Grandma, Hibachi and Uncle Doug's Genius
Today on my last day in Ohio, we are going to see Grandma where she rests not far from where she lived with her Husband Ken. The morning starts off with a coffee and a conversation with my Aunt Laurie. I am going to miss these moments. So easy and normal each of these mornings and I feel welcomed at every turn. I have spent so many days talking to her and Aunt Carla, it makes me happy. We sometimes lose track of the time like today. As soon as Aunt Carla swings by we are chatting over coffee and breakfast I realize we have to go.
I ready as fast as I can. Grab a recharged battery for my #canon and we are off. We first stop by Ken’s and Grandma Jean’s house. The house looks immaculate. Green grass, Flowers bloomed, A great sense of peace around the place. My Aunts and I go inside as the Dog, Jay greets us. Bark, pant, jump, bark pant, jump. After a lil check in and how good it is to see him after these last couple years we settle in and Ken brings out the White teddy bear I bought for my grandmother when she was in the nursing home a few months before she passed. I totally forgot about it. I immediately just get a happy feeling. I am sent back to that day cold and wet and just content to see her as she wasn’t doing so well. I brought in this Teddy Bear and her subtle greeting was turned into a giant ‘ Oh honey that’s is so cute” She hugged it and just sat with it the whole time joking it was big enough to flirt with.
I set the Teddy Bear down and photograph it with the dining room off to the side in the background where had breakfast that one Christmas vacation and where the family always collected for family meals after they all grew up and came to visit. I poke around and photograph the kitchen and and Kitchen Prayer plaque that was given to her. A tiny mixer clock Tchotchke my Pop gave her. I start to take it in that she has been gone 3 years since. My Aunts find me in the back room and tell me that this was her favorite room. Clipping coupons and reading book, she always read books. “ The light was really nice in there for it “ Ken chimes in.
Looking out the window Aunt Carla tells me Ken build that swing for her. I popped up and was amazed. I told Ken that was really good work. He was a woodworker after all. Still I was impressed. All wood and little carved heart details. you can see it was a sign of affection and they say she read on there sometimes.
I pop out to photograph the garden and house. I shoot the lovebird swing and see stump from a tree where they say Uncle Doug used to play on. My aunt exit the house and we drive to off to see grandma’s place of rest. A gloomy slightly chilly day, i kneel down to say hello to my Grandma Jeanne. Just as I do that my Pop Texts me. “ What’s up, Jack?” I tell me Aunts what just happened. “ Grandma must have tapped him on the shoulder. It was too coincidental. Hi Grandma!
Ready for lunch we tried to find a gluten free place via #FindmeGF app with some success we all decide on this hibachi grill place and sushi buffet. I have no expectations but to eat something. I am surprised to find this cool buffet with Hibachi grill in the back. Of course I serve up the froze raw beef and chicken and pile on the Veg. Pretty cool and I must have look like a nutgall. Photographing the food serving it to the chef to cook and photographing him while he cooked it. #iPhone and #canon in a buffet.
I try to appeal to the young Japanese sushi chef and tell him I am writing a blog of my travels and I am from San Francisco. He seemed slightly interested and said he had been there before. But I think his small interest turned to “ Ok buddy I’m over it” after i ordered a spicy White fish hand roll. I think he tried to kill me with the spicy Siracha sauce. It was so so but when I her the Hibachi chef finished my dish. he hooked me up. My large pile of frozen meat and cold veg bouquet turned into a yummy flavorful mess plate.
Sitting down I got my fresh green tea in a pot and Uncle Doug showed up he joked about the food here but soon after chowed down on some chicken wings. Baby cat legs he joked. He said there were also some frogs legs fired but we search and we turned up with nothing only some chicken we saw on the hot plates we saw were questionable.
I had nothing but laughs sitting in the booth with my Uncle Doug. Sitting down a Shorter gentleman walked by Aunt Laurie sad that he was a friend of my Pop. John M. I took a chance and asked if he knew may Dad in grade school. “ Yes I did, you must be his brother”, “ No No I am his son actually. “ It was nice meeting you “, “ You as well” as he walked away. That was a cool encounter.
After lunch we all head to Uncle Doug’s. We were talking about the weather and how crazy it was. He had a notion that if the ice chaps melt. It acts as the Earth’s counter weight. Well what happens to something off balance. well the weather starts to move all over the place and all North, South, East West adjusts. I thought that was really insightful. Never heard that argument before. As we arrive to his place i ask him if we can still shoot his photos. After a bit inside we play with the kittens and ginger the dog hanging out and I finally coerce him into a photo. “ I thought you were shooting food”, ‘ well ye and people also” i respond trying to make it seem all that more important. “ Well I should put 2 pieces of bread on my head and a lettuce in the mouth”, he jokes. I smile “ that would be really funny”. “ Don’t think I won’t ", as he giggles. I egg him on. The ever joker gets up heads to the kitchen and grabs two pieces of bread, “ Let’s grab the butts since we still need to eat the bread here.” And he takes a chunk off of the slightly wilted lettuce head. We joyfully head out in front of the garage which has CLASS ACT body and paint on it. He painted that as a joke, but it calls back to the DJ business my Aunt Carla and Uncle Doug had in the old days. He gets into to character headdress sandwich costume and just start shooting away. I know this is one special moment. Not only did we joke about it but we followed through and it is captured in a few photos. I true testament to the genius of the Karns Clan. Always something for a giggle.
As we get ready to leave I quickly ask Uncle Doug if he would be into taking a self portrait with him and I in it. " Sure", he rolls his eyes joyfully. Smirks and I get centered. He immediately gets me in a nephew and uncle hug, it was so cool. He at first wasn't into photos but he took to it and if you see his eyes he is in complete comfort caring mode. It was a neat lil photo. " Love you bud", as I walk down the stairs waving backwards over my head. " Later Uncle Doug".
Leaving tomorrow, I am struck how comfortable I feel around my Karns side of the family. non stop laughter. Fit right at home. I have done so much in so short of a time. Last night we sat on the side porch and just all of us joked and sat around talking about Politics, religion and how cool some of the people in Ohio are. Aunt Carla trying to see if she wants to buy this Store up the street to do locally grown products to better serve the community, She is doing something important there. She seems to have the ear of the all the locals at the farmers markets. We head to this Virtual Market at the Y. Products are sold online and each producer is contacted and let know what was sold and to bring it to the drop by 4pm. People order and grab their purchases on the way home. Very cool concept and my Aunt Carla is part of it and loves what they are doing taking the need to eat fresh food to a new level. @cosmischarliebread Pam is there helping out. Good to see her again. We head home to Aunt Laurie's. She made me some Gluten Free goulash. It was so good I had two bowls. and a Reed’s Extra Strong Ginger beer to wash it down. I ate too much got a belly ache feel better today. Jim was just handing out his Tennessee MoonShine soaked Marachino Cherries. We gobbled them up.
Sitting taking some photos of the surrounding property and the cherries I bought at the local #krogers in Urbana, Jim shows me around. Looking at black Walnut Trees and hidden old path for back house that is no longer there. A real cool guy and caring man Jim is. Took me under his wing and guess what he is also an Aquarius just like me I find out. No wonder we get along like to two june bugs in a Ball Jar. Too funny I made that up.
Late as the night goes. We all hit the sack. Watched a few episodes of PawnStars, which I have never seen and it is quit addicting. I hate reality TV but I was ready to hit the hay so my brain could care less.
I head out to Dallas the next morning to visit my cousin Evelyn and her 2 cute girls. Ava and Naomi.