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Going through old photos is sometimes as task, and sometimes a delight. I just had one the of the “delight” moments.
My Grandpa Paulson was as Norwegian as they got. He was tall and lanky and had a slow easy walk. I remembered he chewed “snuce” (tobacco) and always had a little residue in the corner of his mouth.
I didn’t care.
My Grandma Paulson was a former librarian, school teacher, and was an amazing cook. I loved her funny little sayings (several of which I catch myself using on my own kids). My personal favorite was her “speak now or forever hold your pee!” That was her was of saying use the bathroom before you leave the house to go shopping because, once we leave, I don’t want to hear about it.
Grandma and Grandpa lived in town on Brook Street. They had a huge yard and driveway which was odd for being city-dwellers. Grandpa had a tiny little woodworking workshop off the back of the garage. My mom said he liked to “putter with wood”, but I have my suspicions he just needed a break from Grandma. He liked to cut out wooden letters which he then sold to people for their house numbers.
He used his knack for these wooden letters to create the message “Oleo Acres: One Of The Cheaper Spreads” which greeted anyone coming up the driveway from the side of the garage. It took me quite a few years to realize that Oleo was an old-school term for margarine. I am pretty sure it took me until the 4th grade to figure out it didn’t say “Oreo.”
They had one pet. An incredibly obese cat named Blue. Blue was some sort of long-haired breed and spoiled freakin rotten. He wouldn’t eat his cat food unless someone “stirred it” for him. He was fluffy and soft and I liked in when he sat on my lap.
I loved going to Grandma and Grandpas house. Grandma had awesome books and it as the first time I read classics like Little Black Sambo and Jungle Book. She also had a huge old upright piano. Once in a while she’d treat us to some of her magical piano playing, but most of the time us kids just plunked on it until an adult yelled at us to stop.
If I was good, they’d let my push around the old-fashioned-manual-rotating-blade-grass cutter. It was big and heavy and made a cool “cheesh, cheesh” noise as it cut. It’s a miracle I didn’t cut something other than grass. Like my legs or toes.
They were both kind and loving and would do anything for us and boy, do I miss them. They passed away many, many years ago. If I had to guess, I’d say about 25+. That would have put me at about age 21, yet I have very little recollection of either one of their funerals.
Maybe I just chose to remember them as they were.
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