• Sage advice from a simple man....

    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.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sage advice from a simple man.... started by samhall View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. JPSierraGuy's Avatar
      JPSierraGuy -
      Thank you for sharing such an important story. I know so many who are losing so much because they are chasing the wrong dream. If you lose everything you are working for then whats the use? Ive been there, Ive seen it. I watched my older brother live it until he was suddenly killed and left behind a family aching for just one moment from him. He now has to look down and watch from afar and reflect on the lost moments that would now mean everything to him.
      Powerful words and wisdom in your story. I will pass it on to those who need a little "knock" before the door closes.
      Thank you again. Powerful words for a lifetime!
    1. heathcote's Avatar
      heathcote -
      Great! this is how growing old gracefully is. It is amazing how after thirty years of growing the yingens start to talk the same way as us oldies. Values are not interchangable, the priorities remain the same: no one can do without water, to drink or for recreation. anglers are indispensible to keep the balance.
      Good on yer mate!