Parker, a name of old English origin, meaning “park keeper” or “keeper of the forest.” Parker fits his name perfectly for he is a man of the forest, the rivers, and the mountains. He is an explorer and an adventurer! He’s strong and graceful. I just know he will do something special in life for he’s always looking and searching for his distinct career and when he finds it look out!
In high school Parker played center on the football team. He was a tough competitor. They say that the second most important player on the offense is the center. The center, it is said, is the guy who puts the skill players in position to make plays. Therefore the center is the most intelligent player on the offensive line. Parker will put to use what he learned as a center in his college years and I’m sure in life.
Parker decided to attend Ole Miss and study business. Not knowing exactly what he wants to do in life he felt like a business degree would be helpful in any direction he took.
While leading outdoor adventure trips at Ole Miss, Parker bought an old bus and took groups of friends caving, hiking, biking, climbing , etc.
Parker transferred to the University of Hawaii his junior year in college. He wanted to go away where no one knew him and he knew no one in order to find himself. What better place than the paradise of Hawaii for an adventurous soul to search for his truth.
Parker is a very introspective! He likes to play his guitar and examine his own thoughts and feelings. He thinks about various career choices for his life. He searches for his truth.
He is a warm and tender soul. When he comes home from college he will always call me for a breakfast or lunch or comes over with a rose bud for my vase. Can you imagine my “oh so happy grandmother heart?” when I get his call that he is coming to see me over a holiday visit.
Hawaii is known as the birthplace of surfing and Parker had his pick of some of the greatest spots to enjoy this sport. I’m not sure where he surfed but he had his pick of fifteen best surfing places to explore in Honolulu such as Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head Beach, Queen’s Beach, etc.
I’m still tying to figure out how this shot was taken? I’ll have to ask him after I finish writing this blog. He doesn’t know I’m writing about him, it’s a surprise. Since his sister Christian said she wanted me to write about her, and I did last week, I have decided to give each of my grandchildren there own blog. I love this picture; it’s so Parker! He loves to make statements and create a moment.
There are too many places to count to hikes on Oahu but if you Google the ten best hikes I’m sure Parker tried to hike them all. He met a group of friends at the University that became his exploring team while in Hawaii. This is a good picture to say goodbye to Hawaii and return to Oxford, Mississippi and Ole Miss where Parker will now complete his studies and graduate.
Parker decided he wanted to continue his self-discovery by getting a house off campus and living alone. So he and Whiskey moved into this little house in the woods and he invited me to come for a visit on my seventy ninth birthday. I was amazed at how clean and orderly he kept his home. Everything had its place, pictures were hung, and he and I made a trip to home depot to purchase hanging plants to complete the look he wanted to achieve for his home in the woods! It was a cozy and inviting home, not what you would expect from a college student.
Parker was so intent on showing me around Oxford and what his life was like living there. The South Campus Rail Trail is an old gravel railroad bed now being developed into the South Campus Recreation Center. This trail is where he hikes with Whiskey. Since I’m not much of a hiker anymore we walked the trail while throwing the frisbee for Whiskey.
We went to “the Graduate” a hotel located on the Square, the cultural and historic hub of the city center, just about a mile from the ole Miss campus and steps from the famed Square Books, City Grocery, and the Library Sports Bar. All spots that Parker insisted I see and enjoy. The Graduate has a big study area for the students to use while on the square and one day Parker studied for a test while I played.
Parker also took me to dinner every night, to his favorite places to listen to music, and even to a party his friends were giving for parent/student weekend.
We had breakfast at “the Grill at 1810” located in the Olivia and Archie Manning Performance Center. This is where Parker has breakfast daily because they focus on nutrition and the University nutrition staff’s motto is “you eat like an Athlete!”
It’s the day of my birthday and I wake up to find these wonderful tulips and a birthday card on the coffee table in the living room! I don’t know why this gesture of love made me cry for it is one of many thoughts of kindness and love from Parker throughout the years.
So when I think of my grandson Parker I wonder what will he be? What will his life work be?
He likes to work with his hands, to explore, to play music, he likes contemplating life, to organize groups of friends to go on adventures.
He’s artistic and independent, a person of the woods, rivers and mountains.
It doesn’t matter what he decides to do in life I will always love his thoughtfulness, his smile, and his tender heart. Thoughts of Parker always brings a smile to my heart!