Gary Coker

In my pre-teen years one of the activities I truly enjoyed was an overnight stay at my Grandpa’s.  Usually my cousin, Gene, and I would arrive on a Saturday and stay until Sunday when we would accompany Grandpa and Granny to church. What made this trip so exciting and fun filled was the fact Grandpa lived on a truly great farm.  A placed filled with farm animals, barn with a hayloft, and enough acres to explore for hours.  Grandpa would take us with him to milk the cow or feed the chickens, gather the eggs and anything else that needed to be done.  In season, there was a wonderful scuppernong arbor and we could eat to our hearts content. The world of ‘make believe’ was never better.old-barn

Something rather unique, by today’s standards, was the old farm house, which Grandpa had built, and the ‘well’ on the porch where you got your water out of a bucket with a dipper. Meals were cooked on the wood stove with the water reservoirs on each side where warm water was available.   The house did not have electricity in all rooms and the bedroom where Gene and I slept was lighted with an oil lamp.

Granny had made the oil lamp and its care and maintenance a science.  She would carefully wipe the sides of the glass ‘chimney’ removing any soot or black ash that might have accumulated as a result of incorrect oil supply or a wick that needed trimming.  She was careful to be sure the wick had the correct amount of oil, otherwise, there would be a trail of black smoke exiting the glass chimney.  In the evening she would lower the wick so only a small flame would show, i.e. night light.  In the darkness raising the wick to the proper height created sufficient lighting.

In one of my quiet times I was reading the book of Luke and found a verse which immediately took me back to those days at Grandpa’s.  “Keep your lamps burning.” Wow!! A great statement for someone who is demotivated, depressed or in need of encouragement.  Let’s see how Grannie would approach this issue. “Be sure the outside is clean and neat, looking your best.  Be sure there is no dirt or other behavior getting in the way of letting the light get through( no unforgiveness  that could cause the smoke to get black).  Be sure your personal trash can is empty and you speak your very best.  Give every task your very best—doing your best.   I think Grannie is on to something.——Let the light shine in you by always looking your best, speaking your best, doing your best and guess what?   You will be the best. 


Granny and Grandpa Allgood

Thanks Granny 





Retired in 2008 after 40+ years in education/psychology as researcher, teacher, administrator and college professor.
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1 Response to REFLECTIONS…………………………..Grandpa

  1. srbottch says:

    Wonderful story. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those weekends now? Maybe a whole week would be better. The bedroom sounded cozy and a great place for a kid to dream about the next day’s adventures. Well done. (Loved the barn picture)

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