My host grandfather is a… grumpy man. Old school.
He’s retired, so he putters around the house tinkering with this or that. He shuffles around in flops muttering to himself or yelling at the grandkids. He yells at me for not eating my soup before the rest of the meal (when I just saw Lado do it), or yells incomprehensible Georgian at me when I’m in the way of some urgent errand of his. Or tells me I’m eating the grapes wrong. In the evenings I can usually find him passed out on the couch, mouth wide open, television volume cranked up, holding the newspaper in one hand and his reading glasses in the other.
Tonight, he was on one end of the couch figuring out the next project for tomorrow and I on the opposite end reading on my I-Pad.
He sneezes. Out of habit I say, “Bless You,” knowing he doesn’t know a stitch of English.
Grandpa (barely audible): “Thank You.”
…baby steps, people, baby steps.