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Christmas is Oversized Phalanges

By Daniel Foster22 Dec 2022

My Grandad had thumbs the size of golf balls. The distal phalanges, I mean. He was a farmer, born in 1925 in the middle of nowhere WV. (Trust me, you’ve never heard of the place.) He planted potatoes, shucked corn, drove a tractor, and tossed haybales for 80 years. It changed his hands, made them huge and work-roughened until the ends of his thumbs were the size of golf balls.

I remember those huge thumbs showing me how to pop a touch-me-not when I was toddler, and I remember him taking the entire family on hayrides behind his tractor. He showed me the family of beavers that lived on his farm and explained that it would be a hard winter because of how thick they had built their dam. And it was. He knew when to plant beans, and how to make me feel better when life got hard. He didn’t say much, but he smiled a lot. He was just a farmer, but when he passed, the county shut down. Over 800 people showed up to his funeral.

For a time, I wrote a series of kids’ books, some published, some not. I considered writing a Christmas story in the middle of the series. He would have been Santa. There would be no fluffy red and white suit, but my grandad’s worn-out flannels, stained coveralls, and the cracked leather of his hobnail boots. Instead of Santa’s “Ho-ho-ho,” there would be my grandad’s rusty chuckle, and his oversized thumbs.

I have no idea what the season means to you, but I hope that it fills you this year. I don’t know which holiday you celebrate, if any at all, but from all of us at Transonic, we wish you the best this season can bring to you.

Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for being part of the Transonic family.

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