Grandpa Brown with his retirement house. An old school bus, he decked out in his free time.
My grandfather was a widow for as long as I knew him, as his wife/my grandmother died when I was 3 months old. Most of my childhood he lived with his mother, ‘Grammy Brown’. When I was little he lived at her house, and later in my childhood the roles reversed, and she lived with him, in his house. I was practically attached to Grammy Brown by her apron strings, which meant I spent a lot of time with my grandfather as well. He was a man of few words, a man who liked to watch time go by. He was simple, predictable, and reliable, and his job in many ways defined him.
In the winter he slept on the couch in the living room; close to the phone, ready at any minute to get called out. When a storm was forecast, he would set about preparing for the inevitable night on the roads. His lunch box was a sturdy, old, metal thing, large enough to hold a couple of sandwiches, some snacks, and an emergency soda; in case his sugar dropped. He was diabetic, which meant he carried a needle with insulin, and a sugary treat just in case. Along with his lunchbox, he carried an enormous thermos filled with coffee. I always loved watching him put together his road pack, specially watching him fill up the thermos with coffee. I loved the little cup that screwed onto the top, and thought how fun it must be to drink out of it.
As a child, watching my grandfather prepare for a winter-storm , was like watching Indiana Jones prepare for an adventure into a hidden temple. Everything was prepared, just in case it was needed. Flashlight batteries were checked, extra clothing was packed, and rations were laid out.
My grandfather told stories of his wintery adventures. One that stood out, involved a blizzard and a VW Bug. Like all towns, there were winte