This is John (and me):
John is one of my youngest cousins. He lives in Minneapolis not too far away from my grandparents, and since he is a very affectionate lad, it was very fun to spend a little time with him when I wasn't doing biography work. He also has quite a fanciful imagination. I should have written down more of the stories he told me, because they were quite humorous.
Since the high was about 29 while I was there, the only time I spent outdoors for more than a few minutes was when John coaxed me to go sledding the the front yard. The next thing I knew, he was an Olympic sledder:
Very, very exciting. We also had a lot of fun going out to lunch with Grandma, Grandpa, and a handful of their friends who they meet for lunch at a buffet every Monday. I think the average age is about 82. We were all getting seated a a long table when I looked over and realized that John was sitting at a booth by himself. Hum. "John," I called, "Are you just going to sit there by yourself?"
"Well," he responded, "I was thinking that maybe you would come sit by me."
How can you resist that? I left my grandpa describing a dietary supplement and went to sit by John in his booth. He loaded up his plate with chicken nuggets and pizza. Excellent use of a buffet. Later his dessert concoction would be enough to make most people's arteries curdle by just looking at the layers of gummy bears, ice cream, cookies, and whipped cream. The whole time, he gave me a running commentary on the adventures of his cat, Midnight, who he once accidentally swallowed in the middle of the night, and about Ghost Hunters, his favorite TV show, and different ways that he could break his leg to get out of school. He didn't believe me when I told him that breaking a leg would only get him out of a day or two of school and then he'd have to go to school and he'd have crutches.
Even more than John's stories, though, I enjoyed the stories my grandma told me- and I was much more inclined to believe that these ones were true, although they may have been tinged by the fuzziness of many years' passage. I love her sense of humor and her gentle patience with life. She is one of my best friends and I'm a little sobered to realize that she thinks very highly of me, too- it's something to live up to, to be sure. She paid me a massive compliment by telling me that if she were young again, she would want to be like me, which makes me smile, since I want to be like her when I'm old.
Writing this book has been a wonderful experience. I'm not done, but it's been just like going on a treasure hunt, unearthing wonderful stories and experiences about my grandma's life. And hopefully the people who read it will get the same sort of experience. That's my hope.