Several weeks ago, as I was cleaning out the well house at the farm, I came across a large wooden hex sign that my grandfather had made and painted. I then moved a cabinet that he built into the well house as I plan on painting it in the near future. Those two events had me thinking of him quite a bit.
My grandfather’s name was Robert, but everyone called him Shudie. He was a short, very well built man with a great snicker. He kind of whistled through his teeth as he snickered at his own jokes. You always knew where to find him, seated at the kitchen table, surrounded by roll-your-own cigarettes and sawdust. I would watch in awe as his rough hands could run sandpaper across his newest creation, play solitaire and roll a cigarette almost simultaneously. He loved to work with his hands. He painted, built and whittled all sorts of things. He was best known for his duck decoys and Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs.
The hex signs were (and still are) commonly seen on the barns of Pennsylvania Dutch Families. The designs on the signs were picked by families based on the design itself and certain colors, all of which had different meanings. My grandfather loved the colors in the hex signs and often recreated them. Several of his hex signs adorned the outside of his summer cottage and one or two had made their way to his son-in-law’s (my dad’s) farm. This is the one that I recently found:
So hex signs had always made me think of my Grandpa Shudie. Today, as I was wandering through a thrift store, I came across an awesome vintage linen calendar from 1973 and guess what was on it?
You betcha. Hex signs and other Pennsylvania Dutch symbols. And just look at that message. Don’t they say things come in threes? Well, to me…I just got three signs (and I can say that figuratively AND literally) that Grandpa Shudie is sending me a message. Don’t worry Grandpa, my heart is happy. And you just made it a little happier. ❤