Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | 1 comments

Some random memories of Grandpa Raelson....nothing huge, just some good times with him that bring a smile to my face. I'm trying to keep them mostly lighthearted so that I don't start crying again...that, and it was a joy to have him as a grandpa, so hopefully I can convey that to some extent.
1 It's summertime. Grandpa is coming over to babysit us while my mom goes out somewhere. The doorbell rings, and we race to it, throw it open...nobody's there. Confused, we start to turn away just as my grandpa leaps out from the side of the porch, fingers pulling his eyes into slants and laughing as he yells 'HALLOWEEN!!!'
2. Before taking us to get Dairy Queen one night, Grandpa pulled into an ATM to get some cash out. My brother and I were squeezed into the back of his 2-door truck cab, and Andrew, never one to miss an opportunity, managed to shove his legs against the driver's seat, effectively trapping Grandpa between the seat and the steering wheel. Grandpa just yelled 'Andy!' and 'No ice cream!' until Andrew got bored enough to release him. And yeah, we all still got ice cream.
3. Hanging out in Grandpa's workshop while he did various projects...the smell of freshly cut wood still reminds me of him. He could take forever to make something, but it was always gorgeous when he finished.
4. Watching Grandpa chase Gigi, their pet poodle, around the house with a new garbage bag, before he would toss her in it and drag her around for a few steps. She always popped out a little dizzy and disoriented but never seemed to mind the almost weekly ordeal.
5. Going shopping with Grandpa on Christmas Eve to help him pick out Christmas presents for everyone. For some reason he was really good at taking off when we weren't looking, and we'd spend up to 20 minutes searching for him in addition to doing all the shopping.
6. How he'd always make my brother a hot dog on a hamburger bun for lunch, because that's how Andrew ate his hot dogs when he was little.
7. The time we spilled pop all over the kitchen table and Grandpa let us lick it up instead of wiping it with a paper towel first.
8. Grandpa fell asleep on the couch sometimes when he babysat us...we'd use this opportunity to jump on the poor guy. He gave the most painful tickles ever, so we once resorted to putting on snowsuits in the middle of summer and then stuffing them with clothing so that he couldn't defend himself against our attacks.
9. Going to visit him at Ace Hardware, where he worked part-time after his retirement. I always thought he looked so cute in his red vest!
10. The infamous 'Andy, you're a weiiiiiner!' comment. This came about from a very long car ride back from Michigan, during which Andrew was amusing himself by smacking Grandpa repeatedly with a Slowpoke sucker and chanting 'Grandpa, you're a slowww poke' over and over. After who knows how long, but I'm sure it was much longer than a person of average patience would tolerate, Grandpa turned around and calmly retaliated with the above phrase, which has now been etched into the family history for all eternity.
11. The times he'd drive around the just-lowered railroad gates and calmly proceed over the tracks, ignoring both the blasts from the train horn and our screaming. And then he'd laugh. I'm sure that it wasn't close enough to actually cause any danger, but it was more than enough to scare us when we were kids. =)
12. He didn't like to say 'I love you' It was always 'Same here' whenever we'd tell him, 'I love you, Grandpa'. We used to tease him about it a little when we got older. I'm just ever so thankful that when I talked to him for the last time on Friday, that he replied 'I love you, too' when we were saying goodbye. But even 'Same here' would've been enough.


Anonymous said...

Great (and funny and kinda strange) memories of your Grandpa Kristel. A lot more than some of us get with our grandparents. Sounds like he was a real character and I'm glad you will always have these memories with you.