My grumpy troll of an old man

“The grumpy old troll won’t let us go over his bridge.” When MayTay read this to my dad in her Dora book, Little Star, I looked over at Pops. I pointed at him and mouthed, “You’re the grumpy old troll.” He smiled.

My father is a bit of a grump. I love him, but he’s a grump. He tells me that it’s great that I’m working these days, even though I’m not making very much money and then later he complains that I’m not home for the whole day. He tells me that I am so creative and talented and that one day I’m going to zoom away (on what I can only assume is a witch’s broomstick) and then he also says that my job at the packaging warehouse is good work. My grumpy troll of a father is a bit of a contradiction.

But that can’t really be a bad thing, can it? Life is a contradiction. Isn’t life just the process of our own decay? Each day, we go one day further from our birth and one day closer to our death. Wait. I thought that life is all about living, right? This is why some people smoke or drink a lot while others volunteer sixty hours a week trying to help others in various parts of the globe. Life isn’t about imminent death but about the experience. We’ve got to enjoy our time here on earth.

My dad is one of those folks who has always been about living a life full of adventure and awesomeness. He rode on a freight train in college, a trip that landed him in jail. He worked odd jobs in college to make money so he and my mom could continue in school. He was a colonel in the army and he gave that all up a bit early to become a farmer a block away from his parents’ estate.

These days, my Pops is starting to complain about the weather and politics. He’s starting to be one of those old guys you laugh at in the movies, the ones that sit at the counter at the local diner and speculate about the new girl who’s going to go after the bartender. My dad is a bit like those guys. He’s definitely grumpy and his attitude is often a bit trollish, but I still think he’s a good guy. Because even if I think he’s a grumpy old troll, if I (his smart, amazing daughter) wanted to go over his bridge, he’d let me.

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