Rude Awakenings ~ Catherine Sevenau

Catherine Sevenau Catherine Sevenau is a local writer, irreverent humorist, and astute storyteller, currently posting her third book, “Through Any Given Door, a Family Memoir,” as a free web serial at She’s also a longtime local Owner/Broker/Realtor at CENTURY 21 Wine Country. [email protected]


Conversations with my grandson

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Catherine Sevenau


Dead People and Sparkle Fairies ~

“Oma, there’s dead people under those rocks, you know.”

I glance over my shoulder to see what Satchel is talking about. My four-year-old grandson is commenting from his car seat about the small cemetery to our left on East Napa Street.

“I know Satchel, that’s where they put our bodies when we die.”

“What do they do with the heads?” he asks.

“Well, when we die we don’t need our bodies anymore,” elaborating with a spiritual conversation about bodies and souls and death.

When I finish, he says, “Yeah, but what do they do with the heads?”

As I attempt to expound further, he interrupts and announces, “Oma! The car is filled with sparkle fairies!”

I’m wearing a Brazilian rhinestone bracelet that my sister Liz gave me, and the sun is bouncing off the facets, casting the car’s interior with hundreds of tiny brilliant refractions.

He asks in wonder, “Can you see them?”

“I can, Satchel, that I can.”

Then he tilts his head forward and says, “Oma, can you see the Apple Fairy on the top of my head?”

I peer in the rearview mirror, slip into his world of magic, and tell him, “Of course. How long has she been there?”

“About a week!”

“A week! That’s amazing. You are certainly a lucky boy, Satchel.”

Days later, when I was telling my friend Elaina the cemetery story, I hadn’t understood his question until she laughed and said, “Well, you told him what they did with the bodies. He wanted to know what they did with the heads.”

I haven’t gotten back to him on that one.

2007 (age 4)


Hatfields and McCoys ~

My ten-year-old grandson calls and says hi Oma, it’s me, Satchel, and I say hi Satchel, it’s me, Oma. He asks if we are related to the Hatfields and McCoys. I say no, we’re related to the Chatfields and Hoys. He says, WHAT?!? I say, I can tell by your voice you’re disappointed. Our family is not nearly as interesting and I’m sorry, but the only connection is that they rhyme. They’re from the South, we’re from the North. He says, quite sadly, oh, right, okay, bye Oma. I say okay, bye Satchel. I’m curious as to why he’s watching that show on TV, on a school night, at that hour, not to mention that he attends a Waldorf school that frowns on television. I’ll bet his mother is not home.

May 2013 (age 10)


Tupperware! ~

My dilemma is solved: Tupperware! I saw a cartoon with two older women paying their respects to their friend lying in an open Tupperware casket, with the caption, “Edna would be so pleased… look – Tupperware!”

My grandson asked me if I wanted to be buried or cremated. I told him cremated because it’s less expensive and makes a smaller footprint on the earth. Then I told him the REAL reason I don’t want to be buried is because I don’t want the bugs to eat me. He decided he’d be cremated too. I said he was a little premature in his planning, and I prefer that he go after me, but that I didn’t imagine either one of us was proposing leaving anytime soon. And now you’re wondering why I’m having this conversation with a ten-year-old. Well, he asked.

2013 (age 10)


Anger Issues ~

Satchel asks, “Oma, do you know anyone with anger issues?”

I snort, “Do you mean besides our whole family?”

The conversation moves on to Greek mythology and he tests me on all the gods and goddesses and thank Zeus, I remember. I can’t remember where I left my keys or my glasses, but I’m pretty darn good recalling the underworld, Hermes, and Aphrodite.

January 2014 (age 10)


Grand girl stories next month…


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