Today is my grandpa's birthday. He was the best grandpa a kid could have. He was in the army during World War II. He was a JAG driver and also drove for General Douglas MacArthur in Australia. When he was discharged from the army, he drove a tanker for Texaco and worked for them until he retired. He was a wonderful husband who took good care of my grandmother who was a stay-at-home mom. However, when I was a kid, those weren't the things I thought about when I thought of my grandpa.
He was the kind of man who really understood kids. My grandparents lived out in the country. It was always an adventure to go to their house. We spent a lot of time with them on summer vacations and holidays. Grandpa would play croquet, badminton, fly kites and take us for rides on his tractor. Even if it was a work day, he was never too tired to play when he got home.
He could fix things and build things. He had a shop in his garage and built birdhouses and did other woodworking projects. He built a frame for the first painting that I had in a show. He was an artist himself. He showed us (his 3 granddaughters) how to draw animals. He had to go to work at a very young age to help his family, so he didn't pursue a career in art. I have a painting in my living room that he did of 3 horses. He was only 13 years old when he painted it. I love it. His father was an artist, too. He did amazing creations in wood as a hobby. I'm not sure they were aware of how talented they were. I don't think they considered themselves artists. It was just something they did.
I miss them. I wish they were still here, so I could tell them.
Happy Birthday, Grandpa! I love you and I love you, too, Grandma!
P. S. Jim is working on some shelves for the computer room. He just turned to me and said, "It's always harder in real life than it is on television." I think he wishes you were here right now, too, Grandpa.