My goodness! It seems I struck a nerve with my dusty floor!
I am so grateful to know that I’m not the only one out there who is risking her “Housekeeper of the Year” title in favor a little creative down time after hours. I’m glad too, to know that I’m in such good company. Thank you all, for all your encouragement, your laughter and your sweet words. Each of your comments is like finding money in the pocket of last year’s winter coat – unexpected joy.
You’ve got me thinking about how sometimes it is our imperfections that turn out to be our most endearing qualities.
My Popo, my great grandfather and husband to my Momo, comes to mind.
I can distinctly remember sitting on my purple shag carpet at 12 years old. I was drawing, and happened to look down at my hands. I noticed that the top section of my middle finger is slightly bent toward my ring finger. I was instantly horrified.
See, my Popo had this horribly bent middle finger. It was turned at the end, like a little miniature hockey stick. His hands were gnarly, browned and leathery, and while I loved him, the thought that I might have inherited his hands, that mine might, in time, grow twisted and disfigured like his… well I sobbed. A lot.
For days afterward, weeks even, I would stare at that finger, watching for even the slightest evidence that it might be worsening. I completely obsessed over it, and never once did it enter my vain little head that his hands probably looked that way because of hard work. He was born poor, he worked a farm his whole life, and owned a garage too. He probably broke that finger and didn’t have the money to have it properly set.
I’ve been trying to think of ways to help my little men connect with my Popo. It’s been hard though because I can’t really remember him saying a whole lot. He was a quiet man who led a simple life.
I remember seeing him drive the tractor. I remember his smell – grease and gasoline. I remember that he told jokes that I didn’t understand. I remember that lots of people loved him.
(That’s him on the far right, leaning up against the car)
I can’t conjure up his face without a smile on it. He smoked Camels, drank Pearl beer and played guitar, bent finger and all.
He liked to dip graham crackers in coffee at breakfast. He watched Family Fued when he came in for lunch.
He drove me to town in his bubble fendered old Ford and bought me icees in the summertime.
The only time my Popo ever raised his voice to me was when he caught me being unkind to my cousin Alison.
He didn’t say much, but his life spoke volumes about love of family, hard work and the value of friendship and laughter.
So my boys and I hung out under the car and talked about what mechanics do.
We planted black eyed peas,like my Popo did (the rest are soaking now, for tomorrow’s dinner, or, supper, as he would have called it). We talked about how farmers feed their families, and us too.
I showed my boys my bent finger and told them that it is one of my best features, because it reminds me that real beauty is in the work accomplished and love shown through our hands, not in the hands themselves.
Hope your weekend is filled with wonder!