grandma & grandpa a dozen quick sketches

grandma & grandpa were married fifty years
and had twelve children

topcoat and hat white lace and roses
grandpa & grandma’s wedding picture

bale of newspapers in the hayshed
grandpa meant to read

grandma’s book on her lap
open at page seven same as yesterday

Tom and Jerry mayhem
grandpa nodding off

grandpa’s banknotes and coins
remember his touch

ambrosia in the kitchen
grandma baking treacle tarts

while the priest spoke Latin
grandma prayed in Gaelic to the Blessed Virgin

grandpa brought home ice-cream
wrapped in a white handkerchief

grandma charmed the summer garden
with witch fingers

grandpa sat up straight for the news
on the wireless at half past one

grandma never said a word to grandpa
when he staggered in Guinness blind

58 thoughts on “grandma & grandpa a dozen quick sketches

  1. Twelve sketches that present the lives of “grandma and grandpa” individually yet woven together into one life. Love it, Brother John. I could quote every sketch.

  2. I am of that age. These twelve sketches gave me call to revisit those years in my parent’s lives as I did not have but precious little time with my paternal grandfather and none with my maternal grandparents. My mother had a voracious appetite for reading, Pearl Buck, Somerset Maugham, Hemmingway and the Bible. My father on the sofa watching an athletic event on TV with the volume set on annihilate and mother attempting to talk to him and the same time. Looney Tunes events in their last years. Inanely amusing, yet sad. Yes your descriptions are picture perfect John. Thank you for moving me to recall those moments. I forgot to mention, my father was always cold in the latter years of his life. So the thermostat was always set well above seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit and he wore two pairs of thick socks, insulated gloves a hat and jacket to stay warm. It was a sight to behold. Thank you for the warmth and levity of this rendering. Ever your friend, Jon Michael

  3. What a wonderful story you tell with your word pictures! But it worried me a little since my husband and I will be married 50 years next year (I was a child bride!).

  4. A vivid portrayal of a marriage. Two individuals joined together in matrimony yet each retain their own essence. Imagine having the skill to capture 50 years of marriage in ‘a dozen quick sketches’? This union produced a dozen offspring so it certainly had its active moments! I love the image of grandpa sitting up straight for the news at one thirty on the wireless. It ‘chimes’ with the idea of washing one’s face and combing one’s hair before the Angelus bell came on the airwaves. You are such a sensitive wordsmith dear John.

  5. fun to meet your people and revisit our own..and those in the comments as a bonus…love the thumbnail sketches would enjoy more forgive my lack of caps and punctuation in rehab from right shoulder surgery……shattered it….

    • Dear Eileen
      i’m so sorry to hear of your shoulder – sending you healing,
      tons of healing and love

      Thank You, a special THANK YOU
      under the difficult circumstances for reading and responding

      Much love


  6. impressive and emotional… ❤ I think about my parents-in-law(87+85), who have been married for 63 years, have known each other for about 65 years… she's been in a wheel-chair for almost 3 years, he's valid 100%, but he wanted(asked) to be with her at the same medical nursing home… just together – à la vie, à la mort…

  7. This is so lovely John. Being of Welsh descent this really resonates with me!
    much love to you!

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