Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Milkman

Once in awhile I stumble across something wonderful in my local library, and this was my little treasure from last week....

It is a story about a milkman getting up for his home delivery route early in the morning, and
working in his neighborhood. Along his route, he finds a lost dog, gifts a rattle for a newborn on his route, and greets everyone in the neighborhood by name.

My grandpa is a retired milkman. He had one of the last home delivery routes in the Portland area. He retired when I was still pretty young, but I have solid memories of bright plastic milk crates to store my toys, grandpa's white Alpenrose delivery shirt with his name stitched into a front pocket, tubs of ice cream in our freezer all summer long, unlimited egg nog at Christmas and the most delicious swiss chocolate milk in half-pint containers.

On Christmas Eve each year, my dad would work alongside my grandpa so he could come home and celebrate with us sooner. I even got to help him with part of his route for a day just before he retired. I thought it had to be the best job ever....much more interesting than my dad's office job....and I still think so.

My grandpa's milk delivery route was in the West Hills, the wealthiest area in Portland. He knew all of the local Portland celebrities, including television personalities and former NBA players. He even become a mini-celebrity himself when he was profiled for a local news show.

I've been thinking a lot about my grandparents lately. Their health is declining fast. My grandpa's heart is very weak and my grandma is entering the last stages of Alzheimers. It is bittersweet. My best childhood memories are intertwined with them and now I slowly prepare myself for their absence.

Oh yeah....and the boys liked the book, too.


Razzy said...

I want this book.

michelle said...

I think I told you that we had a milkman for a long time in PA, it was always nice getting milk twice a week without having to go out.
What fun memories of your grandpa.