Poppop is a retired entomologist from NC State. I assumed that he was one of those kids that had jars full of bugs on his dresser, but he didn’t become interested in insects until he had a summer job hunting down mosquito breeding areas for the city. By the end of the summer, he realized he loved it and went on to spend the rest of his life hunting for bugs. He spent time in South East Asia studying the effects of insects on peanut crops and he brought home a lot of interesting pieces of art that still decorate his home.
While I was in Raleigh, Poppop’s daughter, two of her daughters plus all of their little ones came up from the coast for the weekend. Poppop met his youngest grandchild for the first time (by the way this was his first time giving a baby a bottle, which was such an awesome moment to see!) and showed the kids some of his prized butterflies. Poppop was married to Grandma for over 60 years. She passed away 4 years ago, but her presence continues to linger throughout the house. In fact, her purse still sits in the hallway by the front door. Grandma loved to bake and one of her favorite recipes was cream puffs, so the ladies decided to make a batch in her honor while I was there. Poppop tasted the cream puffs and complimented the girls, but admitted that they were not as good as Grandmas.
One of my favorite things I noticed about Poppop was that he is never without a can of Diet Coke in his hand. He said when he goes out he always takes two cans with him, one regular and one caffeine free. If he starts to get a little sleepy he will pop open the regular, if not he goes with caffeine free! Soon Poppop will be moving towards the coast to be closer to family. This house, which he built 50 years ago, will be sold. This wasn’t even my family, but I wanted to hold on to every little detail and tiny moment. The phone on the wall with the curly cord. Mommom’s collection of elephant figurines. The heavy drapes and red kitchen counter tops. Each corner of the home contains decades of memories. And each moment spent with Poppop has been treasured by his family.
I don’t look on poetry as closed works.
The Foys and the Flanagans have something in common. We both suffer from what I like to call “Tiny House Syndrome” … well I actually have never called it that before, I just made it up. But we both have 3 children crammed in a tiny old house with tiny old closets. However, Pam and Nathan are in the process of building a new home whose closets, I anticipate, will cause me to become overwhelmed with envy. I hope I can manage to overcome my jealousy and still be friends with them … or at least store my winter clothes there. Anyway, we got together a while ago to welcome their new baby Stone, as well as document this transitional time in their life. 2 kids to 3, tiny house to one with room to grow. So much excitement!
Interesting Fact: If you are a photographer and have taken my Visual Storytelling class through The Define School, you have heard me talk about The Foys before. When their oldest daughter was born, Pam let me stick her in buckets and put bows on her head and take lots of pictures. But between poses Pam took her daughter to the nursery for a diaper change and I followed along with my camera. In that moment I was ruined for buckets and bows and I knew that I just wanted to document real life. So, thanks Pam! You can see those old pictures here: http://mollyflanagan.com/felicity/
The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man