Mar 30, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

FYI:  This post has nothing to do with Mr. Rogers. Except that it was a beautiful day in our neighborhood. So if Mr. Rogers was your draw here, then, feel free to carry on.

When we came home from Texas, one of the things we brought back with us was a picnic table and benches that my grandpa built when I was young.

The story is that he was driving in town one day and spotted a set in the back of someone else's truck. He liked the shape of them, so he came home and explained it to my grandmother: "This is what I want to build!"

The fact that I am visual in my creativity in that I need to "see" something before I can create something (even if it's in my own mind) is a characteristic I got honestly. From Grandma. She couldn't see it from description alone. So he took out some cardboard and drew his pattern for her to see and him to use.

The result is a beautiful picnic table and bench set that is as unique as he was.

When I was little, he used to tell me, "Matchabelli..." (as in, Prince Matchabelli perfume...I told you -- unique)...he'd say, "Matchabelli, you need to drink all that orange juice. It'll make your eyes curly and your hair blue." I'd laugh, and he'd look at me like, "What's so funny?" And then grin that precious smile of his.

Grandpa was the one who would squeeze me so tight that I had to hold my breath. I simply couldn't take any air in my lungs while he hugged me. Grandma would get onto him for hugging me so tight, but he loved me so much he couldn't help it. Those were great hugs.

Grandpa was also the one who, when I was four years old and loving the Love Boat show, promised me that when I was 16 he would take me on the Love Boat. And the summer before my 16th birthday, gave up his dream to take an Alaskan cruise because I had always pictured a tropical one, and took me and Grandma to the Bahamas.

He was a great man.

So, back to the picnic table.

Grandma didn't have room for it anymore, so she asked if we wanted it.

Um, that would be a yes.

Today was so much the perfect blue-sky-crisp-breeze-birds-singing-in-the-trees kind of day that we took a break from school to have lunch on Grandpa's picnic table.

Thank you, Lord, for a special Grandpa, warm memories, some awesome boys, and an uber-gorgeous day.


{Jodie} said...

Ohhh, so special! I'm so glad that it was bequeathed to you! What a great gift, and I just know you'll enjoy it to bits.

Andrea said...

What a beautiful legacy!!
Blessings, andrea

Debbie said...

I'm so envious. I'm thankful that you have great memories of a good grandfather. I never had grandparents because I was born so late they were all dead. I always thought it would be fun to have grandparents. I'll bet you do treasure that picnic table, and rightly so. Have a wonderful Easter.

bensrib said...

Mr. Rogers is TOTALLY what drew me in, but I loved the post! I had an awesome grandpa too, and still have the bookcase he made me when I was 8 or 9 years old.

PS. I love Mr. Rogers too.

Noni at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

A precious legacy... all that love... and a special picnic table, too! Brought a tear to my eye, Chel!

Anonymous said...

That story reminds me of my dad. He was such a ham, kinda like your grandpa. I know you miss him. Good story and good memories. THanks for sharing them.

Diana said...


Irritable Mother said...

Chel, I so enjoyed the stories of your grandpa. I have some wonderful memories, too. *grin*
How neat that he took you and your grandma on a cruise! My hubby and I said we would take a cruise for our 10th anniversary. Uh, number 17 is coming up this summer, and we have yet to go...Tell me, was it wonderful?
So gald you stopped by my blog today. It's nice to meet you!


Edie said...

Aw I love your Grandpa! :) How come we don't get to see the whole picnic table?

No I don't have a Mac... (blech) :) No offense if you're a Mac lover. The only Mac I love has cheese on it. :)

But it's easy to make musical notes.
Hold down the Alt key then using the number pad type 13 (♪), then let go of the Alt key. Do the same thing with 14 (♫) instead of 13.

Want a heart ♥? Use 3.
Smiley ☺? 1.

Have fun!

Laura said...

What wonderful memories you have!
I LOVE family memories and your picnic table holds many.

Have a blessed Easter!


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

This post is completely endearing from start to finish. Love your spirit that comes shining through your writing. Miss you!