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Questions For My Grandfather? Ask Away!

Me and My Grandfather

Today I’m going to be spending the day with my father and grandfather.  One of my grandfather’s wishes before he dies is to visit all of the places he has lived and worked over his 98 years.  Today we’re going to visit his old Seattle homes together.

Last time I wrote about my grandfather, several people were interested in asking him questions and wanting to know more from someone who has lived a century.  So…

Ask Grandpa Joe!

What would you like to know?  If you had someone who was 98 in your life, what would you want to ask him?  Let me know now!

To give you some context, he is incredibly smart, has traveled the world, he still has a great head for business (he had several careers, including starting up a regional banking system), and he has an incredible green thumb.  I’ve written about him quite a bit here – you can learn more about him by perusing those articles.

I will check my emails today (I have to monitor my work emails), so I’ll receive your questions and ask them.  Don’t worry about bothering us on our special day.  Believe me, he will be touched and happily overwhelmed with your kindness and curiosity.


UPDATE:  Since there weren’t many questions until late in the day, I decided to hold off until there were more to ask.  So keep asking! I will be seeing my grandfather soon for lunch, and will ask them all at once.


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17 comments to Questions For My Grandfather? Ask Away!

  • Erica Morrow

    I am starting my first garden this week, the raised bed is done and lines are laid out, but I was wondering what your best advice would be for a beginner?
    As I am using mostly seed, I wondered about the best way to go about mulching and when it should be done and what material? Thanks Joe!!!

  • katecontinued

    My question was also about starting. Did you find that starting seeds indoors is preferred over simply sewing directly into the soil? And, did you use cover crops?

    Have a wonderful day! What a great idea for you all to take this day for exploring past homes.

  • What a great idea, Melinda! Please ask Joe if he could share with us one change that he’s been happy to see in Seattle during his years living here. Often we reminisce about “the way things were,” but is there anything that shines out as a positive for “the way things are?”
    Have a beautiful day – what a gorgeous day to be out & about in the city!

  • Grandpa Joe ( hope it’s okay to refer to you that way):
    I’m in the San Joaquin Valley; so my questions relate to Zone 9. I hope I don’t bother you with the amount of questions.

    1. Do you know of a natural way to rid my garden of grasshoppers and ants? (Kind of like an Aesop story.) The ants are the tiny, black kind that seem to only be collecting seeds. The grasshoppers are munching on my eggplant, peach tree, and pepper leaves.

    2. Do you have experience growing camellias? I contemplating planting a few and would appreciate any advice. I will be travelling down to Nuccio’s in Alta Dena for more education and to make my purchase.

    3. I wasn’t very successful growing potatoes this past winter. Yukon Gold and red potatoes came up beautifully. Then, I was overcome with what I believe is blight. Any suggestions for successful potato farming is welcome.

    4. Do you know if nectarines branches can get sunburned? My fruit trees are espalier; but the nectarine is toasted on the top side of the branches and not the lower. Could this be something else?

    5. What do you enjoy growing the most? Tell me what you know.

    6. Would you please consider answering questions regularly? I really would like to add you to my source of references. This is terrific.

    Thank you for your time. I would enjoy reading about your history.

  • Rob

    Grandpa Joe-
    1- what is the biggest change you have seen in Seattle over your lifetime? Wait I think Susan asked that- Nope she asked one change you liked.
    2- Whats your favorite pie??
    3- How are your tomatoes growing this year?

  • Jill S

    Hey Melinda,
    I don’t know if your grandfather is taking any personal questions, but here are a few:
    What is your grandfather’s advice about living healthfully?
    Where was his favorite destination in his travels so far?
    What is his general advice on relationships with others and with nature?…

  • Jill S

    P.S. Love the photo!

  • Kate

    Grandpa Joe,
    What is your favorite thing you have ever grown?
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience.

  • Thank you for your wonderful, beautiful questions! Since there weren’t many questions until late in the day, I decided to hold off until there were more to ask. So keep asking! I will be seeing my grandfather soon for lunch, and will ask them all at once.

  • Bummer. I’ve been checking back to see if the answer period had begun. My grasshopper situation is really growing. I may have to call in some seagulls. Hope lunch is soon.

  • oh, i wish my own grandparents were still around to ask lots of questions of! you are very blessed! i would love to have an elder mentor me.

    are there any good, traditional solutions to things that you’d like to see people take up once again, especially ones that are gentler on the environment, or economically? for example, i love that in my village in london, uk (i’m from canada) the eggs are not refrigerated. never! i keep my eggs in a bowl on my counter, and my little girls love to put them in there, pretending they are from our own chickens (maybe someday) and turning the best before label so we can’t see any print. it is beautiful, and simple – and frees up my tiny fridge for more food!

    thank you!


  • Maggie

    Wow, what a beautiful blog! Could you please ask your Grandfather if he thinks it would be better to invest in a business (women’s bathhouse in NYC) or land (upstate New York…thinking about trying out farming and the real estate is cheap now)

    Tough life decisions for sure. What would your Grandpa do?

  • [...] know several of you are anxious to hear answers to your questions.  I apologize – our schedules haven’t synced up easily over the last week, and I [...]

  • coniconi

    Hi, I’m Nicolas and i’ m worried about my grand father, in fact, is in a retirement home and every time i go to see him he don’t do nothing, is social live is not really ecxiting and he is becoming angry! I’ve heard about Play Therapy but do you have any forum that talk about this and do you know if it could be good for him to participate to one these therapy?
    I’ve heard about this website :
    What do you think of this!

  • Coniconi, I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I am not an expert at aging – I’m only sharing my experience with my own grandfather. A number of things can happen as the body and mind begin to age – I suggest talking with your grandfather’s doctor about possible ways to help him with that process. Good luck, and don’t despair – it’s great that your seeking a helpful solution.

  • coniconi

    Thanks for your reply.
    I’ll try what you suggest.


  • Whatever became of Grandpa Joe? I was looking forward to a special segment dedicated to him.

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