My grandfather passed away last week and really, that’s all that has been on my mind. So today, I’m going to write a bit about him. My grandpa was 92 years old. He was a WWII veteran, the captain of a ship at the age of 22. He lived in KC for pretty much his entire life. He was very smart. He loved poetry and had a relish for writing.
It boggles my mind to imagine all the technological advances he witnessed in his 92 years. This person, who did not have a computer at his fingertips until well into adulthood, could trade stocks and send daily emails to all his friends and family with his thought of the day. He had a Kindle, though he suffered endless frustration with it. And, he had a blog. I taught him how to blog on WordPress in 2012. He was really interested in the concept when I told him that my blog was Freshly Pressed and what that meant. One of my aunt’s had actually set up a blog for him prior to this, but he never could remember how to use it.
He was all excited to have readers, especially people that he didn’t know. And this was particularly true after my story about all the additional readers I got when I was Freshly Pressed. So we settled down and I walked him through the process. The light colors of the interface were too difficult for him to see because of his macular degeneration and the steps for writing and posting were too numerous for him to remember, so I took screen shots of his blog and made a flip book for him. I circled the spots where he should click, the boxes he should type and I wrote out the steps he should take to post the blog to the Internet. It took him time, but he was persistent.
He didn’t post often. But now and again, he would post one of his poems. He didn’t call them poems, though. Instead, he referred to them as ditties or jingles. One of his favorite days, and one of my favorite memories, was when someone he didn’t know commented on a poem on his blog. He emailed me at work and when I didn’t respond right away, he called me at work and asked me to explain what this email he had received meant (the email alert that you get when someone likes or comments on your blog/post) and who the person was who had found his blog. He was completely tickled by the whole thing.
And so, today I just wanted to share one of his jingles with my readers. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
If you’d like to see his blog which has just a few other ditties, click here.
Ring of Typhoon on the Schley
Not long enough to span the waves,
she dives into the sea
and shutters, rattles stem to stern,
while trying to get free.
Or when she rides the rising wave
and then goes crashing down,
high up upon the flying bridge
spray covers like a gown.
Yet when the wind is on the bow,
or worse is on the beam,
she rolls so far to leeward side,
you’d think it was a dream.
And then as if by magic wand,
she comes back to her prime,
and all the while we hold on tight
to post or beam or line.
Oh would that I could be there now,
the spume blown in my face;
the ship, the sea, the wind, the storm
I never can erase.