Friday, July 11, 2008

Seen and Heard

My grandfather is 100 years old this year (2008).

He is an amazing person full of vitality and wit! He is blessed in mind and body. To be sure, he has some visible signs of his age: a cane, brown spots speckle his face and hands, and a shiny row of new teeth peek out behind his lips when he smiles. But, other than these, he truly is remarkable and nobody would guess his years. I attribute this to the habit he developed early on in his life of always being busy.

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather was always doing something. Whether it was in his magical lush backyard or at the church property or trimming a neighbor’s yard, he was always happily engaged in physical activity. This kept him physically fit and also spiritually fit, too. He wasn’t always thinking about himself. Some might call my grandfather a simple man. In our increasingly complex and high-stress culture, that sounds like something worth striving for…simplicity.

We celebrated grandpa’s birthday two years ago at a local chain restaurant. All three of my siblings were there with a good showing of the great-great grand children as well. Of course, my three were in attendance. Wylie does pretty well now in noisy crowded restaurants. (He used to hide under the tables). He typically wears his hoody up over his ears and brings a toy to play with so as to distract from all the noise. For this fete, he was seated next to my younger brother, Rusty. Rusty is a card. He is funny. He loves my kids and enjoys joking with them. Wylie and Rusty were making small talk and eventually Rusty noticed that Wylie was left-handed. Rusty commented to me,

“I didn’t know Wylie was left handed”.

“Both boys are” I replied.

And, we began to discuss all the famous people who are left handed and how I had read that a disproportionate number of American presidents have been left handed and what the implications were. Wanting to participate in the conversation, Wylie asked my brother,
“Uncle Rusty, are you left handed?”

“No, I’m ambidextrous” my brother said matter-of-factly.

Waiting just a few moments and curling up his brow Wylie then asks,

“Are you s-u-u-u-u-r-r-r-e you’re from Texas?”

And with that Rusty promptly did a spit-take with his beverage and the whole table exploded in laughter. It just doesn’t get any better. Wylie had no idea what he said that was so funny. He just processed what he heard.

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