Elijah and Grumpy Old Bumpa

Bumpa, can I be president… or do I have to be a lawyer?

Yes, you can, and no, you don’t. Why would you ask that, Elijah?

‘Cause they’re the only people who count.

Oh, my, Elijah! You were born in a strange time!

Uh-uh! I was nine when I was born. Mom says it was past time. Mom was miserable before I got borned.

She was, Elijah. She sure was.

You’re miserable, Bumpa! Are you pregnant?

No, only young women get pregnant and miserable. Old men just get miserable and grumpy.

Yeah, we’re Minnesotans. When can we go ice fishing?

fish houses of ice fishermen in Minnesota

Grandpa doesn’t do ice fishing. Maybe Uncle Andrew will take you and Calvin together.

Does Uncle Andrew have a fish house?

No. You don’t have to have a fish house to go ice fishing.

But you have to have a big house if you want to be president or a lawyer, right?

Well, no. You don’t have to have a big house to be a lawyer. Some lawyers are street lawyers and public defenders. All lawyers take an oath to protect the constitution.

But some lawyers are bad, right? Like Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani. Grandma says they’re walkin on thin ice. It’s a national emergency!

Yes and no, Elijah. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Giuliani represented or represent the president. The president’s about to fall through the ice for making stuff up.

Yeah, the president’s a national emergency and his lawyers pretend he’s not!

Yes, that’s our opinion.

Right! I changed my mind. I don’t want to be president, Bumpa, and I’m glad I don’t have to be like Michael and Rudy.

Like I said, Elijah, you could be either president or a lawyer, but you don’t have to be. You can be anything you want.

OK! I wanna to be like Uncle Andrew! I can be a ice fisherman right here in Minnesota and grow up to be a grumpy old man. I wanna be like you, Bumpa.

— Grandpa (“Bumpa”) Stewart and Elijah (21 months old), Chaska, MN, February 17, 2019

4 thoughts on “Elijah and Grumpy Old Bumpa

  1. (Started a response, but got interrupted, so there may be 2.)

    Based on the last sentence, he on the right track (a good path).

    Where are the fishermen/women fishing? For a moment I wondered Lake Superior, then I thought “Silly, Minnesota, Land of a Thousand Lakes.” That must be a decent-size lake, but small enough to be frozen at least a couple of feet. Or what depth of freezing is needed to bear the weight of a number of cars with small campers while having a number of holes kept open for fishing?


    • Carolyn, Correction! Elijah wants you and the rest of the world to know that his state is the “the Land of TEN Thousand Lakes.”at this moment the ice on Mille Lacs (a big fishing lake) is 28″ deep. Lake Minnetonka (a short drive from us) is 16″ deep.

      As I understand it, 6-8” is pretty safe. The depths in most lakes in the state are a foot or more and very safe. In the January and February some folks who live on Lake Minnetonka take a shortcut to and from work using the un-numbered Interstate highway straight across the lake. Weird but true. We trust our ice here! We don’t yust ice it fer Svedish vodka ‘n fishin’! We respect our water. It’s clean. It’s deep. It’s colder dan a walleye. And it’s better dan da ice over in Wisconsin!


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