My Grandfather was the kind of man that you don't hear about anymore. He built
and repaired furniture in a building out back that he built himself, in fact he made some of his own tools.  All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have loved gardening, nature, and the outdoors. Today I was looking at an old photo (see the photo above).  It was a picture of my parents and me in my grandparents yard. In the photo I am just a baby. I hate to give away my age but the photo was from the very early 1950’s. That yard is where I first saw beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, all created and planted by my grandfather. He was an artist, he painted beautiful landscapes. Paintings that looked so real that you actually imagined being right there. Right in the painting, standing under the tree or next to the stream. The painting that I have by him is one of my most treasured possessions. It’s a painting of an old dirt road winding into the woods. When I look at the painting I sometimes imagine that I am walking down that road, trying not to stumble over the ruts that the wagon and auto wheels made. When he applied the paint to that canvas, maybe seventy-five years ago, could he have ever imagined that one day his grandson would proudly display the painting in his home? I doubt it. But who’s to say for sure?

I do not know, but I think what he was most proud of was being a gardener. My grandfather made beautiful gardens. As with his other talents, he was a self taught gardener. No big library of books, no fancy tools, he just knew how to be a gardener.

I remember watching him, following him, going from one flower to the next. From one garden to the next. I was just a small boy but I remember filling up watering cans and watering some of the flowers. I remember the tin cup he had in the garden to drink from. I can even remember the strange metallic taste of that tin cup when I put it to my lips. It’s funny how those memories are coming back to me now.

He died when I was very young, but I wonder if somehow he knows that I still think about those things. Who’s to say for sure?

Do any of you ever remember things like that?  I hope you do.

The next time I look at the painting of his that I have, the painting of the dirt road winding into the woods, I am again going to imagine walking down that road. Only this time I am going to imagine that my grandfather and my dad are down the winding road, just around the next bend, waiting for me. Maybe they are. Who’s to say for sure?

Best wishes, Rick