My grandpa is one of the few heroes in my life. I’ve admired him for as long as I can remember, since way back when I used to be the bat-boy at his softball games. He’s a soft-spoken man, a man who taught middle school math and science for 39 years….yeah, that’s a long time. I always enjoy staying with my grandparents when I come back to my hometown of Sacramento, California. This time through, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside my grandpa on his magnificent property for the past month.
Here’s a short list of traits that I’ve observed in my “Gramps.” The young people of my generation would do well to take notes and learn from one of the best people I know.
1. Handyman Skills – Gramps continues to blow my mind with his handyman skills. This grandpa can build anything, fix anything, and solve any problem. If I tried to tackle one of his projects by myself, I would have to spend hours researching online, drawing up plans, and probably making a lot of mistakes.
2. Ingenuity – This is a necessary ingredient for any serious problem solving. Example: Gramps and Grams got rid of their truck and upgraded to a pair of fuel-efficient Toyota Prius-es. Gramps needed to haul some oversize gas cans to the gas station, so what was his solution? He turned his Prius into a “Prius-truck” and got the job done.
3. Hard Work – In an age where so many young people(including myself) are determined to “find their passion” and “enjoy what they do,” Gramps’ work ethic truly sets him apart. Just as he did during his 39-year teaching career, he still busts his butt to keep things going around the house. He’ll crawl under any deck or don a pair of waders to get in and fix his pond. Seriously, I’ve had trouble keeping up with him, and he’s almost three times my age!
4. Adaptation – I can confidently say that my Gramps is the coolest grandpa out there. Think I’m biased? He’s got a Kindle, a laptop, he uses Wi-Fi, he’s an active Facebook user, he text messages, and he checks his email at the dinner table! I am constantly astonished at the way he embraces new technology. But that’s not to say he’s a reckless spender. He’s a very frugal man. He still has wheel polish from the 1960′s in his garage!
5. Enjoying Life’s Simple Pleasures – Last but most, Gramps possesses the ability to stop and enjoy the simple things in life. He can settle down from a long day of fixing things, working hard, using his brain, and checking his email, in order to enjoy a tasty slushy mixed with soda and a little pecan pie.
Obviously, I’m pretty proud of my Grandpa, and I know there’s a lot I can learn from his example. I hope that when I reach his stage in life that my children and grandchildren will look back and admire the way I’ve lived my life.
Think about your grandparents or someone you really admire. What are one or two traits you’ve learned from observing them that the rest of us should know about?