Time and Memories

My grandfather is a man who is grateful for what he has and takes good care of all the things that life has given to him. If you ask me what I remember the most from my grandparents’ house I would most likely say the old clock in their living room. It has been on the wall since I have memory and I like to think that it is still working because of the care that my grandfather gives to his belongings. The minute he notices something is not working he always tries to fix whatever it is and he cannot be bothered until he is finished, specially if we are talking about the living room clock. If you talk to him while he is fixing something you will be ignored and if you keep insisting you will get yelled no matter who you are, that is how much he cares about his stuff. Like any other grandparent, my grandfather always tells us stories about his life as a young man when we visit him, but you know that the story is going to be good when he goes to his room to look for a photo or an object from the time that the story took place, and it is even more interesting when he takes out a clock or a watch. If it is a clock, then the story is about his father who also collected clocks, and if it is a watch, then the story will be either about his friends or his brothers. I always liked the friends’ stories more because I could relate to them better and they would remind me about my friends from high school. When he finishes telling the story he gives me the watch that he took out and, even though I don’t wear them because they are very old fashioned, I always keep them in my room as a reminder to enjoy life and look at the bright side of things. It is interesting to think of clocks as time machines, for my grandfather they are a reminder of the good times that he had with his family and friends, even he remembers the bad times very clearly. He is a serious person but when he tells a story he smiles every time and I respect him so much because he made from his life something memorable and that is what true happiness is about. (405 words)

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My Grandfather's Bright Golden Ring

brightgoldenring.jpg     My grandfather used to carry me when I was a kid, and in his tough and rough hands, there always stood, a bright golden ring. A peculiar man he has always been, the conservative type of man that you no longer see. He used to wake up, before the sun even did, and before anybody could yawn he was already gone. The mornings were a time of sanctity for him. He took his books for a date, alongside coffee and bread. His afternoons were a time to get things done, from drawing the most amazing blueprints, to tightening the nuts and bolts of his craftsmen work. The nights were a time for him to get rest, sitting on his sofa or on his bed, eating popcorn or M&M's, he saw every movie ever filmed, from spy stories to western tales. And in the days or at nights, on tragedies and good times, there always was, that bright golden ring. He has never been the type of affectionate guy, my mother says that it is because he was born on a different time. He has never been used to say the “three word phrase”, except to his wife. My grandmother, who rests in peace, was the most incredible gal. He misses her. It is pretty easy to notice that. I believe that maybe inside of him, he regrets some things he didn’t do when she was alive. But I remember some of the last hugs they gave each other, those type of hugs that you want to last forever, the type of hugs you wish that will never go away, the type of hugs my grandfather knows he should have given to her all his life. And in those goodbye hugs I saw him give, there always stood that bright golden ring. My grandfather used to carry me as a kid, and in his tough rough hands, there always stood his bright golden ring. Times have changed and so have I, and the roles we played have turned around. His hands aren’t rough or tough anymore, you can see in his palms that he has become old. I carry my grandfather when he’s feeling weak, and with my young and strong hands I take him where he needs, and if you look closely, on one of my finger you’ll see, that bright golden ring that my grandfather has passed on to me.

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The bookshelf

If you enter my grandparents’ house and you take a left on the first door, you will come across a long hall. The wooden floor will crack beneath your feet no matter how light you step on them, if you look to your right you will see and hear my grandmothers birds, always chiming as loud as they can, the smell of her never-ending food will get to you before you can reach the kitchen on the left, and at the very end of the hall you will meet with two of the most cozy and cushy green sofas. Green as in the most horrible green you can imagine, designed, as my grandfather will tell you a thousand times, to brighten the room. But never mind that, when you settle into these green sofas that’s when it all starts, there you can fully appreciate it. The bookshelf. So big it makes the room look small, covered in books and books of all colors and designs, waiting to be read. The only way you could reach the dusty old books on the top is if you used the fragile ladder on the side. But we were never allowed to touch it. I think my grandparents were afraid that we were going to mess up their carefully and perfectly categorized and alphabetized collection. You might live as twice as age as my grandfather did but it wouldn’t have enough time to finish all those stories. My greatest memories come from that place; it was in those green sofas that we, my two brothers and me, spent our nights at our grandparents. There she grab a book from the “kids section” and began unraveling its mysteries to us. My brothers and I always listen to her words, paying close attention to the prince that was going to save his kindred or the ugly and fat witch that got misunderstood by her friends, always a new story, always a new adventure. It was thanks to my grandmother and her many hours spent on those green couches that led me to appreciate reading. She took it upon herself to show us that magic can come from a book. Now, no matter where I am, when I open a book I can see myself on those couches staring at the big bookshelf, another day, another story.     

