My maternal grandfather could tell a great story. It wasn't just that his Irish brogue lilted you into a rhythm and cadence that held your attention; it wasn't that the stories were brought larger than life because he, at about 6' 5" was larger than life; it wasn't that he blended the best of his Irish youth and American immigrant experience. He was just funny. Even the most tragic stories ended with a smile and a twinkle in his big, blue eyes that was magical. His ability to find the funny amidst the sad was inspiring and something I've had to drawn on many times growing up.
The best part about my grandfather's story telling was that he often whispered his tales so as not to intrique my grandmother into coming into the room. It made the stories even more taboo, more mysterious, more alluring. Every time he'd start telling a story and his voice hushed, you'd hear my grandmother call from the kitchen, "Now, Poppa, don't go upsetting the child!" And Poppa would lean in to me and say, "Ears like an elephant."
They've both met their eternal reward many years ago now. "Lord have mercy on their souls," as my grandmother would say, but his mantra, "Ears like an elephant," was the inspiration for this blog.
As the mother of three boys and the wife of a baseball coach, I'm now the elephant hearing the tales of my herd.
And I can tell you, it's a zoo.....