House at NightOne little girl goes to kiss Grandfather on the cheek to say goodbye for now, but he doesn’t know how to respond to love. He is a provider, period. He is an orphan, too. He grew up in an orphanage from age 10 until he graduated and went into the navy.

He knows nothing but order, so a soft kiss from a child makes him squirm, but he doesn’t reject the expression. The sisters double team him and kiss both cheeks. He grins.

The youngest of the two taught Grandfather how to kiss by placing her cheek against his scratchy, mustache hidden lips. She made an exaggerated kissing sound. Months of this training eventually produced Grandfather’s kisses, and his ear to ear grins.

Grandfather carries the tennis rackets. He’s disappointed again because his juvenile competitor is simply no match for this fit, ready to hit tennis player. The game may go to the eldest but the goat goes to the youngest. She’s an expert in winning it. She knows just what to say. “Oh, look, isn’t that xyz cute?‘ Right on cue he rants about the word “cute”.
‘What is cute, what does that even mean, cute?’
She says facetiously, ‘cute makes you feel all squishy inside’. She knows she’s drawing him out. ‘Kittens are cute‘.
He barks back, ‘kittens are not cute’.
Yes, Grandfather, they are cute and so are soft bunnies and puppies’. By this time the mischief is too much to contain and laughter bursts out.

The equipment is placed in the car. Home is the destination.
The night will go as nights do at their house, but when they part the kissing lesson begins.


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