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Dry Shrimp & Beer

Since the recent dead of my grandparent my family and I have had a moment remembering the

great thins of my grandpa and his habits. One very good habit from my grandpa and a very is

that he would always have a kind of tradition. Every single day he drove to the OXXO to buy two

“Tecate Light” beers and a bag of dry shrimp. This was his great snack in the day and his “alone”

moment. My grandpa sat every day on the sidewalk outside his house thinking and seeing

everyone who passes by his street. He always repeated this every day when he could, around

from four to six o’clock in the afternoon. He lived in Allende, N.L. a little town more or less fifty

minutes from Monterrey. Anyhow when one of us, his grandchildren would ride with him in his

truck, the smells in the interior were always dry shrimp. Of the heavy salt in these types of

shrimps, the smell, from a reasonable distance it would always be easy to identify it. After he was

getting older, this habit decreased a lot because his immune system was having difficulties to

work correctly and started to get sick very often. This was no reason to stop him completely

every once and a while he had his snack of dry shrimp accompanied by a beer. And when the

beer was to cold he would put it in the sink letting the water heat it to help his throat. My grandpa

before leaving the planet was in the hospital eleven months very severe and it was not until his

dead all of us his grandchildren and family, we started to remember about his typical snacks and

would have a great time and in some times we would cry a little by missing him. Since my

grandfather’s dead, my father starts doing this same habit, just a very unusual thing for him. My

father starter to pick up this kind of habit because he never knew what was his father thinking in

all that time so he started trying, he would do the same thing, buy some beer and some dry

shrimps. He normally sits in the yard of our house looking to the horizon having his time and

asking not to be disturbed. The funny thing is that mixing this shrimps with a beer would give a

great taste that probably would clear your mind for that moment or the rest of the day.

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My grandfather was a farmer, a hardworking man, the happy one kind. I'll always remember summer mornings when I visited his place, we woke up very early to collect some milk and to feed the cows. My grandfather had the farm 45 minutes away from my grandmother's house, so at the time we returned from milking (with a big jar of milk), my grandma already cooked a delicious breakfast, served on the table. I always ran straight to the table and ate some cheese, without caring about my dirty and sweaty hands. The wait of seeing my grandpa enclosing the horse, give him water and take away the saddle was eternity for me, and of course to my hunger.


My grandfather's favourite hat was a beige one a little battered by time but it was the one that every child in the house wanted to use at riding mornings, the first one to wake up had the right to use. The hat had a feather of some strange bird, and leather string around it. My grandfather always told us that this hat was a very special one, 'cause he conserved it since his younger years and it was a gift from an uncle. He liked to put it on when he and my grandma took walks to the beach; when he drove my mom and her siblings to school; when he visited my great-grandparentsand. But now it was the hat that stayed with him every morning crossing the field. The hat was so old that the lyrics of the brand inside were almost impossible to read; it was a little too big for my head but I loved wearing it.


Morning walks to the barnyard, long ones for a boy of my age, but enjoyables by the hat covering the sun and my grandpa's talks, this last one made the walks so much easier and of course, made them feel quicker. When we arrived home he took the hat off and hung it next to all the other hats; some of them large, others colorful, some velvet ones... but that beige, old, the most damaged and full of memories made it the favourite hat. Nowdays visiting my grandma's place and seeing the hat, I close my eyes and start to remember every story and all the amazing talks with my grandfhater as we walked. All those moments between my grandfather, me, and the hat.

grandfather, me, and the hat.
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         When you went to my Grandfathers house, you could always find in the table of the living room a game of domino already finished. Every sunday that we went to visit him we would get all the cousins together and play against him. He would love to play the game and every time he finished playing he would leave the finished game in the table until he would play again. When I was young I didn’t understand why he would leave the dominos on the table and they would last even longer there when he lost. It was not until he past away and I was playing domino that I tried to imitate him and decided to leave the game as it ended, and when I returned to play again I noticed that I could have won the game if I had played the correct hand. It was in that moment that I realized that the reason he would leave the game as it ended was so that he could be able to analyze his game every time he past by that room and he could improve his game and skills. He had a huge collection of dominos for all parts of the world, he used to buy them as he traveled. But also each year when it was his birthday his friends and family would give him dominos and he would love them. His favorite ones were ones that were custom made, they had the name of my family in the back and the place where he worked most of his life in the front. The game of domino consist of playing with 4 players and it is very common to play this game with your friends especially elder people, the work of my grandparent consisted of being a very social person and knowing a lot of people. I remember how he once told me that he had made and sealed a lot of friendships throughout his life while playing this game with them. The way that my grandfather loved to play this game made me understand how important friendship is in life and also how you should always try to improve and understand where you went wrong.

