Early Morning Routine

The alarm pierces the silent darkness of the back bedroom of my grandparents’ home where I am sleeping. I roll over and fumble with the alarm clock before finally succeeding in the elimination of the annoying high pitched electronic squeal. The light clicks on in the bedroom next to mine where my grandparents are sleeping. As I listen to their mumbling, I suddenly remember why I had set the alarm to go off before even the first rays of light had made their appearance in the early morning sky. I am going fishing in the mountains with my grandfather. Before I even start to get out from under my blanket, Grandpa is in the bathroom beginning to shave and my Grandmother is on her way to the kitchen to begin making our lunches. I roll out of bed and suddenly become completely alert even though it is only a few minutes past four thirty in the morning. My grandfather and I have gone on so many of these early morning adventures that we have all developed very specific individual routines which are followed almost religiously as we prepare for our daybreak expeditions into the Black Hills of South Dakota. I find a pair of old, broken in jeans and a pair of thick wool socks and put them on. Then I put on a T-shirt, a comfortable, oversized, maroon turtle-neck, an old, dusty looking blue and black flannel shirt, and a plain, gray sweatshirt that is at least four sizes to big for me.

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Dancin’ shoes for G-Pa

Shawn's grandparents

Today I took my 92 year-old G-pa to the mall to find some dancin’ shoes. We started off with lunch at the Olive Garden. G-pa put down; salad, 2 breadsticks, 1 glass of merlot, spinach artichoke dip, lasagna, and he still had room for dessert so we had tiramisu. G-pa was impressed with the cleanliness and the solid construction of the building as well.

Back when G-ma was still alive, we used to eat at the Royal Fork which was torn down to make way for the Olive Garden. It was time for the Fork to go, it had been there too long and was gettin’ a bit skanky. I loved that place when I was a kid because the end of the buffet always had plenty of chocolate cake and I was allowed to go back to the soft serve ice cream dispenser for more choco/vanilla twist as many times as i wanted. Good memories of summers with G-ma and G-pa.

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