Grandpa George had a secret asparagus patch. Every summer he would go for a walk by himself. If anyone tried to go with him, he would refuse access.
“No. I’m on my way to the asparagus patch. I’ll be back in a few hours.”
And he would go.
Each time he would return with brown paper bags filled to the brim with asparagus harvested at the peak of its season. Fresh, delicious asparagus that he would distribute to the neighbors and his kids.
I loved asparagus. Because it’s tasty, yes, but also because of the mystery that surrounded Grandpa’s prize. He never let anyone know where his patch was. Nearly six years have passed since he’s been gone, and we still have no idea where it is.
I like to believe that Grandpa kept it a secret because this was his sanctuary. He had a flourishing garden, but it wasn’t secluded. He worked on it for hours, but if anyone looked out the back window, he wasn’t alone. His asparagus patch was his spiritual getaway. Summer would come, and Grandpa would disappear. He went to center himself. He went to refill his energy. He went into the woods with a heavy weight on his back and came back with joy in his heart.
I met a new friend tonight who recently lost her grandpa. We talked a little about her relationship with her grandpa, and in the few words that were spoken, I understood their connection. This woman loved her grandpa and her grandpa loved her. I understood it, because I had the same connection with my grandpa.
Stories, life lessons, humor, inside jokes, teenage struggles, heartbreak, love. Grandpa was the anchor. Grandpa was the safety net.
One day I came home with dreadlocks. After a barrage of insults from his sister, my great aunt, Grandpa walked in. He took one look at me and winked. I thought I caught a glimpse of a grin, but I couldn’t mistake the wink for anything else than, “Good for you.” That’s all I ever heard about my new style from Grandpa.
Talking about my friend’s grandpa tonight reminded me of Grandpa George. It reminded me of roaming the family farm with him. It reminded me of his endless stories. It reminded me of his secret asparagus patch.
I was inspired to write my grandpa’s story. I want to tell the world about this legendary man who had terrible struggles, painful heartbreak, and strength to love thoroughly.
It’s been years since Grandpa has passed, but it is time for his story to be told. A man who battled against all that life threw at him and rose up victorious.
It will be a memoir about Finding Grandpa’s Asparagus Patch.
Image Credit: NEBRASKAland Magazine