View Full Version : Sage advice from a simple man

01-02-2012, 11:48 AM
As 2011 came winding to a close I found myself doing a lot of reflective thinking. Something about closing out the old and issuing in the new. I had the opportunity to sit down with my 90 year old grandfather between the holidays and just talk.

My grandfather is a simple man. He has always been my compass...that person in my life that I can always turn to for a hug, advice, a kind word and when needed, the kick in the britches that I deserve on occasion. This conversation though..well it just seemed different. It was deeper, something wholly unexpected and wonderful at the same time.

We shared a couple of bowls of homemade chowder and some birch beer. An ice cold Narragansett would have been preferred by both of us...but doctor's orders say birch or root are the only types of beer he can savor for a while. We talked about life, money, family, politics and most importantly priorities.

He told lots of the old stories about his time growing up as a child. How little they had...but how the most simple things brought lots of joy to everyone in the family. His stint in the military...marrying my grandmother and the 2 of them moving away to start a new life without a plan, bankroll or most importantly any doubt that they wouldn't succeed. He spoke about how he traveled for weeks on end for work and often came home feeling like a stranger in his own home. He often felt like he had to re-introduce himself to his wife and son...just finally catching up on all that he missed and then heading back out the door.

I wonder how many smiles, laughs, moments I have missed because I have been staring at a computer screen, a cell phone reading an email or just focusing on future work items instead of basking in the moment...I don't like to think about it.

He asked me..."Kid, how are you doing? Been fishing? Haven't heard any tales lately?" "Not lately" was my response. I had to admit...I haven't been fishing, or tying flies. Frankly I have been so wrapped up in becoming something else that I realize I kind of forgotten who I am. His response to my admission that I haven't been fishing or tying flies? The forum appropriate term would be horse dung...but he choose to use the much more colorful version and made sure to emphasize the point.

A lot more was said, tales were told and advice given....the most important of which didn't really hit me until a day or two later. I am never going to finish everything on the to do list...there will always be another phone call for work or email that needs responding. Another wall that needs paint and a leaf to be raked. But my kids are growing fast, I am getting older by the day and what is really important at the end of the day? The time spent with family and friends just being...being yourself..not worrying about what you think you should be. Stop trying to fit in family and friends because of work and instead...have work fit in around family and friends.

The time came to pack the car and head home....and as I walked towards the door, he said quite distinctly.."I love you....and do me a favor? Do as I say...not as I did...."

So 2012 is a new year. A clean slate and my resolution for this year? To do my best to honor his request.

I just bought my 2012 fishing license and spent last night in the basement with my boys. I tied some flies, they were playing with some of their new toys from Christmas. But we were together, laughing...telling stories and well...just connecting. My cell phone? Upstairs in a drawer....and work...well that can wait until January 3rd. I am off to the movies with my wife and boys...have a great day everyone.

Thanks Gramp.

01-02-2012, 06:36 PM
Nice story could'nt have said it any better than that.

01-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Good on you.

Lone Wulff
01-02-2012, 09:50 PM
Very Nicely said. Mind if I take your grandfathers's advice too? Work gets in the way of life far too often.

01-03-2012, 12:00 AM
In a world of full of background noise.....sometimes less is more.
Simple truths from a sagely fellow.

01-03-2012, 08:30 AM
Very Nicely said. Mind if I take your grandfathers's advice too? Work gets in the way of life far too often.

Absolutely...glad you guys liked the tale. I think I am beginning to truly understand the idea of less is more.

05-22-2012, 01:37 PM
so how you doing staying on track hope there is fishing trip in the near future.

12-13-2012, 01:39 PM
I have been off the track in the sense that I have been neglecting this board for the last 10 months...but time well spent. I "downgraded" my cell phone, I took the email off of it...now it is just a phone. Work is during scheduled blocks of time and for the most part I have stuck to that plan. I have been coaching my sons' sports teams and spent the summer on the baseball diamond with my oldest and bbq'ing every weekend with friends. There have been some fishing trips, unfortunately not the annual run to the Salmon River for Steelhead, but we booked it for late spring 2013....but a lot of time drowning worms with my little guy catching bluegills and pumpkinseeds and tossing a streamer or 2 around for a bass. Not a bad year at all and the best part, in a week I get to sit down with grandfather, some chowder, a birch beer and just trade stories.