Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for:

-Mark having a job/boss that doesn’t hesitate to let him put family first, and take off work with no notice.   Also, for technology that allows for both of us to keep up on work emails etc even when we are clear across the state.  

-That I can send a text to my Aunt asking if we can stay with them for an unknown length of time with only a few hours notice.

-But mostly I’m thankful for memories!

Pretty sure he’s talking about the belt buckle he won me when I was maybe 2…you couldn’t be around him for 2 minutes without him telling the story.  I still have the buckle…it makes me smile every time I see it! 

My Grandpa passed away last Thursday, and while it was time, and we are all somewhat ready for it, it’s also hard to see what others are going through in the aftermath.  That sounds so dramatic, but really it’s just the business of closing accounts, making arrangements at the funeral home, and a million other little things.

While things with Grandpa had become unpleasant at the end I’m really thankful to have a lifetime of memories to hold close to my heart.

He was always so much fun, and growing up we always had his full attention when we visited.  He would go to great lengths making sure we had a good time!  He built a race track around their (huge!) garden with jumps and bumps for the dirt bikes, and when all the grand kids were in town  we’d have both dirt bikes, the tractor(s) going, and grandpa pulling us in the wooden wagon and stagecoach he built himself.  There always seemed to be a ton of bikes, scooters, and other random wheeled devices for us to zoom around and around the house, and race across the back patio area. 

I remember many hours spent fishing with him baiting hooks and taking fish off of hooks just as fast as he could, never getting to fish himself.  Visiting their house was always such an adventure, there was so much property and a garden that you cold get lost in, with several sheds and outbuildings full of fun to be had.  There was just so much space to run and play, and Grandpa always made sure there was stuff for us to play with, and half the time was playing right along with us.

I think the memory I will hold most dear to my heart though are the hot summer nights we spent sleeping on the back patio under the willow tree.  He would blow up every air mattress he could find and we would lay out there way too late talking, laughing, looking at stars, listening to him and Grandma tell stories with the willow tree swaying in the breeze.  It’s probably why I love willow trees to this day!

I know Sky won’t remember, but I’m so thankful that she got to enjoy Grandpa before things got bad.  The last time we talked he hugged me as we were saying goodbye and he said, “I have to live a lot longer, I have to see what Sky’s going to do, she’s so special and is going to change the world”. 

This is how I’ll always remember him, outside, active, having fun with his grand kids and great grand kids, with a big smile on his face!

You will be missed Grandpa Carl.  

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