As soon as I pulled in, I remembered I had my good camera in the car with me so I pulled it out to get some pictures of them.
Even though pap is my great uncle, we've never called him anything but Papaw Lynn.
I pulled into his driveway knowing that he probably wouldn't know my car, but he smiled brightly when he saw me walking toward him. "You're Deborah aint' ya?" He was only one generation off, Deborah is my mom.
I told him who I was & what I was doing but I didn't get much out before he was telling me he loved me & was so glad I had stopped in.
I sat down in the barn next to him watching the excavator rake gravel across his driveway & he told me stories. Pap is going to be 91-years-old this year & he can tell stories, that's for sure.
He built the house he lives in almost completely himself. It's about 70 years old. The barn we were sitting in was built totally by him & he told me multiple times that it's 120 feet long, so I guess that's important.
Pap was a hard worker. He was right in the middle of the action during World War II & told me today that he drank Schnapps over in Europe & when they caught Hitler's men, well he was sure almost everybody got drunk that night. After Pap came home from World War II he married my great-aunt Lee & became the step-father to my mom's cousin, Joyce. He built the house & the barn for them, he worked a full-time job & would come home to be a carpenter in the evenings to make a little extra money.
Pap & I walked through the barn together, there's so much great stuff to be seen.
The rocking horse Pap used.
At 91-years-old, Pap's only complaint is that he can't hear very well. He gets hearing aids from the veteran's but they give him headaches so he doesn't wear them, that's what he said today anyway. Heck, we can all yell for him.
He walks with a cane but that doesn't stop him from putzing around in the barn telling stories about building this table and that chair & rekindling memories.
Tom cat hangs out with him in the barn & at 20-years-old that old cat is probably about as old as Pap in cat-years. "You're still with me ain't ya Tom?", Pap said & my heart grew a little softer, I think.
Joyce goes to Pap's house everyday to check on him or take a shower.
She's a different breed, my cousin Joyce.
Her husband is also a carpenter & he's getting ready to build them a new house. Meanwhile, Joyce & her husband & one of her adult sons were living in a travel trailer on their property but the storm last week picked up that trailer & threw it down & completely ruined it. Now they're living in their barn & using a pot-hole bathroom. She says it's pretty nice. Out of the horses mouth.
She curses like a sailor & has the poorest grammar you've ever heard but no one would have your back like Joyce. She may not show up on time but she'd be there & kickin' ass if she needed too.
As I was leaving, Joyce slipped a $100 bill in my hand, you know, for graduation. Better late than never. She may be showering outside but she sure didn't forget my graduation money. That's just how they are.
Days like today & visits like the one I had with Pap & Joyce today are, I'm sure, one of life's richest blessings. I thrive on these times. My soul craves them.
Having my camera in the car today was truly a blessing, these pictures are absolutely priceless.