Fall always reminds me of a few things. One, It reminds me that soon we will be eating delicious food (Tamales, Pozole, Champurrado, etc.) all the way up until January. Two, it reminds me of my college years because that’s when I met my husband. Third, my Abuelo. Although he passed away 15 years ago this November, we were able to create so many memories.
He was a funny man and a prankster (As I have mentioned before.). The mischievous DNA strand that I have, caused me to prank him back. I know we should have respect for our grandparents, but it’s not my fault because both Abuela and my Abuelo were so fun! LOL
When I would spend the night at their house, in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping, I would randomly make my hair really crazy (which wasn’t hard to do given I have naturally big, crazy, wild, curly hair). Strategically, I would sit on the top frame of the couch for an unsuspecting victim (insert evil laugh). With the quiet, stillness of the night, and a small glimmer of light peering in through the window, creating almost a haunting silhouette on my face—I waited. My intention was for my Abuelo to see me and get startled; so I would make some soft rustling sounds to try and wake him up. Frozen like an little, evil-smiling troll, I would sit there waiting patiently. (Waiting patiently is the secret to a good prank.) Suddenly, he would wake up and he would get so startled. It always worked and it would take us a while to go back to bed with so much laughter.
Interestingly, there is so much scary folklore in the Mexican culture. We hear family talk about La Llorona, La Mano Peluda, El Chubacabras and so much more that going to bed sometimes becomes a process for kids and sometimes even adults. One day, instead of doing the usual evil troll bit, I decided I would do something a bit more scary and intense. Everyone had gone to bed. I always slept in the same room as my Abuelos, so pulling off this one prank was going to be the easiest thing on earth! I got up, walked over to where my Abuelo was sleeping, I pulled his legs hard and ran back to where I was sleeping. I don’t know how I held my laughter in, but he got up saying, “Me jalaron las patas!” He got so scared that he talked about it all night until the next day. My Abuela knew what I had done but we kept silent. We finally decided to tell him that it was me. The torture was too much but we all got a good laugh. Till this day my Abuela will mention it from time to time–because in those moments, we remember the joy of life. Although, there were always difficult moments, there were laughs, jokes and pranks–that we remember as family–even when loved ones have long since passed.
Every Autumn, my Abuelo would pull out a heavy brown jacket. It seemed like each year, he had a different heavy jacket. I have no idea where he would get them, but I thought they were so cool. He was so original in his attire (OG) that when he would wake up, he would walk outside on those brisk fall mornings with coffee in hand and his brown coat pulled over his shoulders. He would look at me, nod a good morning, and walked away to begin his day.
Feliz Otoño Abuelo.
I enjoyed reading your grandfather’s memories. My grandparents were too strict. I couldn’t act silly.