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purple socks

How to live to be 95

Mirrored from String Notes.

Lessons from my grandfather:

  1. Walk your dog twice a day.
  2. Eat oatmeal for breakfast.
  3. Always have a project going.

Tea and fishing may also figure into the plan. I’ve walked the dog and eaten my oatmeal, if with coffee rather than tea, and now I’d like to invite you to join me in wishing John J Goslee a wonderfully happy 95th birthday. If you leave a comment for him, I will print them out and mail them.

(Grandpa and Mooch, June 2009)

When I was young, my parents owned a marina in northern Michigan. Grandpa lived in Ann Arbor, but spent most of his weekends up north with us, fishing. He would stop at the Ann Arbor Public Library and bring me armloads of books. It’s possible that’s how I discovered Oz; it’s certainly how I was introduced to Tintin, Asterix and Obelix, and many more.

As well as encouraging my love of books, Grandpa encouraged my love of poking around outdoors. I spent plenty of time with him, a fishing pole, and a thermos of hot sweet tea. After I grew up and went away to college, he would send me pussy willows and pressed violets in the spring because he knew I loved them.

Grandpa was stationed in China during World War II, I think as ground crew for the Flying Tigers but I’m not positive. He came back sith a love of cooking Chinese food for his family, and I learned to eat with chopsticks very young, so young that I don’t remember not being able to do so.

I haven’t seen much of Grandpa since I left home to follow the academic lifestyle all over the country. The most recent time was about four years ago; he was building an extension on his house. I don’t write often enough either, but I think of him a lot, and of the effect he had on a little girl growing up in rural Michigan.

Happy birthday, Grandpa. I love you.



A merry happy birthday and many more oatmeal walks!