Giving Back

Grandma Julie and Grandpa John asked me to move in with them.

I think they were worried about me because I lost my job,

And I couldn’t pay my rent or buy food.

I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself.


They show me unconditional love.

They always have; and I hope they always will.

No one else in my family has ever done that.

Not even my parents. And only a few friends.


So, I moved in with them four days past.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

And now I worry about them.

They seem so old now.

I think it’s time I took care of them,


They are worried about COVID-19,

More than they will say. But I see it in their eyes.

Last night I heard Grandma crying.

She is afraid her friends will catch it.


She worries about friends, relatives, and Grandpa

More than she worries about herself.

I love my Grandma.

I love her unconditionally.


The other day on the telephone

I told Grandma Julie

How much I liked Grandpa John’s stories.


I told her he made me see things

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Through his eyes

From so very long ago.


She laughed when I said it,

because it wasn’t so long ago

In their lives.


And then she told me

That I should take his stories

With a grain of salt.


She said that Grandpa John

Always added details that

Might not have happened.


Or that not every girl

Or woman swooned over him.

And she laughed again.


Then she said quietly

That the stories helped him forget

That those days will never return.


I need to ask him

To tell me more stories.

For the sake of both of us.

Stories He Told #3

Grandpa John knew I was anxious to leave.

I wanted to go home to my second floor apartment

Above the hardware store,

But couldn’t because the water was still to high.

So he searched his mind to find more stories

To keep me from pacing around the room.


Grandpa told me about being in basic training

During his army days.Warfighter Challenge

He told me going for a run every morning

When it was cold, just as the sun was coming up.

How he could feel and measure how his endurance

Increased as the days passed slowly by.


He told me about the teasing he received

From everybody in the barracks when he got letters

Doused in perfume from his girlfriend of the time,

And how one of those letters included her description

Of a dream she had about standing at an alter with him.

He said that letter dampened his romantic feelings for her.


Then, after checking that Grandma Julie wasn’t in the room,

He told me that he ran into that woman a year or so

After he came home, and found her much more mature

Than she had been, and more mature than him.

How he was still pretty much a punk,

And wondered what life would have been like with her.


I couldn’t tell if he was sad. I hope not.

I moved back home three days later.

Stories He Told #2

Staying with Grandpa John was fun.

We spent time watching old and new movies


That he had on DVD and tape.

They stretched from Johnny Mack Brown westerns

To Marvel’s Ant-Man & The Wasp.

We listened to his Country & Western albums.

And he told me stories.


He told me about seeing Manhattan Transfer in concert,

Taken by a woman who wanted to sleep with him,

But who didn’t appeal to him that way.

She didn’t get mad. Or so he says.

He couldn’t describe her very well,

But he told me details of the music and performance.


Grandpa told me about driving thirty miles

To pick up a woman for a date;

A woman he did want to sleep with.

But she had forgotten about the date and wouldn’t go.

He didn’t get mad. Or so he says.

He described her to me in great detail.


He told me about a period of two years

When he didn’t date and remained celibate.

He told me he was nursing a broken heart,

just as we all  have done.

All of these things happened

Before he met Grandma Julie.

He had more stories to tell


Miss Anju and Mr. Norm asked me to host the next N-N-1. With some fear in my heart, I accepted. But because of the person I am, I want to make this one slightly different.
We have done themes before, and I like them, so this time let us do the theme “Season Changes.” The theme is voluntary, so you are not required to stick with it. Secondly, rather than be forced to take your picture on a specific date and time, or even just a specific date, you have a three day window to take the picture.
Now for the details:
Take your picture sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and midnight on Saturday, May 4th. Send your picture, a bit of writing (no more than 200 words of prose or poetry) to me at no later than midnight on Monday, May 6th. Oh! All times are local to where you are. I’ll put all of the submissions together and post them in my blog,, and send you a link so that you can reblog the post if you want to. You do not need a blog in order to participate. If you know somebody who would like to participate, please let them know. 

Stories He Told

Grandpa John took me in

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

As the flood waters rose

And then receded.

He fed me and soothed me

When I worried about my friends

And he told me stories.


He told me about drinking

His first full can of beer

In the back seat

Of his friend’s car

After a high school basketball game.

And he told me more stories.


He told me about trying to ply

Lovely young coeds with Ripple wine

On the back roads near the university,

And of ultimately failing

To get past second base.

And he told me more stories.


He told me about dating

A high school girl one summer

When the zipper broke on her blue jeans

And the dog was sicced on him

The next time he came to her house.

He promised to tell me more stories.

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