Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Put It In Second

This morning as I was attempting to navigate down my steep freshly snow covered mountain hill, I heard my grandfathers voice in my head--"Put it in second, Mandy."  My grandfather has been telling me to put my car in second gear to go down my hill for as long as I've been driving, it holds the car back so I don't have to rely on the brakes as much.

Over the years my grandfather has offered up all sorts of valuable information. Things like:

Never buy an extended warranty. (The original warranty is long enough, if it breaks after that fix it or buy a new one, things today aren't built to last like they used to be.)

Never buy a brand new car. (They depreciate in value as soon as you drive them off the lot.)

Don't pay someone for something you can do yourself.  (The man is 73 and has never paid to have his oil changed.)

Change your wiper blades twice a year. (He noticed the last time he rode with me that I didnt follow this one too well.)

It can always be fixed. (Regardless of what it is, there is always a way to repair it, even if it means making a a new part.)

Thats what Grandpap's are for. (Usually said to me after either fixing my car, helping me figure my way out of a problem, or just getting my grandma off my back about the fact that I'm not  married or with child.)

While I appreciate him for all the gems he's passed along, one of the biggest reasons I love him is for what he doesn't say. If I've ever disappointed him, he's never voiced it. If he's ever disagreed with a big decision I've made, he's never told me what I should have done. I know by his sly smile he tries to hide when I've done or said something that amuses him. I know he's proud of me by the way he stands with his shoulders back and the look in his eyes, the way they crinkle at the sides behind his glasses.

He brought me an Incredible Green Hulk sucker when I was five and had the chicken pox, because he knew that I favored the Green Hulk over the Easter Bunny. We used to spend hours at the dam and along the river looking for tennis or golf balls, I don't know why but I loved those moments. After Sunday dinner at my great grandmas house he would take my brother and I to the "beach" (which was just a gravely area along the river) to teach us how to skip stones. During my early childhood, when I spent the night, he would take me to get an ice cream cone at this little shop and let me get two scoops even though he knew I couldn't finish it. He sat through countless dance recitals, plays, honorary inductions, and graduations for me. When I went to college he never complained about lugging furniture or carrying boxes up flights of stairs to my dorm room on the top floor. Once when he found out I was throwing a party when my parents were out of town, he gave me a jug of some alcoholic concoction he'd made, telling me to "go easy" on it and have a good time. He winks at me and laughs when I ask him what he wants to drink then bring him a beer without waiting for the answer because I know my house is one of the few places he'll actually drink one. He calls me when he wants to look something up on the internet or to request that I make him peanut brittle.

I've never had to seek his approval, I just know I've always had it--steadfast and unwavering.

He's the reason I slip the car into second gear when driving down my hill on snowy days.


39 comments:

Katie said...

Your grandfather sounds pretty near perfect. I've never had a grandfather around, but I'm writing down the advice yours gave you (unfortunately, I do need someone to change my oil--crap must make appointment) because I needed it.

Drive safe in the snow. :)

jnyfritz said...

i LOVE it! you are so very lucky to have a grandfather like that, can he adopt me as well, i need new brake pads...just kidding!

walkingwithnora.com said...

Oh, Mandy. I'm in near tears at my desk... in a good way! How sweet is this entire post!? What a special bond you two have. I want to adopt him, k?

Elle Bee... said...

Aw. You and "grandpap" are so cute. It's so wonderful that you have such a great relationship.

Frank said...

Your grandfather is awesome. My grandpa has always offered advice, but it's never been quite as useful. Usually it's sage gems of wisdom like:

"Don't use that phone, it only answers in Spanish."

or

"Basketball, huh? Try out for the girls' team, you'll have better luck."

lbluca77 said...

Aaaww how cute is your grandpa?? Very sound advice. Grandpas are the best.

Kyla Roma said...

Oh my goodness, so sweet! Love this!

My grandpa is totally adorable too- his biggest thing is that I should "Take it slow, do what I want, have fun and don't rush!"

And also that I need to invest in gold, or I'll never become wealthy lol

He's my grandnpa AND a stock broker, what can I say?

Ray said...

aren't grandpas the very best?? I have a very similar grandpa in my life...who fills my tires up with air every time I visit :)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

This is so great. I love this post - and the photo at the end!! Sounds like you have an awesome relationship with your grandpa :)

P said...

Your grandfather sounds like a great guy! This post made me smile, and I needed that today, so thanks. :)

emily-jane.net said...

Oh, I just love this post! It made me think of all the things my nan taught me. It's funny how things you're told when you're seven years old stay with you for life. Like "a good cook never leaves any mix in the bowl", or "put toilet paper down the toilet first if you don't want to make a noise", or "don't be scared of thunder, it's only clouds banging together". Not sure about that last one, but I sure believed it for a good ten years :)

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

this makes me happy and sad all at once.

happy because im glad you have such a good relationship with your grandpa but sad that i never got to meet either of mine...

