Pops and Grams.

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Mandatory words: day, vowel, spaceship, calm, stool

It’s a “twofer” day! Two blog posts for one day. 😉

Above is the blog hop photo prompt; below is my story to go with it. Enjoy!

***

Joshua rolled his eyes and let out a dramatic sigh. It was cold and he had a date in hour. He glanced anxiously at his watch.

“Your grandmother and I used to bring you down this path all the time. You’d sit on this bench and pretend we were at the helm of a spaceship,” said his grandfather, chuckling. “Do you remember that?”

Yeah, he remembered because he’s only heard the story about a zillion times.

“Sure, Pops. I remember,” Joshua said, hoping the forced smile on his face smothered the irritation in his voice.

They sat in silence, letting the damp of the gray day press upon them.  A slight breeze shuffled the autumn leaves against the gravel path. Joshua’s grandpa shivered slightly, pulling his coat collar tighter around his neck. He seemed lost in time.

“Say, Josh. I know spending time with your ol’ grandpa probably isn’t as fun for you as it used to be. I want you to know that I appreciate you coming down here with me today.”

Joshua felt a tug of guilt. He looked at his 87-year old granddad and realized for the first time ever, Pops was looking elderly. The man who used to take him golfing every weekend, who taught him how to change his own oil, who showed him how to win at Scrabble, now seemed worn, frail, and stuck in the past.

“Sure thing, Pops. Hey, I thought you might like to know, I finally beat Uncle Jim at Scrabble on Easter. He put out the exact vowel I needed in the precise spot for an 87-point word! It was beautiful. You should have seen his face!”

“Thata boy! What word was it?” Pops asked.

“Squeeze”

Pop let out a hearty laugh. “Simple word. Quality points. That’s how you win, my boy. Well done!”

Joshua smiled, relieved to see a spark of the Pops he remembered as a kid.

“You miss Grams, Pops?” asked Joshua. He wasn’t sure why he asked, except he’d been kind of wondering how Pops had been doing since Grams died.

He released a calm sigh, “Yeah. I miss her, son. Just this morning I was loading the groceries and came across her kitchen stool in the closet. She used it every morning to reach my favorite mug for my coffee. She took good care of me.”

Joshua saw tears well up in Pops’s eyes. He laid a hand on his granddad’s shoulder. “I miss her too, Pops.”

They both stared out over the mist-covered lake.

“Don’t you have a date soon?” Pops asked suddenly.

Josh grinned. “Yeah.”

Pop’s gave a Josh’s knee a friendly slap, “Well, let’s get going, son. It’s not okay for a gentleman to keep a pretty lady waiting. It’s supposed to be the other way around. Your Grams taught me that.”

“She was a smart woman,” said Josh with a smile.

“She was the whole package, son.”

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