Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy birthday, G-Daddy!

Today is my darling Grandad's birthday. It's a big 'un...one of those once-in-a-decade birthdays that ends in a zero. I won't call him out on the great wide internet, but it's the decade one encounters between one's sixties and one's eighties. I teach math twice a day, so if you're lost, call me. We'll chat.

Top 10 Things That Make Grandad Awesome (in no particular order whatsoever)

1. He's one of the wisest people I've ever known. Seriously. Ask him anything...he probably knows it. If he doesn't, he'll make it up real quick so you'll never know the difference.

2. He whistles through his teeth. As someone who can't whistle at all, even if my life depended on it, I'm in awe of this. I wish he would make me a CD of whistled tunes.

3. He has a fabulous sense of humor. I love it...sarcastic, but without being a smart-alec. When he's sick (though I don't like when he's sick), I love to ask him how he's doing and hear him answer, "Mostly okay...you know, just dangling on the edge of the eternity. Most other people would be in the ground if they were this sick." Love it.

4. When he's not whistling, he's singing old hymns. Never the whole thing, mind you, just bits and pieces. I love to hear him sing. He could add some hymns to that "Grandad's Greatest Hits" CD.

5. He likes "Gone with the Wind" a whole lot...maybe even more than me, and that's a feat. We do have differing views on its length. I think it's perfect the way it is, and he thinks it should be over at intermission. After all, the war is over at intermission, and really, isn't the war why we watch it? No? We sometimes quote lines together. When someone compliments Mimi on something, Grandad likes to chime in with Prissy's, "Well, it was mostly me." Drives Mimi crazy, but it makes me smile.

6. He is a family-tree-tracing guru. His father (who I never met) wrote several books on our family history, and Grandad has picked up where PawPaw left off. Grandad has done mucho research and, although my head starts swimming with all the names and dates, I'm trying to get him to teach me as much as he can. It's a fun way to spend time with him.

7. He loves, loves history, and he knows pretty much everything of any importance that's ever happened in the world (or something like that...see #1). He's taught me so much about the history of our country and, particularly, the South. I wonder if I could talk him into going to one of those Civil War re-enactments with me. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

8. The man is a cemetery junkie...the older and more overgrown, the better. He loves to visit old family folks he remembers, and I like to hear the stories he tells about them. Over the last couple of years, somewhat accidentally, I've become his cemetery touring sidekick. And you know what? I love it.

{showing me his namesake...his great-great-uncle, I think...at China Grove this past winter}

{Please, please remind me to tell you sometime about the search for Henderson Lazenby.}

9. He loves his church. He and Mimi have always been very involved, but they've both really blown me away the last few weeks. Their church, the one Grandad has attended since he was a child, was almost completely destroyed by the April 27th tornado. They've both been up there nearly every day packing boxes, loading trucks, serving food, and visiting with those who need help even worse. I'm proud of both of them.

{picture source: The Tuscaloosa News}
{See the yellow and blue umbrellas right beside each other? Mimi is under the yellow one in white pants, and Grandad is in the blue shirt standing behind her. The church is behind the photographer, and that's what's left of Alberta City. Keep praying.}

10. He always dresses nicely. 99% of the time, he's sporting a button-down shirt (tucked in, of course), dress pants, and dress shoes. And alway, always has pens and his Afrin in his shirt pocket.

11. (I couldn't contain myself. I've gotta do 11.) He'll do absolutely anything and everything for his family, especially his 11 grandkids. Drop everything and drive out of town for the day, just because somebody asked? Done. Attend innumerable recitals, games, awards ceremonies? No problem. "Grandad, can we call you G-Daddy?" I guess...if you really need to! (A handful of years ago, us grandkids convinced him he needed a rapper name. Thus, G-Daddy was born. It's fallen by the wayside, but I think it'll make a comeback.)

He makes us laugh. He's always good for advice. He's a rock in the hard times. I think he's pretty special, and I love him a lot.

Happy birthday, Grandad!


  1. What a great tribute to such an incredible man...I can see where you get alot of your special traits from too : ) So great that you have the relationship you do. Happy Birthday to your Grandad!

  2. Your sweet post brought tears to my eyes...not that this beautifully written essay to your G-daddy is sad but for the love and tenderness that is woven in and around this special tribute. You are indeed a very blessed young woman to have someone such as he in your life.
    Happy birthday to this very special G-daddy and may he live many, many more glorious years.

  3. Elizabeth, you're so sweet. I'm so thankful Grandad and I like spending time together. He's somethin' else!

    Thanks for stopping by, friend!


  4. Annesta, YOUR comment made me a little misty :) I was hoping that the post wouldn't be too sappy, because I know Grandad would hate that! I just got on a roll and couldn't reign myself in. I count him in my blessings every day!

    Thanks for stopping by, friend!


  5. Leesha, thanks for your sweet comment! I love my Grandad and just wanted to share :) I'm still SOOO excited that you won PW's action photo contest! Your picture was incredible and you deserved it. Congrats again, and thanks for stopping by!



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