Sunday, February 10, 2008

The green hills of Tyrol

The first and only time I ever went precinct-walking was with Grandpa, before the 2004 caucuses. I had assumed he was a Gephardt supporter like Grandma, but it turned out he was one gung-ho octogenarian for Dean, and he'd volunteered to walk his precinct and encourage voters to caucus for his candidate (in a kilt, as usual). When he found out we supported the same candidate, he got excited and dragged me along.

When you're banging on doors and a neighbor supports another candidate, you're supposed to say "Great. See you at the caucus!" and then leave. But in that very Palmer way, Grandpa tried to argue the Kerry and Kucinich supporters away from their camps. (His precinct being mainly retired folk, they all loved arguing back, which wasn't constructive. Plus, it was cold standing on all their doorsteps!)

Apparently when I was a baby and teething, Grandpa swabbed whisky on my gums to quiet me. (And so started the long downhill trend...) The cutest niece in the world is also teething right now, but Mi Hermana and Mi Cuñado are using some pediatrician-approved teething gel instead of a good single malt.

Later this week marks the one-year anniversary of Grandpa's passing.

In eerily similar circumstances to Grandpa, Mi Cuñado's father passed away two weeks ago --after a long battle in the hospital, surrounded by family. (I got a 3am wakeup call from his sister in California, frantic because she couldn't reach them in Michigan. They flew out to LA first thing and were at least able to say their goodbyes.)

So now the cutest niece in the world doesn't have any grandfathers. (And, oddly, neither will the new nephew, who's due in two weeks... La Otra Hermana's husband's father died decades ago.) But she did get to see him, and he got to see his only grandchild too, and there are Christmas pictures of the two of them.

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