My grandpa is the typical older man born in the 40’s who still believes in 1940’s ideals and customs. He is strong and silent and has worked his butt off for every penny that he has earned in his life. He started as a farmer from birth with his dad which was just a small family farm with a few animals and a couple of acres that surrounded the house. When he married my grandma at 19 he rented his land and worked in a tile mill until he could buy his first piece of land. From then on he worked hard for everything he has and has built an empire. He is the hardest working man I know and I have more respect for him than anyone in this world. One of the greatest things as a kid was going to spend the week at grandma and grandpa’s house. To this day I still cherish the days that I get to spend with both of my grandparents.
I spent today going to my grandpa’s favorite restaurant where he spends every morning with his friends talking about the latest tractor auctions, barn sales and the weather. He is completely in his element there in this little small town deli, everyone knows his name, where he sits and just what Pete will order, a cheese omelet. He’s a man of few words so when he does speak everyone listens. I made cookies especially for him, sugar free with oatmeal and chocolate chip, and he ate 7 of them until his stomach hurt. Which he kept reminding us of thought the afternoon, but hearing this only makes me happy. Making my grandparents laugh and smile makes me incredibly happy. They are such a big part of my life and are so important to me.
While my grandpa has his routines and can usually be found one of four places. The place he truly belongs is in his fields. For a man who has gone from renting 10-15 acres to owning and farming 1750+ acres he still continues to work as if he’s a poor farmer with a young family at the ripe young age of 75. This man will work until the day he passes and he returns to the earth that he has so graciously cared for throughout all his years. His fields are where he knows everything and where the world is the same as what he has known for the past 75 years. Today we got to go out into the fields and pick what may have been the last couple of ears of sweet corn of the year. One of my favorite foods of the summer and one of my greatest and most cherished childhood memories. I love being able to see my grandpa in his atmosphere, where he belongs. Doctors believe my grandpa has early on sets of dementia which is one of the hardest things to accept after losing my grandma to Alzheimer’s just over a year ago. These are the moments I cherish and how I want to remember my grandpa forever. The man who has worked for every single thing that he has in his life and doesn’t for a second take anything for granted. The strongest, hardest working man I know, that’s a man.
“Read about a man who said his family had been farming the same land in Ohio for over 100 years. Felt like he’d paid for it ten times over with his own blood, his own sweat, and his own tears. If he had to he’d be out there on that tractor working seven long, hot days a week. Yeah, he’s the kind of man that people get real quiet when he stands up in a church to speak. They know when he speaks. Oh, that’s a man. That’s a stand tall, walk straight put God’s share in the collection plate man. Oh, that’s a man.”-Jack Ingram