My grandfather turned 95 years old this year.  Our family and a small group of friends helped to celebrate his birthday with a small party, good food, and lots of stories. 

95 years!  Can you imagine all that has been done, seen, and changed in the last 95 years?  Through it all, my grandfather has remained strong in his beliefs and values.  He has a zest for life, never misses a beat, and always has a story to share.  After 95 years, he also has a lot of advice and wisdom to share.  Not to mention a joke or two.  He has done so much throughout his life and hasn’t been afraid to step out of the box to try something new.  He has been a lawyer, to a World War II gunfighter, to being in the House of Represntatives, to starting his own business that is still running today.

Over the years I have learned a lot from my grandfather and I always look forward to my talks with him.   I have great memories from when I was little when we would have family dinners from Arby’s at their house, we would get to have sleep overs where we would play games into the night, and so many more.

Some of the most important things that I have learned I still carry with me today and try to keep them with me where ever my path leads.  First and foremost family comes first.  Even though I live in Minnesota now, my grandfather still checks in on me.  A smile goes a long ways, even towards a total stranger.  Passing a long a smile can make someone’s day, not to mention show a little bit of who you are.  Be a part of your community. It gives you an opportunity to expand your horizons, while providing a sense of accomplishment and value.

I am nearly 30 now, I can’t begin to imagine what the next 65 years will bring in my life.  What I do know is that…as long as I can carry God, my family, my friends, and things that bring true happiness with me always while holding strong to my values I will be headed in the right direction.  I also need to learn from my mistakes and the curve balls that life throws (sometimes hurls) at me, while also being honest with myself and admitting when I can’t go at it alone. 
What words of adivce are keeping you going?  Share your memories and stories below.  I look forward to hearing your story.

 

July 9

Happy Anniversary! It’s been six years. This last year I would have to say has been one of the hardest, just the latter half. It has been filled with so many up and downs and lots of emotions. There have been lots of changes too. However, some things have been good things. It’s amazing how one thing can change some many things.

But today is a good day. On this beautiful day Raun woke me up pointing at me saying get up and get ready for the day. I did and when I was finished I went downstairs with the smell of biscuits filling the air and carrying me to the kitchen. We ate breakfast and then hit the road. We took the great river road Highway 35 south on the Wisconsin side along the Mississippi River. The main destination was Stockholm, WI. However, along the way there we stopped at historical markers and took in the sights along the river. We arrived in Stockholm, a very cute little city. Where we stopped at the pie place and each had a delicious piece of pie. We sat outside enjoying the weather, chatting with the locals, talking with each other and learning about the city. After our yummy pie (Triple Berry for Raun and Peanut Butter Fudge for me) we explored the quaint downtown. We strolled down the main street and went into a few shops. We made a few purchases that I just couldn’t seem to pass up and picked out my anniversary gift from Raun. I picked a beautiful purple pot to add to my other pottery pieces. I also came across a journal/sketchbook that had dragonflies on it. Coincidently, not long before coming across the journal I was telling Raun that I needed to get a notebook. I also picked up a wood plaque that says to “Cherish Life’s Simplest Treasures”.

After we finished exploring Stockholm we continued on to Maiden Rock Winery/Cidery where we took in the views, as well as tasted various wines, hard ciders, and fruit beers and good conversations. To finish out our day excursion we took in the views from a bluff in Alma, WI and then headed back home along the river on the Minnesota side, stopping in Lake City to walk the beach and in Red Wing to eat a yummy Mexican dinner at Fiesta Mexicana.

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