My Grandpa is a go-getter as a tall, tan and balding man.

    My Grandpa is a go-getter as a tall, tan and balding man. He is in great shape because he does not like to sit down or rest until the evening. When he is done with the day, he is ready to relax and watch the news on TV.  He is usually dressed in baggy clothes and sneakers.  The first thing he will tell you is the sale he got on his shirt at the local K-Mart store and how comfy it is.     

    He doesn’t splurge much but when he does, he’s proud of it. His splurges include his Harley Davidson leather billfold and the occasional good pair of jeans he will get at the local men’s store. Having to work hard for his money his whole life, he is thrifty and spends it wisely. Two words that help describe him are ambitious and witty.

    Ambitious is the first word I would use to describe my Grandpa. He came from a family of twelve siblings and worked on a farm his whole growing up years. He never finished high school because he had to work on the farm.  For his generation, helping on the farm to provide for the family was a priority over going to school.  He joined the Army and became a cook.      

    For his first job after the Army, he wanted to get promoted but he needed a high school diploma.  He got his GED and was then able to get the promotion.  My Grandpa taught himself how to play the accordion.  Because of his responsibilities on the farm, he wasn’t able to play an instrument in high school. He cannot read music but is able to listen to songs and then learns how to play them. 

    My ambitious Grandpa has made at least three records with his music, which is mainly polka and waltz.  He does play a lot of country music now too, so playing music seems to be his “retirement” job. He sometimes plays up to three or four times a week, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider him retired. Music definitely relaxes him.  He could talk about his music and play for hours on end. One of my favorite memories of him is when we went to watch him and he started to talk to us when he was on stage.  There was a big crowd of people but he didn’t care.  He just kept on talking like it was just him and us in the room and asked about our day or what we were doing later on that night. 

    He also doesn’t seem to have a filter and has no shame in saying things that are funny but not very appropriate. He isn’t as good of a listener as he is a talker.   

     Witty is the second word I would use to describe my Grandpa. My Grandpa can fix just about anything including cars, tractors, or something as simple as a table. He is a handyman and will tinker with something until he figures out a way to fix it. If you need a creative idea for something, he would be my first choice for someone to go to.  When I was little I remember him saying quite often, “She’s no dummy,” to my parents about me. 

    My favorite time was when we were working on a tractor together and getting ready to go for a ride. My mom said that it was not the best idea that I’d be out there working with him and he turns and looks her straight in the face with the biggest grin and the famous, “She’s no dummy.” He would say this to help with my self-confidence. He knew how stressful growing up was and knew it could always put a smile on my face.  

    Besides fixing anything and everything, another thing he loves to talk about is the grocery store and the deals he gets on the food he buys.  Step by step he would go through his procedure on how he cooked the meal.    

     My Grandma died before I was born and she had been the one who had done all of the cooking. Cooking is a new found hobby my grandpa enjoys.

    The biggest lesson I have learned from my grandpa is to enjoy everything you do in life. My grandpa has the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone if they asked him for help.  He would not only do it but he would also enjoy it since he loves to help people. For example, when my mom was a child, he would go and mow the elderly neighbor’s lawn.  

    Because he came from such a large family with very little money, I believe this has helped him appreciate and enjoy life and everything he has now even more. 

    He is an amazing inspiration with how he was able to teach himself how to play the accordion, without ever having a music lesson.  He had the drive to learn and now music is one of the most important things in his life.  He seems to find the joy in everything and lives life to the fullest. 

    My Grandpa is definitely the type of person who would say a glass is half full, not half empty.  I can’t remember a time my Grandpa was not smiling or laughing. The joy and energy he has inspires everyone around him.