You can teach an old dog new tricks


It all started with a heart attack.

Stanley, my sweet grandpa who stands at 6’2” and maybe weighs 170 pounds soaking wet, had a triple by-pass and was told (politely) that he needed to change his diet.

Because apparently eating ice cream for every meal is unacceptable. Who knew?

Most 75-year-olds would say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” However, Stanley took this as a personal challenge to #eatclean. He met with a dietician, learned that canned soup is 99% sodium and 1% processed meat, and then vowed to everyone in our family that he was going to live to be 150.

This diet has also changed a few other things aside from his eating habits. For instance, prior to this, Stanley could not cook.

When I was approximately 3-years-old, my parents left me at my grand parents house for a weekend. With Nonna being MIA (she was more than likely playing the slot machines,) Stanley realized he had to feed me somehow. He found pancake mix, knew that water was a reliable resource, and figured he could get eggs from the chicken coop in the backyard (that’s another story). The only thing he needed to complete this trifecta was cooking spray. After finding a spray bottle of God-knows-what, Stanley began cooking.

Do you remember learning about dramatic irony in your high school English class? No? Well this is where the audience knows what is going to happen before the main characters do.

In the movie called, “Devin’s Life,” y’all would have gasped when Stanley thought he was reaching for PAM cooking spray, but instead grabbed spray starch. Three pancakes, some funny reactions, and a call to poison control center, we later learned cooking is not one of Stanley’s strong suites.

But I digress.

Post-heart attack, Stanley is realizing survival of the fittest. In order for him to maintain his health, he will have to go to the store himself. Most of this stems from my Nonna making him potato soup one day post-surgery saying, “The crema no kill him.” BUT ACTUALLY, NONNA, IT WILL.

Last week, I received a call where he was boasting about how he learned to use coupons. He was so excited that you could get a discount on things you normally wouldn’t buy. Welcome to this thing called modern society.

He said, “They were giving away tomato sauce for a discount. SO I BOUGHT 22 CANS OF SAUCE.”

His excitement continued. “And, you can get Kroger-brand jam 2-for-1, so I bought you 8 jars. I shipped them, and you’ll get them next week!”

And, since I’ve written his, he has renewed his membership at SAM’S Club because the only thing better than a discount is a discount in BULK.

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