Wayback Wednesday – Grandpa and Me

img116 Yesterday, August 4, was my grandpa’s birthday.  He was born in 1908 and died in 1996.  This Wayback Wednesday photo was taken in 1990 of the two of us.  He was 82 years old and I was a recent college graduate.

We were from different generations, liked different music, had different ideas about life, and were far apart in our ages. Yet we got along very well and had some amazing conversations.  For that, I am really and truly thankful.

I still miss him and wish he could have met my husband and my son.  I think he would have liked both of them and would have been great to talk to.  Ian was born the year he would have been 99 years old, had he lived that long.

I loved his stories and talking with him.  I also love how much he loved my grandmother.  He also loved his children, their spouses, and all of his grandchildren.  He taught me a lot about the importance of family, the love of writing, and the amazing gift and talent of storytelling.

POD_March.6_Chair-Our family has grown a lot since his passing and that of my grandmother as well.  So many new and wonderful people have been born and have been growing up ever since.

I know he would loved each and every one of them.  I only wish he could have known them.  Thankfully this summer, our family was able to be together and continue his legacy.

Here is another picture of the two of us when we were both much younger.  This was a special outfit that I was wearing.  I have loved wearing hats for years and this may have been when that love began.

As you know, Grandpa and his stories are the inspiration for this blog and for much of my writing.  As I continue to write, I find many of my writings are similar to what he used to do.  That makes me smile.

He was an amazing writer and educator.  He did a lot for people.  And, he and my grandmother bought the beach house that we all still enjoy today.  I am glad to have known him as long as I did.

Some of my favorite memories of Grandpa are:

  • Sitting on his lap for storytime
  • Being taken on a ride with Willie The Elf and his adventures
  • His regular breakfast of a soft-boiled egg, toast, and prunes
  • Discussions in his front room while doing laundry
  • His advice and counsel on a variety of topics
  • His teeth in a jar at night
  • Schatzi, the precious Miniature Schnauzer with floppy ears
  • His many characters
  • “Madam, you may draw your own conclusions.”
  • “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”
  • Candy canes on a cabin
  • His sunbathing spot behind the house
  • Watching him write at his typewriter
  • His seat in the living room, which was right next to Grandma’s seat
  • Stories of the cabin and making pancakes there
  • Holding hands each evening with his wife, my grandmother
  • His voice and inflections as he told a favorite story
  • His cane and white shoes
  • The blue front room
  • His love of opera and reading
  • The pool and the large front yard

In Grandpa’s honor, I want to close with “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”  This phrase and his many stories taught me well to always be on a quest for knowledge, to rely on your loved ones, and to find a way to make the best of your life.

SRP.28_Patti.Dick.and.Artha.1986

Path To Willie’s Cabin

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and happy Thursday.  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to post a photo from years ago of Ian walking on the pathway to Willie’s Cabin.

Well, at least this was the place that my grandfather told us that our elf friend Willie lived.  He was the character trying to figure out where rainbows come from.  On his quest, Willie always got into trouble and needed his friends to help him get back home again.

Grandpa would end the stories with Willie arriving back home and pulling candy canes off the trees to give to the children.  Then as they drove away, he would scratch his head and say, “I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From.”

I so loved his story telling ability.  He was amazing with the words he used, the visual pictures, the inflections in his voice, and his love of this character.  I felt honored and still do to have known Willie.  Thanks Grandpa for this amazing gift.

My mother and her siblings went to a cabin near this location many years while growing up.  They, their parents (my grandparents, and other friends and family enjoyed spending time there.  It was a favorite activity of the family and we have always heard stories about it.  The property is now a federal park and is still well-preserved.  The memories linger and we visit when we can.

On this particular day when we went walking, Ian wanted to find Willie’s cabin.  Knowing there probably was no such thing, we were stunned to actually find a small cabin.  I cried happy tears at the gift again from Grandpa.  Ian was thrilled beyond belief.  You see, he loves the Willie stories as much as I do, and was so excited to see where he lived.

To my parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins, and the next generation, I am honored to have listened to these stories with all of you and to have shared all that we have.  Love to you all.  Grandpa (and Grandma), you are loved and truly missed.  Your stories will live on.

I too wonder as Willie does about so many things and am on a quest to learn more.  And I am thankful for those who help me along the way.