Erica said...

Aw - this is so sweet. I hope you'll consider giving your grandfather a copy of this post.

My grandparents died when I was still fairly young, and I wish I would have had the chance to have an adult relationship with them. I realize now how much I appreciate the things they did and how many questions I wish I could still ask them. It would be great for yours to really know how much he means to you.

RebeccaC said...

You're making my heart swell. What a wonderful story about an obviously wonderful man.

My grandfathers both passed before I got to know them, but my great-uncle sounds alot like your grandpap...I loved him very much. Of course, your grandpap also sounds alot like my Dad...its nice that he's sort of served as both for you. You're very lucky!

rootsandrings said...

First timer to your blog and what a FANTASTIC post!! I love it!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Your grandfather sounds like a wise man. And if I know anything about you, it's no wonder you appreciate his role and place in your life.

Little Fish said...

Too cute, I love it!! This was a great post and you are a very lucky girl.

I miss my Grandpa very much. He was great too.

Katelin said...

this is such a cute post and i totally agree about the windshield blades, i feel like i'm getting mine changed all the time, haha.

willtherebecake said...

Your grandpa sounds a lot like my grandpa! Even though they're probably nothing alike, the relationships is the same. Love it!

quarter-life lady. said...

This is great. Makes me wish I had a grandfather. That's okay...I've already learned so much from yours!

MeLaNiE said...

Your grandfather sounds great! Glad you took his advice!

gemmy from the block said...

my dad is tells me to put it in second too...lol.
you're very lucky to have such a great grandpap! i never got to know my grandparents...only 1 of them was around when i was born and she passed 12 years ago. i would have loved to have them around, though!

thatShortChick said...

you are very lucky to have such a wonderful man as your grandfather :)

I've never had a grandfather (my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born and I know nothing about my maternal grandfather) so I love love love hearing people's stories abpout their own.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love this post. :) It reminds me of my grandpa, who passed in February. I miss him so much. He was such a great man - I am so lucky to have had him in my life for so many years. I basically spent every day w/ him when I was a child since his shop where he re-built engines was next to our house. Out of all the grandkids, I got to spend the most time with him.

One thing he'd always tell me is "Lisa, be careful, there are alot of jerks out there." It kind of sounds pessimistic, but it was his way of telling me to hold onto my heart until I found someone truely worthy! When he met my last boyfriend - he gave him the firm handshake and said, - 'you better be good to this one, she's one of my favorites!'

Grandpas are the best. We are so lucky to have had such wonderful men in our lives!!

thegirlin3k said...

Beautiful. You are so lucky to have such wonderful memories of your grandfather. Made me tear up.

Bayjb said...

What a great post. I love hearing what he's taught you and why. There are so many good lessons! I love the picture of you guys too. What a great role model and guy :)

Pam said...

What an awesome post - your
Grandfather will be busting with pride when he reads this. It sounds like he is an amazing man.

raeleighjo/bigskygirlmt said...

love this, mandy. i wish i had the relationship with my papa that you do. awesome, sister!

walkingonsunshine18 said...

First of all, your grampa is soooo cute! He looks so happy!
Secondly, I think that this is a great list of knowledgable things that you've learned over the years... you're really lucky to have such a great grandfather!

Auburn Kat said...

HA! I definitely don't follow a lot of those rules! =)

Elizabeth Marie said...

Oh wow...made me cry! My grandpa is the MOST important person in my life, and you are so right-for all the things he gets on me about, there are so many things he doesn't say.

You are blessed to have such a wonderful man in your life and such an awesome relationship.

michellewoo said...

I need to study this advice! What a great man. What a wonderful post.

Adventures In China said...

I love your grandpa! What a beautiful tribute to a great man.

I am going to follow his advice. And yes, stay safe in your snowyland!

Cate said...

He sounds like an awesome person to have in your corner. One of my grandfather died before I was born, the other when I was just a few years old. Neither grandmothers are with us anymore. You're very lucky to have such a treasure!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

aw, love this. Man I ALWYAS hire someone if its easier. cause i'm lazy like that. lol.

amanda said...

oh my gosh, how adorable!

i love your pop pop and i never met him.

you have this incredible way to make me feel like i'm always right there with you, and you've done it again!

your grandfather sounds like such a smart man...especially the whole thing about not paying someone for something you can do yourself. amen!! i'll never understand cleaning services for as long as i live. . .

ps, ummm...HECK YES to our potential meet up. it so better happen.

Erin said...

Mandy, this is so beautiful and so sweet! You are lucky to have such an awesome grandpap...and he is lucky to have you. :)

Katie said...

oh mandy, this made me teary! this post reminded me of my grandmother -- i miss her every single day.

so glad you have someone so wonderful in your life!

Leah said...

I just absolutely adored this post. I'm not overly close with my grandpa, but I am with my grandma and I think having a close relationship with any grandparents is a huge blessing.