Shroomin’ Great-grandpa

Years before I was born, Grandma T (that Grandma) would sometimes invite her parents, the Eissmans, up to our family lake cottages in New Hampshire. The lake and sky agreed with my great-grandfather Kurt, transporting him back to the days of his boyhood in Germany, when he was ein Jüngling mit lockigem Haar etc, and he announced:

“I am going to hunt mushrooms!”

“What?”

Vociferously did everyone point out to Great-grandpa that the mushrooms of New Hampshire are not the mushrooms of Europe, and that it had been quite a while since he had engaged in this activity and perhaps his ability to distinguish between certain types would not be as keen as it had been. He ignored them, and spent the day blissfully tramping around the woods, recreating memories of youth.

Come dinnertime, there was Great-grandpa Kurt with a big plate of mushrooms in front of him.

“Would any of you like to try some?” he would say, offering the plate around. Everybody skooshed back like it was made of plutonium. So he ate all of them himself, savoring every last bite. The rest of the family could do nothing, but watch, and wait for him to die.

But he never did (well, not from the mushrooms). With a mortal risk, he got a tiny bit of his childhood back, across decades of time and an ocean of distance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: