Remembering My Grandparents
When memory began for me, my grandfather was past sixty -- a great tall man with thick hair becoming gray. He had black eyes and a straight nose which ended in a slightly flattened tip. Once he explained seriously to me that he got that flattened tip as a small child when he fell down and stepped On his nose.The little marks of laughter at the corners of his eyes were the product of a kindly and humorous nature. The years of work which had bent his shoulders had never dulled his humor nor his love of a joke. Everywhere he went, "Gramp" made friends easily. At the end of half an hour you felt you had known him all your life. I soon learned that he hated to give orders, but that when he had to, he tried to make his orders sound like suggestions.One July morning, as he was leaving to go to the cornfield, he said, "Edwin, you can pick up the potatoes in the field today if you want to do that." Then he drove away with his horses.The day passed, and I did not have any desire to pick up potatoes. Evening came and the potatoes were still in the field. Gramp, dusty and tired, led the horses to get their drink."How many bags of potatoes were there?" Gramp inquired."I don't know."
"How many potatoes did you pick up?"
"I didn't pick any."
"Not any! Why not?"
"You said I could pick them up if I wanted to. You didn't say I had to."
In the next few minutes I learned a lesson I would not forget, when Gramp said I could if I wanted to, he meant that I should want to.My grandmother ("Gram") worked hard all day, washing clothes, cleaning the house, making butter, and even working in the field when help was scarce. In the evening, though, she was not too tired to read books from the community library. For more than forty years Gram read aloud to Gramp almost every evening. In this way she and Gramp learned about all the great battles of history and became familiar with the works of great authors and the lives of famous men.Gram hated cruelty and injustice. The injustices of history, even those of a thousand years before, angered her as much as the injustices of her own day.She also had a deep love of beauty. When she was almost seventy-five, and had gone to live with one of her daughters, she spent a delightful morning washing dishes because, as she said, the beautiful patterns on the dishes gave her pleasure. The birds, the flowers, the clouds -- all that was beautiful around her -- pleased her. She was like the father of the French painter, Millet, who used to gather grass and show it to his son, saying, "See how beautiful this is!"
In a pioneer society it is the harder qualities of mind and character that are of value. The softer virtues are considered unnecessary. Men and women struggling daily to earn a living are unable, even for a moment, to forget the business of preserving their lives. Only unusual people, like my grandparents, manage to keep the softer qualities in a world of daily struggle.Such were the two people with whom I spent the months from June to September in the wonderful days of summer and youth.
1.We know that Grandpa's nose ____
A、was flattened because it had been stepped on
B、was not flat when he was a boy
C、was both straight and broad
D、was straight but its tip was a bit flat
2.We learn from the passage that Grandpa ____
A、loved to give orders
B、liked making suggestions
C、was friendly and humorous
D、was a serious and strict person
3.When Grandpa told the writer to pick up potatoes if he wanted to do that, he meant that ____
A、he had to do it
B、he could do it if he wanted to
C、he could do it anytime he was ready
D、he did not really have to do so
4.The writer describes his Grandma as ____
A、someone who could find beauty in life
B、a very obedient housewife
C、a woman who complained about the injustices of life
D、a woman who loved Millet's paintings
5.According to the passage, in the days of the writer's grandparents ____
A、it was difficult for people to keep the "soft qualities" of mind and character
B、most people understood how to appreciate the beautiful things in life
C、it was the "soft virtues" that were thought to be very important
D、only ordinary people managed to appreciate the beauty of nature查看答案