Ice, Lakes, and Goodbyes

A real winter continues to elude Michigan as we received another round of freezing rain and ice, another two days of school cancellations, and another round of long-time Michiganderburghers talking about how “we don’t get the winters like we used to.”  Hell even as a mere seven year vet of the Mitten State I find myself saying that! “I remember back in 2010! Now that was a winter!”

Because of last week’s crap snow that turned to slush, then turned to ice, which then got rained on, we pretty much have a small lake in our back yard. I spent most of yesterday in a panic thinking that anymore rain could have it creeping closer to our home, and at one point found myself standing knee-deep in ice-cold water trying to rake out a reroute in the slush to lead the water away from the house. The panic nor the reroute worked. Thinking of borrowing a kayak and turning out a few laps in it later. Or just drink a bottle of gin and drunkenly shake my fists at the sky Cowboy Dan-like, screaming about how Mother Nature is a heartless bitch. Thankfully Wifey will most likely prevent either from happening.

Because of my morning fraught with worry, and knee deep ice water, I found myself with little desire to workout. Somedays you just gotta say “f*ck it.” Tuesday was that day.

On a serious note, Wifey’s grandfather passed away from a brief bout with stomach cancer early this morning, he was 93. I never knew my grandfathers, so to be around him for the past 22+ years was amazing. He couldn’t hear all that well, so conversations could be hard at times, but just being around him was awesome and a real lesson in how to be a father, husband, and man. Check some of these stats:

  • Loving and caring husband √
  • Father of 7 amazing kids √
  • A caring, loving grandfather and great grandfather √
  • World War II vet √
  • Inventor of the Johnny Bench Swing and Hit √
  • Computer and iPad user, and even on social media √
  • Avid golfer who golfed up until age 93 √
  • Retired plumber  √
  • Avid woodworker  √
  • Baker √
  • Lover of a good gin and tonic. √

I’m sure there’s even more awesomeness in there that I don’t remember or just don’t know about, but these are some of the highlights. He will be missed, but never forgotten by all the lives he touched, including mine.

On Christmas Day, Wifey, her dad, B-Man and I went to see him in the hospital. I had made a photo book for Wifey’s dad featuring a collection of photos I took of B-Man playing soccer last year. Her dad took the book along with him to show his dad. He looked through it with a smile on his face, and told me how much he loved the photos I took, and how he always enjoyed seeing the photos that I posted from my rides and from B’s soccer games on Facebook. He was sitting there with meds doing their best to dull the pain in his stomach, but he still found a way to share some kind, encouraging words. That made me feel pretty damn good and was a pretty awesome memory to take away.

With that the family and I will be doing some traveling for a few days as we return to western PA to bid farewell to an amazing man, who lead a damn amazing life.


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