I was fifteen years old when my mother's father died. I'd known him all my life, but now I realize that I hardly knew him at all. He was a proud man who loved his family.
As a pre-teenager I spent many weekends visting my grandpa and grandma's house on the weekends. On one particular weekend, I spent Saturday with grandpa riding around in his old green pick-up truck fixing things. If a fence needed mending, we mended it; if a branch needed cutting, we cut it; and if a tractor needed fixing we fixed it.
In keeping with his daily ritual, grandpa decided we should drive to the back pasture and count the cattle. I never questioned why he counted the cattle, but it had to be done. On a farm, you just do things sometimes.
He drove the old Ford around the barn and stopped at the gate.
"You want to get out and open the gate?" he asked.
"Sure," I said, opening the door.
My grandpa often made statements like that, posed as questions, but I always understood them for the instructions they really were.
Hinged on the left side, I approached the gate and located the chain that held it closed. I fumbled with the chain, but couldn't break it loose from its' grip around the wooden post.
"What's the matter?" grandpa asked, sticking his head out the window.
"I can't get it loose," I said, embarrassed.
He placed the pick-up in park, got out and unwrapped the chain with ease. The gate swung open.
"Wait here while I get the truck and drive it through," he said, and drove it through moments later.
"Now close it back and get in," he said.
I jumped back in the pick-up and we began to drive.
After a short time passed, I asked my grandpa how he opened the gate with ease, but I couldn't get it to budge.
"You weren't holding your mouth right," he said.
I tell this story to co-workers, friends and other family members whenever they ask me a question about how to do something. Somehow I never get tired of it.
Do you have a favorite memory of your grandpa or grandma that you'd like to share?