As promised, I spent 3 weeks of my summer visiting with my family before my departure to Moscow. This included a 5 day stay in Amherst, Ohio. Amherst is a small town west of Cleveland. My paternal grandparents are old, both in their 90s both with failing bodies. They both use walkers and talk a lot about their ailments. However, they are still very lucid, loving and caring grandparents.
As always, grandma tried to ply me with food. So, obligingly I ate some of the pecans that were sitting in a bowl. A note on pecans - there are two ways to pronounce this word, I prefer pe-chan with a short "e", but you also hear pea-can with a long "e" and a "k" noise for the "c". Say it outloud a few times for yourself, it will make the story funnier. Trust me.
Ok, so back to the story. "These are good pechans, grandma." "Oh thanks, your parents sent those to us." Me, in my head, "Dear g-d, when was that?!" Turns out it was Christmas time, hopefully of this year. Grandpa: "I can't eat those anymore. Something, something, ailment..." Everything on grandpa seems to be failing now-adays, his kidneys most recently. Seems like if your kidneys don't work, then it's time to start wearing the adult diapers. However, grandpa is way too proud for this. He and grandma fully believe that they had 5 children so that they would have someone to take care of them when they got older.
So there I am for breakfast. Grandma is already awake and has been for hours. She and I are talking in the kitchen while my Uncle Vince is helping grandpa get dressed. Grandpa comes in forcefully on his walker. "Get me a cup of coffee and a glass of water." I do so happily and then grandma tells me to get his oatmeal from the stove. Apparently, grandma makes his oatmeal when she first wakes up so there it is all congealed on the stove. I plop it into a bowl. Grandpa: "Put some honey on it." He has me stop when there are equal amounts of honey to oatmeal and then has me float the concoction in milk. He yells out, "Vince, get me a peacan." I stand up and grab the bowl of pechans. I turn to give them to grandpa as my uncle walks in with a plastic jug that he hooks to grandpa's walker. Apparently that's grandpa's pee can! I blush furiously as grandma starts hooting with laughter.