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Red Dirt Roots: stories of my family.

I talk about my family a lot.  Especially my grandparents.  They have taught me so much, and I am cut so much from the same cloth as my grandmother.  I’ve inherited her drive, giving nature, bossiness, compassion, bluntness, etc.  They are both in their seventies and I currently plan for them to live forever.  I know that’s not really possible.  I know.  I can’t think about it.

For the past few months, I have been taking pictures of things that remind me of them.  I’m trying to put into words the vibrant tapestry of life they have woven around me and my entire family.  I want to cling to these things as strongly as I can, to remind me of them when times get hard.  Our grandparents come from a time both similar and different from now.  They have seen struggles.  They have seen what it means to live in a world where ingenuity and hard work were essential for survival.

So, as I find the time, I want to tell you the stories and memories that I cherish so intently.

Fact: my grandfather loves children.

Grandpa Tony with his youngest great-grandson.

Grandpa Tony has always loved being around kids. He’s much like his father-in-law was, Paul Kelly, in the fact that he loves to see his grandkids. Every day, P.K. would drive by Polly and Tony’s house (my grandparents) to see my father and uncle.  Similarly, my grandpa would come by every morning to see Bluebelle when we were living next to them.  He would hold her under the big pine tree (his “office”) and play with her. He calls her his “little buddy.”

This past weekend, he let her walk around with him while he did a few chores around the farm. He let her eat dirt, and then he let her play at the water pump to wash clean again.

See how he always watches over her?

Grandpa Tony and Bluebelle played in the shop.

Following Grandpa Tony in the shop.

He let her sit on the lawnmower where she bounced up and down on the spring-loaded seat.

Discussing the finer mechanics of a good lawnmower.

She called him “PaPa” for the first time.

You’ll notice one of his “office chairs” under the shade tree on the right.

With Grandpa Tony, you’ll always notice his Dickies blue jeans, a pack of Red Man tobacco in his back pocket, his boots, his suspenders, and a pair of glasses and a metal toothpick in the front pocket of his button down shirt.  This is his uniform.

I love that my girl is able to have some of the same experiences I did as a child.  I love that she is his “little buddy” and they are close to each other.  I hope that she is able to remember these times.  Mama will help her remember. 🙂

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