The Spirit of the Grandfather

The grandfather’s spirit is strong. He doesn’t need to go to heaven, he’s having too much fun roaming the earth. I’m burning frankincense right now. They say the angels love it. I could use all the help I can get. Maybe he will come around.

The grandfather’s spirit is strong with me. He would tell me the stories of his travels, and he would bring me strange stones from places I had never heard of. I only have one of them left and it’s shaped like a rose. I see him sometimes and he’s always laughing, and I know when I hear him laughing that everything will be OK.

I play my tarot cards with diamond and sapphire rings on my fingers. The black cat sleeps at my feet. She knows I’m crazy but I have good food and a warm, dry place in the storm. I deal the cards and read the stories at night. I pace and wander the house.

The grandfather is strong with me because I keep his things, a sign of affection and connection. I keep his tools, his pictures and some old coins he brought back from WW1. He was an honest-to-god warrior, a hero to the guys in his unit, a strong father to three girls in a hard time. Everyone loved him.

He came back from the war, married and tried farming, but the droughts hit, and he lost the farm. He was good with his hands and went to work as a carpenter. He built houses and barns on the high plains in South Dakota and Nebraska. His wife died young and he took his three daughters to Oklahoma where there was an oil boom and a building boom. Life was good for him then.

I have his hammers, planes, chisels and saws. I have the old wooden toolbox he carried to jobs. I work in wood too, and sometimes I still use his tools. I have his whetstone, and I sharpen my knives with it, with smooth and gentle strokes at the perfect 20o angle to make a razor’s edge, just like I was taught to do. A man who failed to care for his tools was somehow dishonorable. “Too soon, the wood you shape will be all that’s left of you in the world. Make it right.” That was the grandfather.


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