Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    An Open Letter to my Grandfather

    December 11, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Dear Kind Sir,

    It was with great delight that I received your phone call offering to bring me a special treat. It isn’t everyday that someone calls me from Starbucks, you know. When you said that you were just going to drop by for a minute, hand me a drink, and go, I said sure. When I hung up, I remembered that I have four children, three of whom would be determined to make you stay as long as possible.

    I didn’t hear your arrival. You weren’t announced by a knock at the door. No, I knew you were here when children began to pour into the living room from all corners of the house and also inside from outdoors. I really don’t have that many children, but I was reminded of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where he wrote,

    The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous, for there were more children there, than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count; and, unlike the celebrated herd in the poem, they were not forty children conducting themselves like one, but every child was conducting itself like forty.


    I don’t know what I was happier to see, the smile on your face, the cheering of the tiny multitude, or the Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate in your left hand.

    The children didn’t make you stay too terribly long, but I got to thinking that there might come a day when you are truly in a hurry and need to sneak in and out. So, I came up with some handy suggestions:

    1. Park down the street. The biggest tip-off for children playing in the backyard or the garage is that combination of sight and sound. They hear your car drive up, park, and the door open. This makes them look through cracks in the gate. When they see you, their suspicions are confirmed, and they come running. Parking two or three doors down should keep your arrival a secret.
    2. Tip-toe. You don’t want to defeat the purpose of parking down the street with heavy footsteps. A combination of tip-toeing and walking, Indian-like, across the grass, shouldn’t draw much attention to your arrival.
    3. Wear a disguise. If you came walking down the street dressed as a cowboy, a clown, or even a doctor, and if you walked with a limp or otherwise changed your gait, chances are you wouldn’t be recognized by anyone looking through the aforementioned crack in the gate.
    4. Use a distraction. You know those cats you are always trapping on your property? Bring them with you. Throw them over the fence, and watch the children chase them off, never noticing as you slip through the front door.

    That is all I can think of for now, but you might have some ideas yourself that will compliment this list. Thank you again for coming and bearing gifts. It is always a pleasure to see you.

    Your Loving Granddaughter,

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Brandy December 11, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    We always love you dropping in, Granddad, and even more when you have Grandmother with you!

    Rebecca, I have to second Mr. 4-Bucks-Worth-It. It really is VERY good. The kettlecorn analogy is very apt, except that they salted something sweet instead of sweetening something savory. But I’m sure you get the effect. If you love caramel and hot cocoa, the addition of salt really brings out the flavors. 🙂

    Oh, and 4-Bucks: You would do better to invest your money in perfecting the drink at home for a third of the cost, putting the rest of your “retirement” money in a jar in your attic or under you mattress or something like that.

  • Reply 4-Bucks-Worth-It December 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    The salted caramel hot chocolate is the kettlecorn of the hot chocolate world. I love it. I’m thinking about withdrawing all my retirement money and investing it in rivers of salted caramel hot chocolate.

  • Reply rebecca December 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    So, how was the hot chocolate? I have been tempted to try it, but so far have stuck with the Peppermint Mocha Twist.

  • Reply Granddad December 11, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Enjoyed the write-up about my fleeting visit.

    I guess we don’t always realize how such a small act of kindness can have such a profound impact on others. Actually, I think I was the one most thrilled. Always so good to see you, the children with their smiling faces and the cute little things they do. Thank you for those thrilling moments that I enjoy so much…. Being a grandfather and great grandfather are wonderful periods of my life. Thank you for that cherished experience. Grandfather

  • Leave a Reply