|Grampy could be ridiculous at times.|
As children, when we visited, we would run around the old farmhouse-turned-barn, jumping from the hayloft and feeding the cows. We would dare each other to go to the upper levels of the house and hold our breaths to see if the person would fall through the floor (it never happened). We would ride with Grampy in his truck and ask why the floor was packed with kitty litter boxes (it was his way of fixing a hole in the floor). He would often recruit us to pick off potatoes bugs from his garden but I'm pretty sure I just ended up eating the beans rather than being helpful.
To me, Grampy was always the man who worked in the woods cutting down trees, watched TV way too loud, and liked to read books. He was hard to buy for because he would return most presents so we gave his candy during the holidays. Every time he saw Isaiah, he thanked him for taking care of me or for driving Amy and I to see him even though Isaiah had sat in the backseat the entire time. He saw the world in the certain way and enjoyed arguing that with other people.
As I've gotten older and heard more stories, I've started to learn about the complexities of my Grandfather. He was very pragmatic about nature and the circle of life. The deer heads hanging on the wall taught us pretty quickly about where meat came from. So it was a surprise to all of the grandchildren to have confirmation of the family legend that he couldn't take the cow that was named after one of the grandchildren to be slaughtered. He couldn't bring himself to "kill Andy." It was probably the last time the grandchildren were allowed to name the animals.
He was frugal and concerned about money but it was always to make sure his family would be taken care of. He sometimes took it a bit to the extreme. Like how he refused to buy new knobs for his stove top even though there was only one left so he had to switch it around if there was more than one burner on. How he "rescued" the "perfectly good" shirts that Grammy threw out and cut off the one good arm to would sew it to the body of another shirt. Nothing was ever to be wasted or thrown away.
|Who needs this many saws?|
He loved family reunions and anniversary parties. He loved any time the family would get together to celebrate an occasion. We had to stop the traditional family softball games because he was still so competitive in his 80s that he slide into first base to avoid getting out (I wonder where we all get our competitiveness from). He tore his Achilles tendon but didn't tell anyone for over a day. He needed a cast and instead of staying inside to heal, he drove his lawnmower all over the property like a mobile scooter to tend to his garden and do other chores. It was hard to convince him to slow down. He had a giant 90th birthday party earlier this year which was attended by seemingly the entire family.
|He was so happy to beat everyone at the family reunion sac race.|
On Saturday, armed with a hammer and axe handle for spiderweb protection, Amy and I went through the old barn for what will probably be the last time. We took pictures of all the old farm gear and laughed that anyone let us play in that place.
|The old farmhouse is kind of creepy now.|
|Can't believe we use to play in here.|
I hope he died knowing that he took care of his family. That his family loved him and we'll continue to tell stories about him for years to come.
"No-one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away - until the clock he wound wears down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.”
― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man