Day SeventySeven [3/18] 77:365

Today would have been my Grandpa Farrell's. I remember him picking me up from grade school in his black and grey Chevy S-10 when both of my parents happened to be working. It would smell of cigars and paint, but mostly cigars. He would always asked what I learned that day and how it might be helpful later and if I couldn't think of anything I had actually learned, he would tell me a story about something he did that day.

We always had our routine. Wash my hands because school was filthy. (I can still remember me suds-ing up my hands with the soap and seeing it turn a weird grey color and then washing it all away. I would end up washing them again just to make sure they were clean.) Then it was two pieces of my Grandma's fresh baked bread toasted to a gold brown and then slathered with butter and a concoction of cinnamon and sugar. Then to wash it down coffee, heavy with milk and sugar. (My Grandpa's coffee was never very strong when he made the second batch midday.)

When snacks and drinks were prepped it was time for cards. It always started with as the family likes to call it "Grandpa Solitaire." I honestly don't know the actual name of the game but it is some form of Solitaire.

With seven rows across, seven rows down, all face up, with the exception of the middle three rows that has two cards face up on the top and the bottom sandwiching a patch of three by three cards face down. So in the end the three middle rows have one extra card. Then you must put the cards in order by suit from King (on the bottom and what you build off of) to Ace. Honestly it's pretty simple but hard to win. I've never one two times in a row playing.

We would play a few games and then maybe move on to King's Corners or Go Fish (but the more difficult kind where you had to get all four of a kind). After the best toast in the world was gone and all washed down with milk and coffee, it was homework time until my mom came to get me or if I finished early. It I was lucky to finish early, then more card games would continue.

I have such fond memories of hanging out with my Grandpa.

I still remember the wallpaper in the kitchen nook where we would sit and play. And the pile of newspaper waiting to be used for the dogs or to be taken out for recycling. The wooden chairs with faded (once red I believe) to grey cushioning. The smell of cigars and cigarettes.

I still remember these times like it was yesterday, although it was close 20 years ago when these days were.

To my Grandpa, we love you.