Boz and I spent last weekend in Dayton Ohio, meeting with our wedding vendors and finalizing ceremony and reception plans. I went into the weekend hell-bent on checking a million things off my to-do list and getting as prepared as possible for March. Turns out, there were more important things to do.
B’s maternal grandpa, Mr. Tye, lives in a magical museum of a home that he purchased about 40 years ago. He has never made any significant changes to the house, preferring to upgrade in the form of accumulated evidence of a life well-lived. His beloved wife passed away in 1999, yet he has preserved so much of her presence that it feels as though she has just stepped out to run errands. Her handmade quilts and drapes adorn the bedrooms, her shower curtain is still in use, and countless pictures of her contagious smile brighten the walls. There is a rotary phone hanging on the wall by the bedrooms, and it is easy to imagine his daughters stretching the cord to its max while whispering to their friends. There are board games piled up in the bathroom closet that have entertained multiple Tye generations and jog unique (very sweet) memories from each member of the family.
Fortunately, B and I had time to visit with Grandpa in his precious time capsule on several occasions throughout the weekend. Here are the top 5 things I learned:
- To sit at Grandpa’s kitchen table with a cold beer (not a light beer, of course, because he doesn’t drink ‘ice water’ when it’s time for a brew) is to settle in for a history lesson on classic cars and good-ole-boy road trips accompanied by a flawless recollection of Tye family memories.
- As Grandpa thumbs through story-inspiring photographs, he likes to enjoy a sandwich from the local sub shop at the world’s most leisurely, contented pace. This has inspired a vow to stop eating lunch while driving my car.
- The man can look at a snapshot from 1950 and instantly recall the who/what/where’s with so many tidbits of personal detail that I now feel like I once knew all of his friends.
- Grandpa catalogues information about the people he loves. He knows how much B loves Pancho. As I was organizing wedding information on Friday, he asked me “How is Pancho doing?” He has met Pancho ONE TIME (two years ago) and he remembers his name because Pancho matters to Matt. That just slays me.
- Grandpa has a mail slot carved out of his front door. This was a do-it-yourself project:
To this day, the mailman just shoots the mail through the slot and it lands on the carpet in the living room. There isn’t really any way to describe how much I wish I had been there the day it was decided to CUT A HOLE in the front door. I would have been the most enthusiastic sidekick EVER. The world needs so many more creative, simple solutions like homemade mail slots.
B and I had a great time completing our wedding plans. It was a significant development in our new life together. But the most important thing that happened last weekend was that I got to sleep in the little twin bed in my (soon-to-be) mother-in-law’s old room, while my (soon-to-be) husband slept in the neighboring bed under the roof of one of his idols. I got to wake up on Saturday morning and think “I’m a little piece of the time capsule now”. That was really the only wedding preparation I needed…March can’t come soon enough.