Getting to know Grandpa

My sincere thanks to you for visiting my blog today “Life and Random Thinking”.

Today is blog post #6 in my 8 post challenge before September.

I hope you like it. – David♥


Life is inspiring.

It inspires and teaches and today while reading about farm being a metaphor – this post was created in my mind.

My grandparents on my father’s side were born in the early 1900’s and came from different Norwegian settlements in Saskatchewan. My Grandpa was born in 1914.

Times were tight, farms had big families and jobs were hard to find. These were the years that men travelled the country looking for work.

Grandpa and Grandma survived through the depression years. I asked him about their dates; he said he would save his money until he had a few dollars. When he did he would get the truck and drive to where Grandma lived so he couldtake Grandma to the movies and then they would go to a restaurant and have Denver sandwiches together. (The high life♥)

I thought that was so sweet when he told me that. I bet they were a handsome young couple.

Struggling to make ends meet, and working hard was normal for people and that’s the way it was in the 1930’s.

After they married and started their family Grandpa worked hard at home, on the job and often had his own businesses as well. Grandma was working hard also. She took care of the home, the growing family, growing vegetables, canning, cooking on a wood stove and they didn’t have all modern conveniences on the farm either. No hot tub, more like a path or a bucket in the basement when it was below 40 outside.

When I came along and got to know them as a youngster in the 60’s and 70’s – they were past those hard times but they still worked hard, grew vegetables, canned fruit and never wasted money. I met them when they had lambs and got to bottle feed them while they were still cute and cuddly.

Eventually they left Saskatchewan and moved to BC where Grandpa could grow fruit trees and go fishing in his retirement years and then I could visit them easier without travelling in the back of station wagon for two days reading Archie comics.

What I remember about Grandpa.

Grandpa had an easy chuckle and when he laughed, it was a warm honest sound. I loved hearing it.

It seems that a laugh of his was always just ready to come out, whether he was playing pool with me, on his boat fishing with me, or even as he imagined making a slingshot to shoot pine cones and scare animals out of his garden.

Grandpa had a light heart when I knew him but it came after hard times growing up.

He left me many memories.

A favorite memory is this one. After a heavy rain the ground on the farms near Prince Albert gets soft and like gumbo. If you walk in boots in the mud on the farm after it rains, after a few steps your boots have mud stuck on them, they look like snowshoes and weigh 25 pounds each.

So after it rains, you wait and wait for the ground to absorb the water and dry out. Days sometimes.

After such a rainstorm on the farm and the necessary 3 day drying out period – Grandpa invited me to go for a drive in his biggest tractor. It was tall and had huge wheels as tall as pickup truck roof or higher. Up there in his cab he could listen to the radio and see all around.

Where are you going Grandpa? – I asked.

You’ll see David, (chuckle) – Grandpa spoke and held the big steering wheel in his hands.

The tractor drove out to the road, which was a gravel side road that connected the farms and we drove down it.

A few farms down Grandpa turned and drove out onto a field where a neighbour farmer was standing beside his tractor. The farmer stood there, waved to my Grandpa and we stopped and got out.

The farmer’s tractor had sunk into the ground and was stuck. He couldn’t get out and called Grandpa for a tow.

Grandpa had a thick chain and he hooked it onto his tractor and dragged it over to the sunken one. He wrapped the thick chain around the frame of the smaller tractor and we climbed back up. Up high in the cab Grandpa started his engine.

I can’t remember if the farmer was in his tractor because my eyes were on Grandpa and watching that chain. It became tight and then the big tractor began to bounce. As the big tractor strained and bounced trying to pull on the smaller one out of the mud surprisingly Grandpa began to laugh.

Something got to give, that tractor is going to pop up or break in half! chuckle chuckle

For me it is forever in my mind how Grandpa kept his cool and didn’t sweat the small stuff per se. The tractor was going to jump but he kept the pressure on and the wheels of that big tractor bit into the ground and the bouncing was nerve-wracking up there in the cab.

Would the chain break? Would the other tractor snap in half?

Fortunately the tractor popped out free after what probably only a minute of strain, and probably this was an event that had happened dozens of times.

