I went to a funeral today and watched a young woman give a moving eulogy of her grandmother, the mother of a good friend of mine. She did a great job and did not falter, even under the emotional stress of her loss.
It got me thinking about my own grandparents and how lucky I was to have all four all the way into my late 20's.
Actually, my grandparents had popped into my head alot this week. They come out of nowhere when some seemingly meaningless thing triggers their return. A few nights ago, the trigger was the pot in the top picture. I had made a big pot of collard greens for supper and had just finished packing the leftover greens in a Rubbermaid container when I glanced into the almost empty greens pot and there was the pot liquor, a salty, peppery mix of bacony greens broth.
Nana popped into my head.
My Nana loved "pot likker" and, armed only with a spoon, could clean a greens pot until it shined. She would also clean a pork chop bone until it looked like a desert dessicated fossil bone. I think these were leftover habits from being a young mom in the depression era.
She was selfless, sweet and loving in that way that only a grandmother can be.
Papa was the datil pepper supplier for much of St. Augustine in his prime. Next to his big white victorian house astride a busy corner on the west side of town was a greenhouse filled with hundreds and hundreds of styrofoam coffee cups, each with a young datil pepper plant growing in it. When they were ready, he would put a sign out front and people would drop by to buy pepper plants.
"I don't do it for the money," he told me once as we sat on his porch swing.
"I just enjoy growing them and talking with all my customers"
And boy could he talk. Sometimes people would tell me, " I love talking with your Grandpa, I drop by for the conversation as much as the datil pepper plants."
And it was true. He was a natural.
Today, after the funeral, I drove by the corner where the old white house had stood for about a hundred years. It's gone now, a fire took it a few years after Papa died. There's an apartment complex going up on the site of Nana and Papa's home.
There's no sign that we were ever there.
By the way, he died after he fell off the roof at the age of 83, so when you see posts here about me high above everything on my very, very long ladder ... you now know it's genetic.