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the men i love

because he has a crooked tooth

because he is tall and built

because he's short and frumpy

because he's bald

because he's a great fiance

because he's understanding

because he's kind

because he laughs with me

because he cries with me

because he empties the trash for me

because he leaves his dirty dishes in the sink

because he's comfortable when he's with me

because he listens

because he is resilient

because he is cunning

because he is so ugly in the morning and

it makes me feel prettier, and he doesn't even 


 because he farts and blames it on me

because he bails me out when i'm down in the dumps

because he has a dimple on one cheek only

because he has nice cheeks***   ;-)

because he smells good

because he has body odor

because he's smart

because he failed the driver's test 4 times in a week

because he dropped out of highschool

because he kissed my forehead when i needed it kissed

because he kissed my ass when i was being a bitch

because he outsmarts people 

because he's a great fiance

because he's the best dad

because he's the best brother in the world

because he is the best friend i ever had

because he's obese

because he's not perfect

because he's perfectly himself

because he works hard

because he tries hard

because he never gives up 

because he loves my cooking

because his hands fit perfectly on my waist

because he eats like a pig

because he snores

because he leaves the toilet seat down

because he hurt my feelings

because he loves me

because i love loving him

because he is a man




3:05 AM 7/6/2013





Author's Notes/Comments: 

men are always writing women the most beautiful poems of love... just listing all the reasons men are lovable...good bad and in between!

The Silk Shirts

There is no day my grandfather, Candelario, doesn’t wear his silk shirts. He has every design of this type of shirts. Ever since I remember he has always worn these silk shirts. I’m not sure when he started wearing this shirts, perhaps it was from his years as a president of Abasolo, Tamaulipas in which he had to dress nicely, or perhaps ever since he got his major as a doctor, but every time I think of my grandpa I remember his silk shirts.

His nicknames, given by his grandkids, moved from Calendario to Yiyo to Kiko, the family started to grow, from my mother to me (the oldest grandchild), to my cousin Regina (the youngest in the house, only 3 years old); a lot of happiness ran trough the family, along with tears of tragedy and sadness, but he never changed his look.

Every 7 of July (his birthday), father’s day or Christmas, or any celebration, it has become a family tradition to give him as a present silk shirt or his pants or some socks and even shoes to keep his style. The softness of the shirt makes it really nice to hug him or receiving his hugs, it is one of my favorite things to do.

I think that these shirts talk a lot about his personality. He is a responsible and focused person. He always directs to people in a respectful way, even tough he has a strong personality, he is hard on the outside but in the inside there is a completely different person.

I used to call him grumpy because he was very bossy when I was growing; I actually got to fear him as I grew. Now, this man is one of my best friends. In spite of being this good person, he has no patience at all and often tells us stories about how he scares little kids when they go to him at his consulting room. He likes joking a lot; even tough kids don’t enjoy it.

With his very well defined sense of style, his changing sense of humor, I adore this man. It is a blessing to have him. He had 2 heart attacks 14 years ago and the doctors said he would only be with us for 10 years. He has focused in living for the moment and enjoying life as much as he can. That is why I believe he always wants to be presentable and looking good for others to remember him exactly as he is. 


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My grandfather's paintings

My grandfather loves his paintings. He started painting since he was just 15 and he stills do it at his 78 years. He has painted a hundred of pictures of which many have been given as gifts to familiars, friends and neighbors of him. However, he keeps his favorites at his house; he keeps the most beautiful or the more significant paintings and hung them at the house’s walls. In my childhood I spent a lot of time in my grandparent’s house and one of the images I always remember about it are those paintings: one about a beautiful landscape of a mountain, another about a green and wonderful valley, and many others. He actually gets inspired in his trips to paint his pictures. He catches those beautiful and amazing images he saw and translates them into a painting. However, once I was watching one painting he made (I was 9) and he came to me and said: “Beautiful, isn’t it? But reality is even 100 times better!” Those paintings mean a lot for him because they represent different periods of his life as he told me once. He said that every painting has a story and that according to your personality and emotions the picture can result in different ways. He told me that 10 years before he was painting a blue canary and he was sad because he lost something, so he started to paint but the painting was having coarse features and rigid lines so he stopped and began to see a movie about comedy and after that he started again and realized that the painting was having curve lines and fine features because he was happy and relaxed. He told me that painting is not only about drawing whatever you like; painting is about putting your emotions and feelings in a picture, putting all your effort and determination and also your ideas to make the painting more than just lines and colors. I still remember when I asked him (when I was a kid) if he didn’t get tired of painting and he said me with a smile: “Well, if you really like something you will never get tired of it. If you like living you will never get tired of breathing”
Yes, my grandfather loves his paintings but not because he painted them but because each one of them has a piece of him.

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