What happened was going to happen and he was prepared to enjoy the ride and perhaps he just loved the expression on my young face.

Wolf cub salute I am looking spiffy

I miss him and feel fortunate that he moved to BC so I could sit with him and hear his stories of life growing up.

He sincerely loved his all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and enjoyed the simple things of life with a huge genuine sense of what was important because that’s what age teaches; perspective.

My memories of him are of his quick laugh; always at things and not at a person,

He was a man who worked long hours on his farm but knew why he worked, it was for himself and his family.

I know he must have made some mistakes, and had some regrets – he was human after all. Who in their life hasn’t ?

He might have been tough and stern on tomfoolery at times when times were stressful.

But for me as a grandson, I knew him in his later decades and I appreciated how he spoke to me and I enjoyed spending time with him.♥

He may not have known he left a legacy but he did.

Some folks might not think they’ll leave any legacy, or a good one anyway. Don’t sell yourself short. No matter the job, relationship, your IQ, your past or whatever you feel has or hasn’t defined your life, you’re a legacy.

So fix what needs fixin and just love what needs lovin.

Ed and Emma

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
This entry was posted in blogging assignments, Just being creative, Toastmasters and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Getting to know Grandpa

  1. Lovely post/tribute to your grandpa…I miss mine 😊


  2. Jane Fritz says:

    What wonderful and loving memories, David. I love the opening picture of the tractor with the tractor, pumpkins, and Canadian flag. And your story about your grandfather helping a neighbour pull his stuck tractor out of the mud is SOooo familiar. My husband and our farming neighbour had similar experiences together. That’s a great example of farmers always having to be ready for unexpected challenges! 😊 And we eat the results of their labour without giving any of these possible travails a moment’s thought. Great post!


  3. that was heart warming David! They look like a very loving couple and that boy scout salute may mean something else today?


    • dfolstad58 says:

      When I was a wolf cub, that was me, at Sunset Park in East Vancouver it was how we saluted as we sang the dib dib dib dob dob dob in the meeting which meant we will do our best. – Photography always makes ears look bigger I think . LOL – David

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lghiggins says:

    Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man who was rich in family and life experiences. I never knew any of my grandparents. My parents lived through the Depression, and it certainly shaped their lives. “Waste not, want not!” was the necessary rule of the day, and I have carried it on with me.We really do have it easier than they did, but I wonder if we are any happier. Thanks for sharing your family story.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Happy to share it Linda. No I don’t think people are happier now or less happy but definitely more distracted. Certainly health medicine has gone light years in the last 100 years and generations live longer and are getting taller and taller I think. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a lovely tribute to your grandfather, Dave. You’re lucky to have such fond memories and such a strong sense of family. It’s something we all need to cherish these days.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I was fortunate to have spent time with both sets of my grandparents. I grew up in East Vancouver after age 7 so spending time in a small town like Kindersley one summer and then another longish break on the farm were very different. I was too squeamish to try milking and the nights were so dark because of no light pollution. Nice memories. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LA says:

    Lovely tribute!!


  7. Lynn says:

    What a lovely tribute to your grandparents David. I can see the exuberant personality shining through in your Grandpa’s smile! Like you, I was very lucky to be able spend time with my grandparents and learn some of their stories. I wish I had known more but I am ever grateful for the time I shared with them.💕


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Grandpa was fun to chat with and I spent an entire day sitting with him on his sundeck listening to stories once. I wish I had recorded them now. Have a sweet day Lynn♥ It’s Ironman Canada tomorrow here – athletes from everywhere again. They start the swim 6:30 am tomorrow – I want to be there for the cannon. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  8. chattykerry says:

    What great memories and I love the photo – so Canadian! That said, it sounds like you are half Norwegian?


  9. I love this David, we’re around the same age and my memories of my grandparents are much the same. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful tribute to our beloved grands! Touched my heart. Hugs, C


  10. Darlene says:

    What wonderful memories. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man and I love the photo of him and your grandmother. I also have fond memories of my grandparents.


  11. An Audience of One says:

    What a lovely post to a man that sounds incredible. Those memories are so precious! Loved your statement at the end that he may not have known he was leaving a legacy, but he was!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s