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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
February 2023
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No one can lift the damn thing

My first hero is my maternal grandfather. His nickname was Pepe, so that’s what I’ll call him on the blog. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned him before, but he had a profound impact upon my life. He was a loving father and husband. He was a bit of an alcoholic. He was a complete neatfreak. He LOVED garage sales. He would take the paper and find all the good garage and estate sales and take my grandmother every weekend.

I was extremely lucky in that I was born early enough in his life that he got to be a grandparent to me before he died and that I was a female. Pepe had a double standard when it came to his daughters and granddaughters versus his sons and grandsons. Boys were to be tough and tried and tempered. Girls were for hugs and love and encouragement.

My female cousins were all younger than me and thus not even teenagers yet when Pepe died. They didn’t get enough time with him. Pepe believed in me. Some would say it was because we were cut from the same cloth. My grandfather enjoyed books and quiet time and having everything just right. I truly believe that I got my OCD and my need for mental space from him.

Pepe taught me how to swim. He spent HOURS sitting in his chair by the pool and counted laps for me. He taught me how to check the chorline levels in the water before I swam and helped me scoop leaves out of the water.

He bought my first computer when my high school was starting a program for laptops. My mother had been fretting and worrying about taking out a loan and my grandfather found the money to pay for it. He told me to have fun and make sure I learned well. He believed I was responsible. I had that computer for over 5 years and then my mother used it for another year or two.

He taught me about cars. He almost bought my first car. I spent many Saturdays going to car dealerships with him and him telling me about different cars. His plan was to buy a minivan because his minivan was dying and to buy a used car for himself to go work. He didn’t believe I should drive a used car as a young woman going to school by myself.

He paid for me to go on a school sponsored trip to England and Scotland, and helped me with my Spanish. He would buy any romance, scifi or mystery novels he found at his garage sales. He built special shelves in my room for my paperback books.

I can’t even list all of the things he did for and with me. I loved him very much and am glad that I got to be part of his life.

  • Linda

    This was so beautiful. I like to imagine what life would be with
    extended family and grand parents. Thanks for painting me real life
    memory. My favorite of all the things were: He would buy any romance, scifi or mystery novels he found at his
    garage sales. He built special shelves in my room for my paperback

  • mef

    I like to imagine what life would have been like with parents, so I’m glad I could give back to you. He was a pretty special man. I still remember him and my grandmother SHOUTING in spanish over where they should store the christmas napkins and plates. They had a very passionate relationship. He gave great hugs too.

  • Linda

    lol Shouting.
    See the hustle and bustle and VOLUME of your family feel like stories from another land. Great land!

  • mef

    I do have to admit, it’s a very different way of living. I’m actually really glad I moved out and got a chance to experience life when you are living in the midst of all the hustle bustle and noise.