There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working. -Robert Half

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So yesterday, I got home from work and the electric company was working on the wires next to our house. I walked inside and Grammy was lying on the couch by the fire reading and Papa was watching the electric workers from the table. I told them it looks like they had a relaxing day, and that is when I found out the truth. Apparently, a huge truck was delivering something on the street and it ran into a telephone pole. Well, somehow, the collision split a wire and made the wires in our back yard fall, and when they fell, a huge fire started between our house and our neighbor's house. Grammy said she looked outside and the wire that fell had caught her birdhouse and it was swinging it all around and then she saw the fire.
The firemen and policemen and electric company and cable company (and probably some neighbors) were all in our backyard doing their jobs, but Papa wasn't home, so Grammy went to find him. She had to have a fireman manually open our garage door so she could get the Lincoln out. Since Papa didn't say where he was going, Grammy just went to WalMart to see if he was there, and he was, so she started paging him over the intercom. Papa said that it was not necessary for her to page him, but Grammy just said: "There was a fire in our backyard! You should carry a phone! Or at least tell me where you're going!!" Papa said he didn't know where he was going when he left. Turns out, he went to Bland and had lunch and then went to WalMart.
Grammy said she stood outside with the neighbor for a long time making sure things were ok, but then came inside because her feet were cold. Grammy hates it when her feet are cold. She always tells me that she can handle pretty much any weather as long as her feet are warm. On one of my snow days around Christmastime, Grammy and I went down to WalMart and rang the Salvation Army bell for a few hours. I swear it was one of the coldest days of the year, so we had to take turns standing outside and jingling the bell. I had a little cold, so Grammy wouldn't let me stay out and ring very long and she justified this by telling me she was wearing warm socks and her feet aren't cold so she was fine. Oh Grammy.
Anyway, after a while of just watching, Grammy and I sent Papa outside to check on everything, because we still didn't have power which is why we were all huddled by the fire. Papa didn't want to go check at first because he said: "I don't want to get involved. Sometimes it's best if you just stay out of it." Grammy and I sent him anyway because we wanted power. We were already making our worst case scenerio plans that would keep us in warm places for the majority of the night:
1) Go out to eat and stay there for a long time. Grammy said we would have to think of the restaurant with the comfiest seats.
2) Go to rehab early so we could exercise and get warm and then shower there. She told me there used to be a pool at rehab, so we could just take all of our stuff with us and bathe there.
3) Find all the candles in the house.
4) Sleep in the living room by the fire.
Papa was most worried about not having the TV or computer working. The first thing he said to me when I walked in after work was: "We don't have power. Do you know what that means?" and I knew what that meant. It meant no TV and no computer.
Luckily, the electricians got the power back on, so we didn't have to have to worry about our worst-case scenerios. Right when we figured out the power was on, Papa got to work fixing the cable (it was almost 5:30 and we didn't want to miss Jim Lehrer at 6!). Since our power was out when we started dinner, it was a Soup and Sandwich night (since the only way we had to cook anything was with the gas stove) complete with turkey and cheese sandwiches (yes, I actually put turkey on my sandwich this time!), tomato soup and cottage cheese with fruit. We also had my favorite pickles of all time. We call them Granny Green's Pickles, because they are Papa's mother's secret recipe. Papa makes them with the cucumbers he grows in his garden. I didn't think I liked sweet pickles until Papa made me try them and it turns out, I really love them! Maybe that's why he keeps making me try ham; he thinks I'll eventually like it.
After dinner, Papa was really anxious to clear the table. Grammy and I were just sitting there watching the news when Papa came up and asked:
Papa: Hey, you about finished?
Julie: Why? Are you going to kick us out?
Papa: laughs I don't know.
Julie: Well, you know what Grammy and I are? We're fighters, so you better be careful, right Grammy?
Grammy: That's right!
Papa knows we're strong because we go to rehab every night. Every day after dinner, Papa asks us if we're going to go to rehab and we always reply yes. Rehab has changed a lot over the time we've gone there. When we first started going, Grammy and I were the only people there, but now there are like 12 really buff guys that work out at the same time as us. Whenever we pull up, Grammy always comments on how many cars are in the parking lot and says: "All those boys must be here. I don't know where they came from!" We keep trying to get Papa to go, but he won't go with us. Maybe he just wants more free time.
When the weather was nice, Papa did used to bike around town every night. He would just pedal around and talk to everyone and scope out where the best gardens in town are. He would also bring dog treats to feed his dog friends. And then, he would bike to McDonald's and get an ice cream cone before he biked back home. One time I went with him and it was very leisurely. We biked really slowly and saw some really big gardens. Then we went to the ATM to get cash so we could get ice cream at McDonald's to cancel out our exercising. When it started getting colder, Grammy and I tried to make him stop biking, especially when it was raining, but he would just disappear and then we would hear the garage door opening and would see him bike away. Eventually it got cold enough he couldn't go.


  1. I love the idea of really buff guys working out along side me.

    Maybe you should put pickles with your ham.

  2. ham and pickles...sounds wonderful to me

    glad the fire wasnt too terrible.