...sarcastic replies to simple questions. "How are you?" was often met with "busy as a one-armed paper hanger" or "just about as fine as bug dust".
...knuckles of steel that he would use to "bonk" me on the head when I pushed him just a little too far.
...snakeskin boots in a size that seemed giant to my little seven year old feet.
...Sunday afternoons spent watching football or old westerns.
...snores next to me in the pew on Sunday mornings that would start about halfway through the sermon. Sometimes I couldn't resist the urge to give him a little elbow nudge to the ribs and hear him *snort*.
...pen and paper keeping tally of the headcount for Bible class and worship on Sunday mornings.
...dinner plates the size of a small Volkswagon piled with enough food to feed an army. And he'd eat every single bite.
...wood whittled lovingly by hand into seemingly impossible shapes.
...a voice that always called me "Fat Gal". I was a chubby toddler. Really chubby. And the nickname stuck.
...the warning signs when he began to get lost while trying to drive to familiar places or started to tell the same stories over and over again.
...his once strong, tall body growing thin and brittle with age.
...the faraway look in his eyes as he drifted off into his private world of memories.
...the fierce hug he gave me the last time I saw him conscious and aware. He said "I love you" and he made sure I knew he meant it. I think he knew what was coming.
...32 years of my life full of bad jokes, 42 games, and precious memories.