Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random thoughts

Can't say why but I woke up thinking of my grandfather this morning. He was my father's dad and died some time in the '80s. Not that I went to the funeral, I did not care for this man. Was scared of him as a child and couldn't be bothered as an adult. My grandmother I loved.

Howard Bryant was born in 1896 into the second family of his father's. That meant he had brothers old enough to be his father and uncles his own age. Odd family. The first time I read the definition for "gruff" I was sure that word was coined for him. He never once showed any affection for us grand kids, we were only noise makers in his opinion. I'm sure we were but we were kids.

When I was fifteen or so my mom and dad, living in Southern California, got a divorce. When my mom sent Christmas cards to our grandparents in Indiana, Howard sent them back. He'd disowned us. Imagine that, so you can see there was no love loss from me. So why would I even think of him now?

The only logical reason would be he could fix anything and was quite inventive, not unlike my dearly beloved husband. While the other grand kids got kicked out of Grandpa's basement workshop for asking too many questions, I just sat quietly on a stool and watched him. He always had pocket knife that he used for everything whether to whittle off the edge of a kite bow to make it fit or turn a screw.

He made beautiful kites. Oh, not for us to fly, we weren't worthy. He would show us how to fly them then take them back to his basement. He made one that had a semi-enclosed lit candle and it rose straight up until the candle blew out, then stayed hovering on the upper currents of air. No running required to get it aloft.

Don't you wonder what makes some people so mean? He didn't have a bad life, though died of cancer in his 80s. He saw all his five children grow to adults, have families of their own and acquire some amount of success. His wife was a lovely woman who never made a fuss about anything. He wasn't rich but had enough to retire on which gave him more time to smoke and work in his basement. I guess there doesn't have to be reasons for everything but trying to find them wakes you up at five a.m.

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