Who Is This Bearded Wonder?

And the answer is…..A FUTURE GRANDPA!

Grandpas 1975

Here I stand with my two grandpa’s in front of Grandpa Floyd’s house in Center, Colorado.  This photo is estimated to have been taken in the late 1970’s, but I really don’t remember the occasion.  I would suppose Grandpa Chester was in Center for the funeral of one of his siblings.  At any rate, being a grandpa was the farthest thing from my mind on that day.

Grandpa Floyd had 27 grandchildren.  Each and every one of us thought we were the only one and the most special.  He worked hard as a blacksmith yet closed his shop multiple dozens of times each year to take the kids fishing, mountain driving, or snow machine play time.  I never saw him impatient with us although I’m sure we were frustrating to him.  We saw him 2 to 3 times per year, which is sort of distant yet each and every one of us were his best friend.  I’ve been practicing my well, well, well, well as a grandpa greeting.

Grandpa Chester was just a big kid.  He worked hard as a farmer but played even harder with his ever-changing herd of horses, ponies and mules.  He had dozens of made-up songs to teach us and I’m certain mother and grandmother never knew of their content.  We lived down the road from Chester and encountered him each and every day.  We three (grand-children) were the apple of his eye and the 60 or so relatives who showed up three to four times a year for play day were his pride of life.  He loved to entertain people.

Both were men of faith but in very different ways.  Grandpa Floyd was outwardly quiet and inwardly extremely opinionated about his religion.  He practiced the ultimate faith in serving sacrificially to Grandma Grace as she was incapacitated with strokes for more than 20 years.  Grandpa Chester was very public with is faith, and also opinionated.  He led singing at church and served on local and regional committees.  He was always careful in the deal to ensure there could be no ethical criticism.  I’m teaching my boys some songs…but I really can’t remember the ones Grandpa Chester taught me.

At 62 I finally became a grandpa but time and distance mostly separated us until these past four months.

February Judah and Asher

These little guys are Judah–3 1/2 and Ahser– 1 year, and I am their papa.  I don’t now what that means entirely yet the bonding we have experienced since Thanksgiving has been remarkable and a pile of fun.

I am certain they will be men of faith.

I am certain they will be full of “Dennis-the-menace” type mischief.

I am certain I will miss them more than I can express today, March 10, 2016, as I leave Fresno for mostly a year.  They will not see me daily. They will not take me fishing or snowmobiling 2-3 times a year.  Their excitement for me will be anticipation based upon fading memories of this winter.

Then we will build new memories, based on some really spectacular short-term visits…..

Until one day when the nomadic lifestyle in the motor home I now call “The Train” brings us back to a place where I can be a grandpa full-time.  And my horses have motors.

February Family


What’s Important

As N. American Christmas music, played on a ‘Ukulele, filled the perfect 68 degree morning at the Aulani Disney Resort, I began to observe and think about what this amazing vacation is really about.


My answer was clearly FAMILY.  Well, the duck is a guest among us.

Sitting behind me in a coffee shop I caught the dialect of the Holland people.  A tall Swede strode by with his yellowish blond hair waving in the morning breeze.  Numerous differentiations of Asians glanced away from the tables as they walked past as culturally they don’t usually like to make direct eye contact the way we Americans do.  One of the surprises for me was that likley 10% or more of the guests at the Aulana were Japanese Honeymooners, looking to be not more than 17, but were likely ten years older than that.  (You should see my wedding photos)  I made friends with an obviously Indian family but when asked about home they noted Allenstown Pa.  And likewise a beautiful Vitenamese family were on our Ocean Sailing Day who call N. Carolina home.  The Aulani is certainly a cosmopolitan destination.


So I asked myself, “who is THE PRIMARY people group here and the target demagraphic for the resort marketing?”  Aha…. I am!

In all likelyhood nearly 65% of the vacationers were three generational families with grandpa and grandma paying the bill for their children and grandchildren to enjoy, and that of all nationalities.  Take for instance the Mexican couple our age who are from Canada.  They had their children and two grands here from Mexico, then had stayed over a second week to recover!  Yep, that’s me.

There is absolutely nothing new here to report but sometimes we forget.  It takes a family to raise the next generation.  We who have gone down life’s pathway before are needed to guide, instruct, encourage and provide for the development of those coming along.

In that spirit I honor Curtis and Pam Chastain, Great-grandmothers Mary and Wynona and all of our siblings for being such a great guiding light to Keith, Lacy, Judah and Asher–the object of our excursion.  And we shall not soon forget Chip and Dale either.


From the island of Oahu—Aloha and Mahalo