The pictures are kinda dark, but you get the idea.
My favorite memories, though, are of Grandpa and Grandma at the condo in Island Park Village. I remember being pulled behind the snowmobiles in tubes, and watching grandpa get pulled on skis sometimes. I'm sure others tried it, but Grandpa is the only one I remember to ever do that.
Every time I think of the condo, I actually think of Grandpa and Grandma. They were such a huge part of those trips, that most camping, especially Yellowstone, makes me think of them.
I thought Grandma was especially brave to go snowmobiling with Grandpa, because he was so crazy on a snowmobile sometimes!
I don't think he ever did anything that really scared her, though. He loved her so much and always told us how lucky he felt that she had said yes to such a shy guy as himself.
They also had this camper that they took on almost every camping trip I can remember. You had to hand crank it so the top would come up. I helped a few times and it was always enough to tire me pretty quick. I'd have to switch hands and take breaks. But Grandpa would get a kick out of putting us grandkids on the top of it before he started cranking, and up we would go. A few times, I remember jumping off before it got too high for me to even attempt it.
As Grandpa and Grandma got older, we didn't go camping quite as often, but still had a great time with them. He really loved having such a great legacy in his children and grandchildren, and wanted to make sure they understood how important family was. On several occasions, I was asked when I would bless Grandma and Grandpa with more great-grandchildren. Only after asking that did they then bug me about getting married. I always got a kick out of that.
Grandpa would tell us stories about growing up poor in Idaho--going huckleberry picking, catching a flying squirrel, kicking a badger in the butt as it chased a rabbit, riding horses, and taking care of cows--and even told stories about being in Germany in World War II. I remember him telling us about a camera he found once while in the Army. He said he liberated it from the Germans, so kept it and took a few pictures. He sent a few of those back home to Grandma.
I was lucky enough to get to read his war stories and even put them all together in a book for one of my senior projects in college. If you click that link, you'll really get a feel for what my grandpa was like. You'll also find out that he was one of the only survivors in his battalion in the Battle of the Bulge.
Grandpa kept giving us new stories as the years went on. It was usually at some family gathering, especially at Christmas. Our Christmas presents from Grandpa and Grandma for the last few years were stories that he had written down and copied for all of us.
I know this isn't my best blog post ever. I may not have been eloquent in what I've said, but I don't care. Mostly I miss my grandpa and I just wanted to share a few of my own stories and memories of him. I know where he is and I know they haven't had a hard worker like him in a while. I know I'll see him again. But I do miss him. I'll miss his smiling face and his great stories. Love you, Grandpa.
If you want to read my grandpa's obituary, you can click here. From that link, you can check out photos of my grandpa, and even view the video that played at his viewing. You can also read the guest book from the obituary posted in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News at those links. If you knew him, feel free to leave a little message.