This time of year always makes me think about my grandpas.
Grandpa K was born on March 28 and died on April 10 (yep, my 25th birthday) at the age of 84. He was a larger-than-life personality, a WWII Vet, a farmer, a handyman, an inventor, and a hard worker. He liked making deals, whether it was for farmland or cattle or cars, and he loved making money. He had high expectations of everyone, including kids. Whenever I would complain about a test or paper, he would always say, "If it's this hard for you, imagine what it must be like for the dumb kids." It made me giggle, and I still say it to myself whenever I get stuck on a project. I was his youngest granddaughter, the only daughter of his only daughter.
Grandpa C was born on April 13 and died on May 12 at the age of 70. Today would have been his 85th birthday. Grandpa C was also a farmer but a much more laid-back personality. There was something James Dean/ John Wayne about his style. He was tall and lanky, and in most of the pictures I have of him, he has a cigarette hanging from his mouth. He liked meeting his friends in the afternoon for coffee and would often talk my mom into making a peanut butter pie for him, just because it was his favorite. He had a lot of hobbies, including being a great woodworker. He made clocks and pictures from scraps of lathe, and for my 5th birthday, built me the coolest dollhouse I have ever seen to this day. I was his only granddaughter.
Spring reminds me of both of them, not only for their spring birthdays and death dates, but because of all of the farmers in the fields. Whenever I see a tractor in the field, it's like they are right here with me. Somehow, those tractors bring them back to life, and random memories will pop into my head. I think about my grandpas literally every time I pass a tractor.
Grandpa K was a John Deere guy:
and Grandpa C was a Case IH man:
(The type of equipment one farms with is a big deal- kind of like Coke vs. Pepsi. The John Deere vs. Case IH discussions were never-ending at extended family get-togethers.)
I so wish they could see my life today. I'm grateful, though, that I knew them both long enough to get to know them really well, so that the everyday things remind me of them.