Family · Life

Shirts and Dirt

Sorting through baby clothes has been on my list for awhile. I’ve been waiting for one of my friends to have a baby boy, and it finally happened. Almost everything my children have ever worn has been a gift or a hand-me-down, and I wanted to pass on the bounty. So I pulled out the few things that needed to be returned to the original lenders, set those aside, and dug in. I ran across a lot of tiny little outfits attached to happy memories. I packed up the outfit Levi wore to the wedding of the friends that are getting the clothes. I put in the denim overalls that I bought as a present for my nephew David, now 8, that came back to Levi and then Elias, and are still adorable. It was fun.

I did find one thing I’m not passing on.



Gasser’s Masonry was my dad’s business. Some of my first memories are of running around the “junkyard.” I’m not sure why I called it that, since it didn’t store junk. There were piles and piles of bricks and blocks. Also a huge pile of sand that fluctuated in size depending on when they’d filled it up last and how much they were using for … whatever masons use sand for. Basically the best sandbox ever. Also incredibly dirty, which made my mom crazy for reasons I didn’t fully understand until, oh, about five years ago.

Dad got those little baby shirts printed up and handed them out all over the place. I have never been very sentimental about stuff (though I’m leaning more that way lately), but I was very happy that one of these found its way to me, and I got to take pictures of my babies in it. It’s just a little shirt, but it’s a link to their Grandpa Gasser, who has been gone these twenty years. And cheaper than another link Levi apparently has to that grandpa, which is an underbite. Probably I should have started saving for the orthodontist a couple of years ago. (To my knowledge, none of the other grandkids have (or had) one, which means that the only grandchild of a man with an impressive underbite to share that characteristic with him is one that has no shared genetic link. The universe has an odd sense of humor.)

It’s tempting to just pack up and pass along the clothing in the boys’ current sizes, since they barely wear any in the summertime. I went for a walk on the bike trail as soon as Paul got home from work Friday. It’s one of my current favorite things to do, mostly because it gets me out of the house and into the fresh air for a little bit, and I don’t have to settle any property disputes or mediate allegations of abuse during the time I’m gone. Paul told the boys to get ready to go feed the pigs.

As I was pulling out of the garage, I saw this.


Shorts-only, bare feet, bouncing in the bed of the truck hollering for Papa to HURRY UP AND GET YOUR SHOES ON because bedtime comes way too soon.

They get so dirty in the summertime. But they get awfully happy, too. I guess I can live with that.

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