Thursday, November 22, 2012


With today being Thanksgiving and all, I have been seeing everyone's holiday greetings, their daily post on the 30 Days of Thanks, and other assorted Thankfulness stuff that was making me feel a little guilty about my lack of postings about this.

Don't get me wrong; I'm very thankful.  I feel like it is something that I try very hard to concentrate on - being Thankful. Blessed, fortunate, lucky - however you choose to interpret it. I am very thankful for my life and all of those who are close to me. But I haven't been posting about it because 

  1. I'm lazy
  2. I'm forgetful
  3. I already spend enough time on the computer, I don't really need to commit to anymore by doing a daily posting of something I'm thankful for.
  4. See #1
However, this afternoon as I was waiting for dessert to happen I was sitting at the table with Grand Dot (GDot). GDot is basically The Girls' Great Grandmother. We don't get to see her often, but when we do she is so excited to see us and is so very kind and gracious. So GDot and I are sitting talking at the table as other people were cleaning and preparing leftovers to take to my parents (Mom's sick on Thanksgiving; that sucks).  

We started talking about a clock that is hanging on the wall in GQ's mom's house. GDot tells me that the clock was in her home growing up. She grew up in Decatur, over on Avery Street near Agnes Scott College. My mom grew up in Decatur, Oakhurst really, on Feld Avenue; so we had some City of Decatur things to talk about. She told me about some other pieces of furniture in the room that had been in her grandfather's house. He had a dairy farm out on Cheshire Bridge Road apparently. "Oh it was so fun!" she said, "We would go out for the day. We called it 'Going to the country.'" We talked about how much DeKalb has changed, and how I can't imagine Cheshire Bridge as a dairy farm when I don't even know if I've seen a tree on the road over there lately. We talked more, and she told me about the clock again as well as the piece of furniture she had already mentioned. Each time both items had been in different places of her family's, but it didn't matter because we were having a very nice conversation.

Here's the odd thing: I don't really like old people.  I don't dislike them! I don't go out of my way to avoid them, but they aren't high on my list of Favorite Things. I don't know why, well that's not true. I do know why.

  • The stories
  • The ailments
  • The complaints of how things were better when...
  • The speed I have to slow down to
I know. That's a petty, shallow and horrible list, but it's true. At least to me.  However, this afternoon none of those came up in my head as a signal to Get Up and Get Away From the Old Person.  I don't know why. It could be because I had eaten too much and to get up and move somewhere would've required energy that I didn't feel like expending at the time.  Regardless, I am very, very glad that I stayed and very, very glad that I spent that time talking with GDot. It was a spontaneous incident, and I don't know if it could ever happen again, but it made me think about my grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, great aunts and great uncles that I have had the privilege to know over my life time. I cannot say that I have taken every opportunity to make the most of these relationships. I haven't. But I can look at my life and I can see things that I got from these people; tangible and intangible. GQ might prefer if I hadn't gotten my noise-making genes from Granddaddy Crouch, but I think it's kind of neat to think that some things that aren't THINGS are passed down the line as much as any heirloom.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to have good, loving and long relationships with both of my grandfathers. They were able to see me grow into a young man with a family. The time that I got to spend with them, I know, is so valuable. I also know that some people never get that, or got that. It is something that I am sure I have taken for granted over the years.  I feel this especially when I think back to sitting with them at a dinner table, or in their hot, stuffy living room kind of talking, but kind of not, wishing that I could be somewhere doing something else. But there are other times that I know we had good conversations, spent good quality time watching the Travel Channel or listening to country music on the radio. I think my earliest memory is being with Granddaddy Benefield in his corn field. My brother and I were visiting Grandmother and Granddaddy and we were in the corn field with Granddaddy when all of the sudden, BOOM!!!!!! Granddaddy was shooting crows. I don't know if I knew that going into the corn field or what, but man, I remember that sound, and I remember being there with my brother and Granddaddy.

As I get older family Family becomes more important. The Girls are getting to have some of the experiences I was able to with my grandparents. GQ's and my parents both live in town, and the Girls have very close relationships with them. They happily go to their houses and spend time with the grandparents. R got to know her great-grandfather a little before he passed away. She was young, so there is not a lot of memory there, but she clearly remembers him, and has heard me tell stories about him enough to Know.

Going back to my not liking lack of liking Old People I think is a fear, a knowledge, that God willing, I am going to be an Old Person some day. I'm going to be the old guy that people aren't taking the time to sit with and talk and listen. I think about it kind of often these days. I guess it's because the Girls are getting older,  my parents are getting older, so dammit I must be getting older too. I know, right? Ridiculous! However, it's true; Time is marching on, and like it or not, it is carrying me with it.

So, on Thanksgiving 2012, something that I am Thankful for is the generations of my family that have come before me, and I can only hope that some day, years down the road some person will be sitting with me at a dining room table following Thanksgiving dinner listen to me ramble on about Super Heroes and how much DeKalb County has changed since I was little. God willing, I'll be there waiting for my dessert.