Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of Grandpa Nibley's birth. Come to think of it, I don't know when Grandpa Smyly(aka Pappy)'s birthday is. Hmmm.

Anyway, for Grandpa's 100th birthday, a couple of our aunts organized a family reunion, for all Grandpa's children and their children. But alas, it is in Utah, and we had no means to get to Utah, except to spend hundreds of dollars on airfare or train fare, and we're not really in a financial state where we can afford that. We couldn't even hitch a ride with our sisters, because Sarah's brother-in-law had to go and get married today, and Celeste decided she only wants to go to Utah once, and blackhope got engaged. I feel like I've explained all this before.

Oh well. It's just a little bit of a bummer, because how often does your grandfather turn 100? (Actually, he passed away five years ago, but still. Incidentally, we fail as granddaughters yet again in that we weren't sure of the exact year, but fortunately, we were able to look it up on Wikipedia. How cool is that?)

So I think the least we can do is share a few memories we have of our grandfather. Unfortunately, we don't have very many, because we grew up in California while he continued to live in Utah. Our whole family would go visit relatives in Provo every so often, but I still don't remember a whole lot about him from those visits. I have two possible reasons for that. First, old people scared us when we were little. I especially remember Grandma being very harsh. Second, Grandpa is a very smart person, and it's possible that everything he said went right over our heads. It's been said of him that asking him a question is like trying to get a drink of water out of a fire hose. Not only that, but there's a story about when he was a professor at BYU.

At one point the students all complained that they were failing his classes because nobody could understand anything he was saying, because he has such an extensive vocabulary. Eventually they prevailed on him to create a vocabulary test, which he tested on his kids before giving it to his students. Of course his kids did very well on it, because they grew up with him and heard those words all the time, but all the students failed.

By the time we got to college, we were still pretty intimidated by our grandparents, but one year we lived in their garage for a couple of weeks before we were able to move into the dorms. Their garage was really cool, too. Full of old books and stuff--very scholarly. We didn't read any of them, though, because we fail as that type of fantasy heroine. Plus we're uncomfortable touching other people's things. And I think our old fear of libraries was still somewhat active. We didn't overcome that until senior year of college, when we had to complete The Reading List in order to graduate, and all the books we needed to read were in the library.

Dad was staying in a room in their house (he was there to help us move and stuff), and when we weren't hiding in the garage reading manga, we were probably out shopping or running other errands with him, but we did have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa a few times. The Nibleys aren't always the best at small talk, so there wasn't a whole lot of conversation, but Grandpa was the one who tried to start what little there was. One time he asked, "Did anyone achieve enlightenment today?" Or at least, I remember him asking that. Athena remembers that question being from a Japanese history class we took.

But the other question was definitely Grandpa, and he asked, "So. Did anybody see an eclipse today?" Grandma looked at him like he was crazy and pointed out that there wasn't an eclipse today, to which Grandpa calmly replied, "Then I guess nobody saw one."

Well, it wasn't much, but there you have it. We keep meaning to start reading Grandpa's books, but we only started meaning to around the time we stopped having money, and we haven't really had money since, and they're big, thick books that cost a fair amount of money. We can't borrow the books from Dad because he's in Maryland, and we can't borrow them from Mom because, well... we just can't. Maybe somebody in the ward has them and will let us borrow them...

Today I'm thankful for finally finding those prize pots that were hiding from Aqua, having an interesting new side dish to try out tonight (if we don't decide they're too much effort), having a place to walk to when we want to take a walk so that we can actually get some exercise, the cute stickers that came with the most recent Disney Movie Club catalog, and Grandpa.
Tags: family stuff

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