I was looking forward to Google I/O starting today. I planned to write about the new Google Nexus 7 tablet and the updated Jelly Bean Android 4.1 operating system. I also considered writing about the massive wildfires in Colorado. As a forester, I am especially interested in the fires and wish I could go out there to assist in some way.
My plans changed last night when I received a call from my mother just before 1am. She was calling to give me the news that my grandfather, Carl Raymond Powell of Appling, GA, passed away just after midnight. He has been declining for some time now, so it was not much of a surprise. When I heard my mother's voice crack as she told me her father was gone, it broke my heart. I shed some tears and had a hard time breathing, so I decided to get out of bed until I felt like sleeping. Since nothing better was on TV, I had to settle for watching Nacho Libre with Jack Black. After settling down some, I began reflecting on his life (shed a few more tears) and started this post in his honor.
My grandfather, whom I called "Papa", was born June 18, 1929. I was fortunate to spend some time with him and my Mama on his 83rd birthday last week. He was a hard working man. He never had the fanciest things but he worked for everything he had. He loved to hunt and fish. He taught me about hunting and maybe even a curse word or two. I vividly remember the time we went squirrel hunting in my parents yard so we could make squirrel stew. I got in trouble (from my parents) for shooting the squirrels because we lived in a neighborhood and had no business shooting a 22 caliber rifle that close to other houses. Fortunately, I was a good shot, shooting two squirrels with two shots. He loved his garden and planting/grafting fruit trees. I can still remember the taste of the plums, pears, and peaches from the trees in his yard. As a kid, he often called me K-roger or Kah-roger. When I drive by or go into a Kroger grocery store I cannot help but think of him. He liked the Georgia Bulldogs, the Atlanta Braves, and the Atlanta Falcons. He would always ask me, "what happened to those Bulldogs" anytime they lost a game.
My grandparents were married for 63 years. It seems like yesterday when I drove over to visit them for their 50th anniversary. They have a son and two daughters, 8 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.
I am very fortunate to have had a relationship with all of my grandparents. They each have a special place in my heart and I think of them often. If you are reading this, I ask you to keep my grandmother, my mother, and the rest of my family in your thoughts over the next few days.
Photos: Above: White peach blossoms from a tree in Papa's yard in the Spring of 2004. Below: Pic of my grandparents with two of my newphews, Davis and Chase.