Friday, May 11, 2007

Touchstones

Well, the deed is done, the garden is planted and it is almost bed time. There is just time for a quick thought.

Last night I opened a cupboard and found a little wooden chest that Grandpa made in high school shop. Inside there is the watch that he got when he retired from 28 years of work at Coors, an OLD lighter from back in the days when he smoked - and engraved boldly 'Al Hahn'. Also present was an old silver cigarette case, a set of dice, and several old pocket knives that are almost worn away from sharpening. Dottie and John didn't want any of this stuff, and really it isn't valuable, or even especially useful.

I guess that I am not one that always has to have stuff that is valuable or useful. In fact, I think I am sort of a magnet for useless and invaluable stuff most of the time. It was the pocket knives more than anything that I liked. The blades worn down to nubbins, and still fairly sharp brought back a vision of the characteristic grimace that Grandpa used to get when he was cutting a piece of rope, or screwing a screw into a board. It was the result of total concentration on the task at hand, and he didn't have any idea of how ferocious it made him look. Kind of scared me when I was little. Essence of Al Hahn distilled into a very intense grimacing scowl, teeth clamped tight, lips drawn a little back into almost a snarl. He WOULD prevail!

I kind of like that box of stuff. I only have to touch one of those old knives and the memories come flooding back. Useless? Worthless? I guess that I am not a practical person, but I think I will keep the old box, and memories it contains.

Sleep well all.

3 comments:

The Nurse said...

I like hearing the random thoughts of my dad. It is the kind of train of thought that i want to catch conor in... but he apparently doesn't think that way. but those are my favorites. just random memories. :)

Mike said...

I like these thoughts as well. It is a lot like the stories I remember being told when I was a little boy of adventures and memories from my dad. Very precious to me. Life is all about memories and relationships. That is one thing you get to take with you.

pixiestylist said...

sorry i'm a little behind, but i feel the same way as mike and the nurse! these are my favorite things to know. they make the idea of these people being my age more real. it is fun :)