Sunday, November 2, 2014

30 Days: Thoughts of a Future Farmer Day 2

Held to a Higher Standard

Today's blog post is dedicated to my grandpa.  It's a sort of "Thankful Sunday Morning."  This amazing man was born in July of 1925, grew up in Jasper, IN, was a yell-leader in high school(and still today from the stands), and served in Iwo Jima during War II.  Upon his return after the war, he began working in the furniture industry, and met my late grandmother.  The countless accomplishments of this man have taught me a lot.  I haven't gone to elaborate, but I assure you there are many. 

My whole upbringing, "mamaw and papaw" as they always have been , and always will be called, were a very active part of my life (grandma and grandpa to most).  We were always close, but it was not until my grandmother passed away in 2011 that I began to develop the bond with this amazing man that I have today.  When he retired in 2004, or thereabout, he began feeding the squirrels, deer, etc., on a nature path in town called the "River Walk" (appropriately named as it goes along the Patoka River).  Oftentimes during the summer I could go along... It was a strange idea to me to just put out corn for the animals to eat, however, he did this until spring of 2014.  For five years at least, I went with him every time we picked up corn, that way someone was there to carry the corn down the steps.  It is just something we always did together. 

When I look at my life, I view it as a long-term mission, and that is what I attribute to why I cannot look at it as "living for today."  There are many people in my life that hold me to a higher standard, and this man is one. (he's in the grey sweatshirt)
During my senior year of high school, as a result of his years of dedication to community service, civic duty, and support of local groups like our athletic teams and band, he was awarded the Key to the City of Jasper.  It was funny because just before this game started, he was telling the mayor about some shrubs that needed removed because you couldn't see to turn off my road, and they were in violation of city code (it was quite hilarious).

Grandpa has a number of sayings that helped shape how I live.  One thing he was told in the Service, "Look to your right.  Now look to your left.  The people beside you don't have to do anything more or less than you do.  Nobody is better than the other.  We're here to do a job.  If you screw up, their lives are in your hands."  He always told me what makes people stand out is what they do when you only have to do so much.  It's about choosing to go above and beyond.  Many people go to college and get lost in the things they "could do" because nobody is watching.  I look at it differently.  I go home on a weekend and stop at papaw's house, or he comes for Sunday dinner, and I know that he's going to ask how things are at school, and I better not say, "Well, I'm flunking because of......"  He taught me that when I'm going to do something that I need to be driven and take action. 

I'm not saying that without him I wouldn't be who I am today, however, I'm just glad I have him to look to as a role model, go to for counsel, and who holds me to a higher standard.  I hope everyone else has someone like this in their life.  

This picture is from before senior prom with my now-fiancee.

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