I wish we had iPhones with video recording capabilities when my grandparents were still alive. I'd have a video of my Grandma drinking a Coke and telling a story about how she talked someone into doing something, or of us going out to lunch. I'd have a video of her second husband, my step-granddad whom I always called Jimmy (that being his name and all), teaching me how to whistle through my hands. It was one of the few times I remember him taking the time to show me how to do something, and I cherish that memory. I can also whistle through my hands--just ask me.
That set of my grandparents taught me many things, none of which I have on video. Grandma was a great cook, but she was also a great finder of excellent bakeries. There were always cookies from Heinrich's Bakery in her kitchen when I came over, and to this day I've never found their equal. Both Grandma and Jimmy could tell great stories, a gift that I imagine they put to use when they would go meet up with friends at the VFW Post. I always thought this was a very glamorous part of their lives. They were a bit cantankerous at times, set in their ways, somewhat profane, and I suspect I get a lot of my bossiness from my Grandma. They were also loyal, generous, funny, and gone way too early for me.
Partly due to their early impact on my young life, I like to collect extra grandparents for my children. That sounds more ominous than it is, I promise.
There is one particular man we know who adopts as his own ALL the kids at church. He traveled all over when he was in the Navy yet settled here when he retired (since once upon a time we had a pretty awesome Navy Base in Charleston. Jimmy was even here when he was in the Navy, many years ago). He has great stories to tell, always hands out candy at Easter, and makes our palm leaves into crosses on Palm Sunday every year. Every year I try very hard to learn how to do it, too. This year, I decided I would video the process so I could practice it on my own. He was a good sport (of course) and let me.
So, here he is, Don Maddox, who along with his awesome wife Pat have been an extra set of grands to our kids (and the rest of the kids at our church, for the last 20 years or so), making a Palm Leaf Cross.
Let me know if you try it!