>> May 23, 2009
In honor of my Grandpa Shirl's birthday today, I decided to repost my post from his birthday last year. I love and miss him a lot. Here's a picture that we recently found, of him and my Grandma Jo so happy, young, and in love, and a picture of my mom with her Dad when she was tiny.
Happy Birthday GrandpaToday is my Grandpa's Birthday. Shirley Glen Harding. He would have been 75 years old. He died 7 years ago.
For his birthday, I thought I would write of things that made him awesome.
1. He LOVED flowers: he always had flower ideas, and wanted to plant new things. Even if he did pronounce perennials, "pre-annuals" which I never understood. Before yearly? But he was my Grandpa Shirl, and he was good at flowers. When I was younger, whenever we would have weeds in our flowers he would say "When ya gonna pull these weeds, youngin'?" (yep.. he said "youngin" .. I love it, I still think of him every time I hear anyone say that). He'd always "bite" me with snap dragons too. I like snap dragons, and I think I got my obsession with flowers from him.
2. He also had Enormous Gardens. With fruits and vegetables, and somehow it grew bigger and bigger and BIGGER every year. We would eat strawberries, radishes, carrots, and the best tomatoes. The tomatoes were for yummy fresh salsa, of course.
3. He always had a story.. especially when he was getting older. Sometimes we got frustrated, because he would end up telling us the same story over and over and over again, but I'd be okay with hearing one of those stories now. Maybe the one about how he was the only 8th grader in his tiny class in Tremonton (that only went up to the 8th grade..). Or how he had to walk up hill both ways, in the snow, and only the oldest got the shoes, and he wasn't the oldest. I really believed that one for a long time. Silly Man..
4. He had the best handwriting. He was very, very much proud of his "penmanship" and would tell you if he thought yours wasn't good enough. I still remember when he told me I wrote the number 8 wrong.
5. He always made me feel smart. He was so into learning, and helping me to learn. He had me rattling off multiplication tables when I was 7. I could never remember 8 x 7, so every time he saw me he'd just say "Okay, 8 x 7?!" and make me answer. Let's just say I know the answer to that one is 56 much faster than any other now. Once when I was little, he had me tell him how to make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, and me, being the gullible one thought he really didn't know how to make one. So when I knew step-by-step how to tell him to make one, it made me feel so smart, and like I had helped him make his lunch. Me, a 5 year old "youngin".. always making me feel smart.
6. He had a girly name.. Shirley, but that never got him down.
7. When he was sick once, he came and stayed with us at my parents house. I was in High School, I think about 16 years old, and I would sit in the front room and wait for my friend to come pick me up for school. He would already be up, sitting there in the dark, thinking, or looking outside. I was never sure what we were going to talk about, as we sat there, waiting. But it was never dull. I am glad I had those conversations with him now, just me and Grandpa. He'd tell me about the book he was reading, ask about school of course, and want to know "where I was going in life".
8. He was so cute with my brother. I wish my brother had known him longer. My grandpa had diabetes, and had gotten gangrene in his feet, so he was missing some of his toes. He used to make it a joke with my brother, where he would grab onto my brothers little toes, when he was tiny and ask him if he could have his toes. Timmy would squeal and run away, he wasn't about to share his toes with Grandpa. Tim was so little, but he still remembers Grandpa Shirl pulling his toes.
9. When I was little, he always let me pick the Christmas Tree for his house. Even if I always wanted it flocked..
10. He instilled in me an appreciation for John Wayne, popcorn and ice-cold pepsi.
So here's to you Grandpa, I love ya.