My grandfather, Edwin Alexander McDougall, was a wonderful man. He took in my mother, sister and I after my father died in a boating accident when I was only 6 months old. My grandmother, whom I don’t remember died soon after and grandpa was left to deal with all us girls. He was the stable light in my life, the one that walked me to school, the man that taught me to garden. Grandpa always said that you prune roses between Lincoln’s birthday (the same day as his) and Washington’s birthday. He would trim our roses and then take a walk with his shears pruning the roses of any neighbor that would have him. They would usually ‘pay’ him with a strong cup of coffee and a home baked sweet. After the neighborhood’s roses were in shape, Grandpa would come home to sit on the back porch watching the airplane descending into pdx or tend to his fruit trees.
Grandpa died the 5th of October in 1983 he was 92 years old. I think of him often, but I always remember on President’s day. The grapes and blueberries are pruned just like he would have taught me. Now it time to prune the roses – look after them Grandpa.