Grandparents do the darnest things!

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I absolutely adore my grandparents. Although they live 650 miles away, I stay in touch with them via phone and letters.  Speaking of letters, my grandma, Nanie can wrap a package (any size package, from a Jell-o box to a four-times-used manila envelope) and have it arrive safely to its destination, even if the contents are highly breakable!

The other day, my grandparents, both in their 80s,  went to the grocery store in their small town.

Nanie waited in their stylish red minivan while Papa went in to the store. “Now remember,” Nanie said, as Papa climbed out of their minivan, “Get some prunes. Be sure to get the ones that are individually wrapped and taste like candy.”

My grandparents have always been extra conscious of eating healthy foods that promote healthy bowels. Their motto is “in one’s golden years, it’s critical to have a b.m. (bowel movement) in the p.m.!”

Papa went into the little grocery store. I can just see him in his Carhart Jeans, his favorite red flannel, his very used cowboy hat, and his wallet he carries on a chain like they do in those old movies. (Because of his streamlined physique, the chain on the wallet nearly drags to the ground). Upon seeing a box boy, Papa asked, “Do you have any prunes?”

“Yes, I’ll show you,” the box boy said, leading Papa down the aisle with the boxed prunes.

Papa grabbed a box of prunes off the shelf. Then, taking his cute little wrinkled self through the store, he exited through the automatic door. He didn’t even pause to stop at the check stand, but walked into the parking lot and to Nanie, who was waiting in the minivan.

Meanwhile, the box boy was in a quandary. He had followed Papa, apparently alarmed that Papa would exit the store without paying for the prunes, but unable to figure out a way to gently apprehend an adorable and innocent-looking elderly gentleman with twinkling blue eyes.

Papa walked up to the window of the passenger side of the minivan and asked Nanie to roll down the window.

Still figuring out how to use modern technology, Nanie instead opened her door.

“Are these the prunes you want?” Papa asked.

“Yes, Johnny, those are perfect.” Nanie smiled her precious Swedish smile at the thought that Papa had correctly chosen the individually wrapped prunes that tasted like candy. She was so proud of him.

“All right, then,” Papa said.

“Johnny?” asked Nanie. “Why is that box boy across the parking lot looking at you with suspicion?”

“I have no idea,” said Papa, because he truly had no idea. “Maybe because he’s the one who helped me find the prunes.” After a pause, he added, “I’ll be right back, Ruthie.”

Papa walked back into the store, past the box boy (without even so much as a glance), and went to the nearest check stand. Taking out some money from his wallet on a chain, he paid for the prunes. Then, walking again past the perplexed box boy (without even so much as a glance), Papa returned to the minivan.

I love stories like these. How precious Papa is! The funniest thing of all is that Papa is a former police officer with the San Diego Police Department. He apprehended dangerous criminals on a daily basis, some who were caught stealing things much more valuable than prunes.

But Papa had no intention of taking something without paying – he’s honest to a fault and has never broken any laws in his entire life. He only wanted to ask his wife of nearly 60 years if the prunes he picked were the correct ones.

After all, he’d probably purchased the wrong brand in the past and after so many years of marriage, he had become a very wise man. He had learned his motto the hard way: ask first, then purchase.

Papa has since gone home to be with the Lord. Such memories as the one above truly have more meaning when someone you love is no longer here. While I am sad that he is gone, I know that someday I will see him again.

I encourage you to take a minute to appreciate the grandparents in your life. They are truly treasures. And feel free to share with me your memories of your grandparents in a comment below.

Well,  that’s it for now. I need to go buy some prunes… 🙂


21 thoughts on “Grandparents do the darnest things!

  1. Lovely story! Grandparents are so important in the life of a child (or grown up one!). Good thing that wasn’t a Wal-Mart! A couple I know were arrested for shop lifting when they accidently forgot a small sack of dog food in their cart. $12!!

    Thanks, Penny.

    • Hello Carole! I agree, grandparents are so important in the lives of children (and grown up children, LOL!)

      I am thankful the little grocery store was gracious and didn’t jump to conclusions. That store has been such a blessing to my grandparents over the years!

  2. What a wonderful story!! Your grandparents sound delightful.

    My own grandma passed last summer. She always greeted her grandchildren with kisses on the neck. You never got too old for Grandma to “get your sugars.” My 5 year old daughter gives “Grandma Naomi kisses,” and sometimes it brings tears to my eyes.

    They leave us such sweet legacies.

    • Thank you, Andrea, for the compliment about my story!

      I was sorry to hear about your grandma passing last summer. I love it that she greeted her grandchildren with kisses on the neck and said no one was too old to “get their sugars.” How sweet! Thank you so much for sharing that!

  3. I loved that story. My grandparents have been gone for years now. My grandmother’s were the sweetest ladies on this earth!

    I think it is important that we cherish our parents too and make memories while we can. We buried Mom 3 weeks ago today and I miss her so much. I know she is in Heaven and happy! What is a gal (Old one at that!) to do without talking to her Mom daily and seeing her many times during the week?

    • Judy, I was so sorry to hear that your mom died three weeks ago. You are right, it’s so important to cherish our parents too. I have a close friend who also recently lost her mom and some days it hits her harder than others that she can’t just call her mom for a chat.

      God bless you, my sweet friend!

  4. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story, Penny. Grandparents are definitely treasures. My own grandpa has gone to be with the Lord. I think of him often and know I will see him again, too. It makes the rare times I get with my grandmother all the more precious.

    • So true, Kat. Those times with our grandmothers are so precious. I wish we lived closer to Nanie, but the times she comes to visit or we go to visit her are so special and so cherished.

  5. Love that story =) at least the boy waited before taking action. I have one grandparent now and cherish every moment we spend together. She’s 94 and still independent, I hope to take after her 🙂

  6. I grew up in the country, right next door to my grandma. We saw her just about every day. She had a little tin bank with a picture of a frog on it and every time she found some coins or us grandkids did we would put them in the frog bank in her old farm house kitchen window. When it got full she would take us young kids to town going what felt like 10 mph and buy us all an ice cream because we had learned to save up for it

    • Crystal ~ I love, love, love this story! I can just imagine the little tin bank with the picture. What awesome memories to go to town and buy ice cream once the bank was full! I love how you mentioned about the car feeling like it was going 10 mph. With my grandpa, it was just the opposite. I remember him taking the corners to church on the highway at a rather rapid pace in his old Dodge car. We had no seatbelts and I remember the world passing by rather quickly!

  7. Pingback: Author spotlight/giveaway with Shellie Neumeier!!! « Penny Zeller ~ A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author

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