For quite a few years I couldn't afford to travel, now that I can afford to its difficult to get the time. But isn't that how the world works?
Anyhow, on to this story... sis & I spent the first few days with Mom visiting her family before we moved on to staying with Dad and Sandra (his wife) and the big op. While we were there we took a day trip into Sussex to visit Grampie.
Grampie is in a nursing home and has Alzheimer's so I wasn't sure what to expect. (Grammie is no longer with us). I was extremely nervous and in a weird way I was shy, after all Grampie seems to remember me as his little girl and thinks I'm still in grade school.
The visit was good, we had stopped at the farmer's market and brought him some home-made strawberry ice cream as well as a couple new boxes of his favourite chocolate candy (I definitely know where I get my sweet tooth from!) He didn't talk very much but he was very much 'there'. When we left sis & her baby and Mom walked out ahead of me, as I walked past his bed he reached for my hand and looked right at me. As I held his hand I knew that he was looking *at me*. I'll admit it made me cry.
Auntie M made me cry again when we got back to her place too. She said that a few days before our visit she had gone to see him and told him we were coming. "Your wee Lisa is going to come see you Dad" she told him. He smiled and his eyes got teary. I always had been "Grampie's girl". (I'm so glad she didn't tell us that before we went.)
On our way to the nursing home we had stopped at Grampie's farm (Uncle D & Auntie S and their family live there now, although its no longer a working farm). We looked around the house, which is really very lovely, but for me the thing I HAD to see was this:
This barn is always a strong part of my memories. I spent a lot of time with Grammie & Grampie until we moved here (Saskatchewan). I think a few of my most vivid memories are of me and Grampie and the barn...
Of going to the barn after the cattle were dehorned and being horrified at how sad I thought the cows were. I remember demanding that Grampie give them some grain because they were upset. (although I was at the barn a lot I was not allowed to be present during the dehorning).
I remember Grampie's big ol' bull. He had the cutest white curly forehead that he looooved to have scratched. If I remember right he was a big red and white guy and was very friendly. I was always closely supervised around him though because it would take just one swing of that head to knock my down. I can't remember his name but I remember scratching his head and watching him savour his happiness at the attention while Grampie & I talked to him.
** Mom or Auntie M - Do you remember that bull's name?**
But my favourite is this, I remember "helping" feed. I can very vividly remember being in the hayloft and looking down into the barn while bales were being thrown down. I didn't do any actual throwing, the last time I was in that barn I was 5 years old!
My job, and I took great pride in doing it well, was to sweep the stray hay out of the aisles into the feeder. I would push that broom, bigger than me, down the aisle making sure all the hay was in the feeders. It was very important to me that I made sure each cow got an even amount of this hay... except for mean cow. There was one cow that was always kinda skinny and mean. I just didn't like her and would give her less, then I would feel bad because she was skinny and I'd go and grab more from the others and give it to her and then run away because she scared me!