

    I love that he is tinkering with them. And I love that you got to see the cards from and about your mom. You brought those home, right?

  2. With all that weaponry (knives, twine and Nemoy albums), I'm assuming there's a dead body in in of them there crannies?

  3. And your next post IS a photo essay, right?