Monday, December 1, 2014

A Trappist Toast

Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 89th birthday. 

My mom and my younger sister, who still live in our hometown, usually visit her grave, and, since the timing is right, use this as the occasion to put out the holiday poinsettias at the family plot. 

My sister plays Roy Orbison songs because he was my grandmother's favorite.

I'm never quite sure what to do with myself. 

I don't live close enough to visit the cemetery, and I don't have the same connection to the music as my sister. 

Usually I spend some time thinking of her, remembering, wondering, imagining the things I would talk to her about if I she were here, as though she'd just been away for a while. 

Today, I decided to go try a new Trappist beer. 

I don't recall her ever drinking beer, and I don't know what opinions she might have had about Trappist monks. She died well before I took an interest in either, so her take on these subjects shall remain a mystery to me, a couple more items on the long list of things I wonder about when I think of her and all the years she's been gone. 

I imagine she'd tell me to enjoy myself, and probably chide me to behave and not overdo it, and I'd assure her that drinking Trappist beer is a religious experience, not an intoxicating one. 

And she'd get the joke, which would elicit that disapproving-yet-loving scowl of hers, and she'd tell me to come closer, which I would do despite knowing what was coming. 

What was coming would be a grandmotherly swat on the backside and her wagging a finger and telling me to be nice or the Devil would get me. 

And I would nod, and agree, and never tell her I'm agnostic. 

Then she would tell me I need to write more, and I would promise that I'm working on it, and I would mean it, because no one breaks promises to Nanny. 

So the end of the day would find me savoring the beer, blinking my watery eyes, and keeping the promise. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Sports Thoughts, April 20, 2014

Any day is a good day for baseball, but tomorrow I take my cousin to his first Major League Basball game. Groovy.