Enjoying life and eating cookies - April Avison

My 91-year-old grandfather was working in his yard in Crockett, Texas, last week when a tree fell over on him. It just snapped up by the roots and fell over as my grandfather tried – unsuccessfully – to outrun it.

Don't worry, he's OK. He's always OK. My father says it will be kryptonite that finally takes him out.

My grandfather, "Papa," was born in 1913 and has lived a pretty full life. A graduate of the University of Texas, an avid football fan and a retired banker, he loves his family and that may be what has kept him alive all these years.

We've always teased him about his diet. He's the most healthy 91-year-old I've ever seen. He takes walks and is active in his community, with church and other activities. He's regulated himself to a strict, bland diet at his doctor's orders. But he makes one exception – sweets. He has at least one bowl of ice cream before bed every night. And he puts together the most bizarre combinations you've ever seen – pecan pie with peppermint ice cream or peanut butter cookies with mint chocolate chip ice cream.

My grandmother, "Mimi," is pretty resilient herself. She had a facelift recently because she felt that her eyes were getting a little droopy. She mailed me a photo that was taken immediately after her surgery. She had two big black eyes and looked like she'd been punched in the face a few times. I enjoyed the fact that she had the good humor to send me that picture instead of one showing how lovely her lifted eyes looked once she'd recovered from the procedure.

But that's just how Mimi and Papa are. Even after the tree fell over on Papa, they didn't make a big fuss or allow anyone to worry about it. Papa is now wearing a neck brace but shows no other signs that he's been involved in an accident.

My father called to talk to Mimi and get an update on Papa's condition on the day they had returned from an out-of-town specialist.

"Do you want to talk to him?" Mimi asked my dad.

"Sure, if he's up to it," my dad replied.

"Well, I'm pretty sure he's up to it. He's sitting here eating cookies."

Some things never change, and I'm pretty sure that until kryptonite comes his way, that's exactly what Papa will be doing. Enjoying life and eating cookies.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com.