We come here for days and spend about four hours with my grandparents-in-law. They’re great people in their late 80s. Pappa Wiley will be 88 in February. He’s a reader. He also likes to get on forums and email folks who are interested in a certain kind of Christianity. Of course, like most people, he is sure he is right. I don’t argue with him anymore. I just listen. I used to think he wanted to argue, but he doesn’t. He wants to inform you and for you to be persuaded. So, I listen and I don’t offer any alternatives for whatever he’s saying. He’s an incredible man, though, with a coherent belief system that he lives by conscientiously. He was born before the Depression, but into a poor family where the Depression had been around for years before it hit the rest of the world.
Yesterday his nephew came to town and talked with them while we were still there visiting. Pappa was telling Joe about trying to build a boat and how he found a bunch of pieces of wood, but he still needed a big piece for the middle. He found one: his sister-in-law May’s dough board. He took it and hooked the boat together with old wire he’d found. He said he paddled across the river and that was the last he ever saw of May’s dough board. What he didn’t tell us was how he got back across the river. He did tell us he never confessed to the confiscation of May’s board.
Grama Willene will turn 86 next month. She was telling me family stories. You know, I always wanted to have a big extended family, but mine doesn’t keep in touch much. We had a reunion two years ago and had cousins much removed come and tell pieces of family history I think I would rather not have known. I guess part of the way you get those family stories is by making the effort to keep up with your extended family. I can barely keep up with my siblings.