Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grandpa Lessons Part 1

It has been over a year since he has been gone, but there is not a day that goes by where he is not in my thoughts.  My grandpa had a profound impact on my life.  I feel like it is my responsibility to share his life lessons on my blog (no matter how many people read it).

I am not sure what brought this post on...but I am going to run with it.

My grandpa was narcoleptic.  

Every swimming (or any other sport attempted) race that either me or Hemmy swam in, my grandpa missed because he fell asleep.  

Especially if it was down to the wire.   

He just couldn't handle the excitement of seeing his favorite people race their hearts out.

But we NEVER...ever...swam a race with him in the building, without hearing my grandpa bellow out "GO...RIKKI...GO! "(or Hemmy if he was the one swimming) at the top of his lungs.

I am sure that there were swim meets (even in our competitive college years) that Hemmy and I can both attest to, where we were in the crouched starting position with a smile on our faces because we had just heard our grandpa's cheer.  

It was heartwarming.

My grandpa was a penny pincher.  But in a good way.  He was no Scrooge, rather the opposite.  

He was one of the most giving people I have ever met.  

But he had a knack for finding a bargain.  

Although I didn't realize it growing up, my grandpa instilled in me, the thrill of a sale.  I LOVE checking out at Target or J C Penney and seeing the "full price" versus what I really paid.  There is some sort of weird buzz in seeing how much money I DIDN'T pay.  

Along those same lines,  I am a garage sale snob.  

I will never forget, being pregnant with HP, The Dude was 15 months old, and going to visit my grandparents in Arizona.  

It was awesome because Grandma was more than happy to get up with The Dude at 6:00 AM while I slept in.  And Grandpa and I were able to go to garage sales (while my grandma showed her great-grandson off to all the other retirement village residents).  

My grandpa had very strict rules that governed over garage sale worthiness.  For instance, if a sale was sloppy, or had poor signage...forget it.  My grandpa wouldn't even grace you with his presence.  He was old school.  You had to take time and effort to set up your sale!  And if your prices were not competitive...look out.  My grandpa could dicker with the best of them.  You wanted $.25 for your old nappy picture frame?  My grandpa would offer $.10.  

He taught me that I should always seek out people/businesses that are willing to make their customers happy.

My grandpa was a maverick (and not in the lame John McCain sort of way).  He was the real deal.  

He taught me life lessons that only now, as a parent, I am starting to be able to appreciate.  

I hope that his life lessons can pay a testament to the time I was blessed to spend with him, while serving as a cyber-diary for my kids when they are grown and are curious about their family.

To be continued...


Mrs4444 said...

Sounds like he was a real treasure...

The Mrs. said...

Grandpas are a treasure, aren't they? My mom's parents passed away before my girls were born, and there are so many times that I think to myself, "I wish my grandpa could have seen them". He would have got the biggest kick out of watching them grow.

Our generation (as well as future generations) has so much to learn from our grandparents - the lives they lived and the things they lived through are beyond what I can wrap my head around some days. I truly believe they were the greatest generation ever.

grandma D said...

He was sooooooo awesome and he was sooooooo proud of you!
I betcha he is smiling RIGHT now!

jen said...

One thing you will be able to appreciate that Swanny Jr (and Peanut to some extent) inherited from their Great-Grandpa (my Grandpa) is his appetite. I'll always remember his knack for the snack, which he shared with me (I was known for stuffing pretzels in my pockets before leaving for home so I wouldn't starve on the one mile drive). Grandpa's non-stop appetite, love of gardening and love of tinkering in the basement and garage will always be treasured memories...My Grandma taught me how to crochet, make home-made applesauce and was always ready with her "pocketbook" to buy up whatever goodies I was selling to raise money for a softball uniform or cheerleading trip. What I love the most now is to see how much my Dad reminds me of my Grandpa in the way he is with Peanut and Swanny Jr. Grandpa always had a handful of change for me to "split with your sister" and now my Dad puts his change bucket out, gives Peanut a sandwich bag and lets her fill it up! Grandparents are so special....