I Just Really Love Cold Water

Before anything else, I’d just like to say I want to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve experienced the seven-day free trial and I’m not interested.

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22252 – 776:

Here’s the haps:

As I have been thinking about this memoir project and trying to decide what to include and what not to include I have been having to bring up some memories from a very long time ago. Sometimes retrospection is a good thing. As a boy, we never, ever dared call adults by their first name. It was always Mister or Misses or, in the case of some of my parent’s closer friends, we called them Uncle or Aunt. If they were quite a bit older and very close to the family it might even be Grandma or Grandpa. In my younger years, I was only vaguely aware of the difference between blood relationships and family and close friends who could be better than family. This has served me well in life because I now have a whole bunch of very different people who are “members” of my close family. In the church, for the most part, we call each other brother or sister. I think it shows respect to use some sort of honorific.

Grandpa was getting up there in years. Nobody knew exactly how old he was, even himself. He was always doing something or puttering around and liked having visitors. He lived in a little two-room shack at the end of a dirt road. A big old black dog was lying curled up by the wood-burning stove and barely noticed you were there. If you showed up early in the morning Grandpa would fry you up a few fresh eggs and some bacon. “Grab a couple of plates for us!” “Are these plates clean?” “Oh, they’re as clean as cold water can get them.” And then he’d send you out to get a breath of fresh air while he tidied up. Oh, sure, you could offer to help; insist on helping, but to no avail. Then when he came out he’d show you whatever his newest little project was and you would talk until lunch.

His few dishes and things were stacked on one end of the table. “Are these dishes clean?” Shocked, he’d say, “What? Why they’re as clean as cold water can make them!” After lunch the routine was similar. It was a really idyllic setting and you just felt relaxed and peaceful. Nothing ever changed, really. No jangling of phones or blaring of TV. Not even a radio. The big old dog that never seemed to move very much. He did without a lot, but he liked his life and anyone that had ever spent any time with him loved him.

There was just something about those dishes, though. “They’re as clean as cold water can get them.” After the evening meal, it got to be time to go. As you said goodbye and your hand touched the doorknob the dog instantly sprang to life and jumped in front of the door looking very large and not just a little terrifying. “Oh, don’t mind him. He doesn’t ever like for anyone to leave. Come here, Cold Water!”

Remember, intelligence is like underwear. It’s important that you have it but you don’t have to show it off.


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