Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

XTRA "W"

The Rogue Speaks:

For last week's Alphabe-Thursday, I posted my son Joey's story for Studio 360's Significant Object contest, so I thought that this week I would post my own story about the Significant WOODEN Object.   As you know, neither of us won the objects about which we wrote, but that's o.k.  My own house is packed full with "objects" and I really don't have room for more stuff.  In fact, I really should do some significant throwing out or giving away some of the "collectibles" I have.  Not my cocktail napkins, though!  Rod was complaining recently about the lack of storage in one of the kitchen cabinets, but I told him to "get over it!"

For my "X" post this week, I offer you an XTRA "W" in the form of this story:


THE INVENTOR

The late summer heat was oppressive, but Granddad’s basement workshop was cool and dry.  Dust motes floated in the sunlight from the tiny windows, and the air was filled with the aroma of old wood shavings and lubricating oil.  A single, unadorned light bulb hung from a cord above the ancient workbench against one wall.
It was at that massive workbench that Granddad had created his inventions, many of which now stood against the other three walls.   Around ten years ago, Grandma had made me drag an overstuffed arm chair, faded and worn from some forty plus years of service, down the steps and into the basement.
“He needs a place to rest when his back gets tired,” she told me, and her eyes were warm and filled with love for the man who had been her soul mate for almost seventy three years.
Granddad sat in the old arm chair while I brought out items for him to identify.  The keepers were put in one corner of the basement for “the children” to pick what they wanted to keep as a memento.  The rest I tossed into barrels for the trash men to take away on Friday morning.
“Now that little invention was for your dad,” he said, as I brought out what appeared to be a step stool on wheels, with a long handle attached.  “He was small for his age, you know.  I made that so he could roll it around the house and step up to reach things he needed.  You know, like a drinking glass out of the kitchen cabinet.  He loved that old thing until the wheels went out from under him one day and he split his head open on that old secretary in the parlor.”
One by one, the unusual items, created out of his imagination, were sorted and placed in their designated piles.  There was one last object, a small wooden thing, made in three pieces and put together with two bolts.  I turned it over and over in my hands, but the usefulness of this piece eluded me.
“What’s this, Granddad?”
“Oh, that!!  Now that has a story, let me tell you!  It’s my best invention ever!  I sold a lot of those back in the day.  Yessir, I surely did!”
He took the piece from me and stroked it lovingly, like an adult might stroke a cherished toy from childhood.  I knew that feeling.  I still had all my lead soldiers that he had made for me by pouring molten lead into the tiny molds, then polishing and painting them.  If one got broken, or lost, he would simply make another.
“What does it do, Granddad?” I asked.
He leaned forward and began to study the piece, turning it this way and that.  After a while, he leaned back and rested his head on the headrest of the arm chair.  His eyes told me that he was somewhere in the long ago past.
“What does it do?” I asked again.
After a few seconds, he looked at me, and I could see tears welling up in his eyes.
“I don’t remember,” he said.

25 comments:

Mumsy¸.¤ª“˜¨ said...

Oh Judie, this is such a beautiful story, and so heart touching writing. I can see every moment as though I was there!

noexcuses said...

Thank you, Judie, for taking me down in that basement to watch grandpa talk about the old days. Your last line pierced my heart, as my father was taken by the Big Alz. Our garage smelled like wood shavings a lot, too! He was always making or fixing something wooden!

I love your new picture! You don't look older by any means, but I think you do show a softer side of you!

askcherlock said...

Judie, such a sadly sweet story. Things from the past. We should never forget how important they were...to someone. Great post!

JJ said...

Judie: This is one of my favorite posts. Great job!

Esther Joy said...

What a touching story. I'm such a sentimental person, and with your descriptive writing, I was carried right into that basement with you. I bet your granddad was a very special person.

Esther Joy said...

What a touching story. I'm such a sentimental person, and with your descriptive writing, I was carried right into that basement with you. I bet your granddad was a very special person.

Vicki/Jake said...

I love the end of this one.....was I uncouth to giggle? And forhellsakes, DO NOT toss the napkins! xoxo

anitamombanita said...

Judie, greetings for Punta Arenas, Chile, where the only ones wearing tuxedos are penguins! That was such a sweet story. Makes me think of my sweet mother in law who doesn't remember that she doesn't remember. Have a great week.

Pondside said...

That was lovely - and so true to life. Lately, my mum has been turning to me often and saying 'I don't remember'. I tell her that it's okay, because we're here to remember for her.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

That hit me right out of the blue! I lost my sweet mom last year to Alzheimers and I can so relate to that conversation.

I had a great uncle with a work bench like that and the memories of that time are so good...

love it!!!

xxoo,

RMW

Sue said...

So, so poignant.

Just excellent, Judie.

=)

EG CameraGirl said...

Well written, Judie. It sounds so true.

Karen S. said...

Oh my gosh Judie, this so reminds me of several of my own conversations with relatives in the past. They sure could always lure me in for that story, and so often it wasn't so much the story, but how they told it to me. You did just that today, and now you've brought tears to my eyes! Really. Just listening to this though, I know where you got your creative genius, at least some of it!

themagicalmiss said...

Judie, this is a wonderful story, so well written! I was there in the basement too. The ending is very touching, and sad. Have you submitted this story anywhere? I feel like it should be published.

Annesphamily said...

Judie this is a wonderful written story. Thank you for sharing your talent here. Have a wonderful weekend.

beckyp said...

what a sweet story Your ending brought tears to me eyes though.

Andy David said...

Hello Judie.
What a heartwarming story. I never knew my grandparents...they all died out when I was a baby, so I never got to hear stories like these from the past. You retold this beautifully.
I have to agree with noexcuses too...you seem to get younger-looking each week! (smile). Thanks for sharing.

How did you know my post this week would be Xanthippe?

I'm also inviting you and your friends here to join me this Saturday May 5th for Blog Hop Saturday!

Ames said...

That was great Judie. It was perfect and I really think you should have won the whatzit thingy.

I get that far away look in my eye at least once a day. If you see it you will recognize that I am trying to remember what I was going to do next or what I was going to say or maybe even where I was going to. I chalk it up to misfiring of information in the the old gray sponge.

~Ames

Gattina said...

A real hard touching story ! My grandpa also created lots of little toys for me. But the one he invented for his son to make him taller is just great !

Jo said...

oh .... that is so sad ... and yes, so touching ... and losing memory is just scary for me to witness ...

Lola said...

Hi Judie!

Visiting from Mrs Matlock’s, thanks for stopping by and look forward to *seeing* you again soon!

Great story telling – so touching.

Have a good weekend.

Cheryl D. said...

Great post! It's so hard to see your parents and/or grandparents age.

My dad is 82 and is quickly losing his memory.

It's really sad!

Tammy said...

Moving story, and loved the surprise ending. Except...I was wanting to hear what the darned thing was, too!

THE SNEE said...

Wow Judie! I absolutely love this story! I'm stumped for words to describe the emotions running through me. This is really well written!

Jenny said...

Judie!

I'm home and fighting strep but I wanted to read some of the X posts!

This one was fabulous! I felt like I was at story hour...and then it made me cry.

What xcellent writing, my dear.

How can little tiny you hold all that xcellence in art, writing, poetry, etc.?

Thanks for a wonderful link. I just feel overwhelmed with emotion after reading this.

Hugs and A+