Growing up, I remember Papaw had a huge acre garden. In the summertime when we'd visit, he would have all sorts of fantastic things for us to eat. Tomatoes, squash, onions, lettuce, corn, green beans and watermelon. Oh the watermelon!
I remember grilling out and eating outside on the picnic table with all of my cousins. We would have homemade ice cream and watermelon for dessert. (My friends, if you have never had homemade ice cream, you have not really lived!)
I remember Papaw would chase us around the yard with a Super Soaker drenching all of us kids. We would cackle and conspire to take Papaw by surprise and drench him. And drench him we did!
I remember Papaw never gave us hugs. He would give us nugies. Nugies! For those of you not familiar, they are when someone puts you in a headlock, takes their middle finger knuckle and rubs the top of your head. I hated this. I mean it was the 90's people! I worked hard on my big hair!
I remember Papaw would refer to us grandkids as "House Apes" or "Imbeciles". He'd say something like, "Michelle! You imbecile! Didn't you hear what your mom just said?!" Then, he would laugh and laugh like he told the funniest joke ever.
I remember at Christmastime, Papaw would show up in his huge truck that was filled to the brim with tons of toys for us kids. He was just like Santa! (If Santa used pomade, wore a plaid flannel shirt and drove a ginormous pick-up truck!) Papaw, and only Papaw, was the one to hand out gifts to everyone.
I remember when Jeff and I got engaged. Jeff came out to Papaw's for Thanksgiving dinner. Papaw is a great cook and really enjoyed it. Jeff is a good cook as well so I told him to go and help Papaw. When Jeff came back into the living room, I asked him how it went. He said, "Well, he called me an imbecile." I said, "That means he likes you!"
My Papaw was as country as they come. He grew up in Eastern Kentucky and he was proud of it. Papaw lived in the same place all of his life, and he had one job all his life, working for CSX railroad. He was a man's man, but he also loved to cook and to shop. He was as stubborn as the day is long. Sometimes we would butt heads because I am also a teeny bit stubborn. (Okay, fine! A lot stubborn!) He wasn't perfect (who is?) but I loved him.This past March, Papaw lost his battle to bone cancer. He fought a long, hard fight, but ultimately, cancer won out and Papaw was called Home.