My grandfather is a special person. I have never met anyone like him. We all know people who are friendly and kind. Pops is beyond friendly. He may be the nicest person I know. Pops is also extremely intelligent. He has spent his life solving intricate problems. There is no one like my grandfather.
As I walk into his backyard, I see Pops on top of an eight foot ladder trimming a year’s worth of growth on his Concord grapevine. He looks strong and confident. He is in his usual rugged outdoor gear. His work boots are weathered and dusty. His work pants are stained with oil and grease. Pops never throws things out. He has spent years fixing engines and repairing gadgets. Pops dons a baseball cap and a white t-shirt, even though the temperature is hovering around fifty degrees. He sees me, wipes the sweat off his brow, and starts down the ladder. My grandmother offers her usual advice for him to be careful. He laughs as he scrambles down the ladder with the agility of someone half his age. He bounds over to me with a hop in his step and grasps my hand in a hardy embrace. With a smile on his face he invites me to sit down. He looks like he is ready to tackle the world. No one would believe that he is 84 years old by looking at him.
My grandfather is a very smart person. I am constantly surprised and impressed by his accomplishments. Many years ago, before we left for a fishing trip, he amazed us all. Pops invented an electrical worm catching device. It was so simple, yet so effective. He attached a metal rod with a pointed tip to a car battery. The end of the rod had a rubber handle. After it rained, he demonstrated how it worked. He drove the end of the rod into the ground and attached two wires to it. He then attached the ends of the wires to a battery. He stuck the rod into the ground. At first nothing happened, but soon one worm came wriggling out of the ground. Soon, dozens started racing to the surface, their homes being zapped by ten volts of electricity. We collected them in amazement. Fishing went very well that day.
Pops always has a smile on his face. He is very friendly. When I visit my grandparent’s house, he drops everything and welcomes my family into his home. On Christmas Eve, he meets us outside by the car and helps us carry in our presents, even though it might be freezing out. He hugs the kids, and brings us inside. The whole time he is smiling, and I can tell that he is so happy to have us in his home. I always enjoy watching pops interact with his neighbors. His very best friend, Joe Zavoksi, live next door. The two of them are like little kids. They are so happy to see each other. They talk about gardening and the news, all the while laughing and carrying on. They share tools and help each other out with home repairs. It is easy to see that pops is a great friend to Mr. Zavoski.
People like my grandfather are hard to find. I feel lucky to have known him for so long, and to have him in my life. His friendly smile is always there to greet me when I visit his house. I am sure his many friends feel the same way. Everyone I see interact with him always seems so eager and happy to speak with him. If any of his neighbors ever has a question, they head right to Pops. His quick thinking and smarts keep him busy. My grandfather is a special person.
Aunt Frankie One of the best things in life is eating warm apple pie sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar at my Aunt Frankie’s house. Her apple pie is famous in among our family members and hundreds of Aunt Frankie’s friends and neighbors. However, apple pie is not the only thing I love about her. Aunt Frankie is fun to be around. She is always very busy, and she is the kindest most caring person I know.
The thing I like best about Aunt Frankie is that she is always ready to have fun. After a long day at work she usually comes in the door singing a tune or dancing a jig. Sometimes she has a new dance step to share. Other times, she has a good story to tell. We love to listen to her stories. She acts out parts of her story creating a visual effect that makes us laugh. Her hands gesture wildly as she imitates people’s voices with the skill and accuracy of a Hollywood actor. If we want to play a board game or charades, Aunt Frankie is the first volunteer. She is a master of charades. We usually never know who wins because all of us break down in belly laughter while she is acting out a word. If you look up the word “fun” in the dictionary, you might see a picture of Aunt Frankie.
Aunt Frankie likes to be comfortable. At five foot three, she bounces into our house with her shiny, dark brown hair pulled into a ponytail. She tucks the loose ends behind tiny ears and smiles at me with sparkly blue eyes and a little mouth that looks just right on her face. She almost always wears a big white T-shirt, old pink shorts, and no shoes. Purple nail polish glows from her toes.
Aunt Frankie’s favorite pastime is baking. She is a genius with eggs, flour, milk, and salt. It is something she learned from her mom. She has promised to teach me to bake someday. After gathering her baking supplies, she quickly mixes up some dough and rolls out the crust. I marvel as I watch her making her famous cinnamon crusted apple pie. After her creation hits the oven, the smell of freshly baked cinnamon and sugar fills the air. When the pie is done baking, we can hardly wait for it to cool. We devour the pie in record time and decide what fun we can have next before we leave Aunt Frankie’s house.
As the evening wears on, Aunt Frankie flops down next to me at the kitchen table. She places her sticky hands on mine and asks how my day was. She wants to know how my classes are going at school. She asks about my friends and what I am doing to stay busy. Aunt Frankie always has the time to talk to me, even though she is always so busy. For me, a long day at Aunt Frankie’s house is my favorite place on Earth.