Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's not just April Fools day

Gpa with his pal Willie (taken a few years back).
Today was my grandpa's 89th birthday. My Gpa has been one of my heroes my entire life. My first 5 years were spent in his house while my parents worked. He (and my Gma and Auntie Marge) helped shape my formative years. We did garage projects - I was a fan of crushing the cans for recycle, and painting ANYthing, we went to Costco - my gpa's favorite store EVER, and he's the reason I got involved with the Iditarod.

He loves his box wine, John Wayne (dad now has his John Wayne Memorabilia collection), and his friends and family. He's quick with a pun - seriously that's all we Reitter's have in our "big bag of jokes" - or a funny story from days gone by. He's a big fan of Blue Bloods and Walker Texas Ranger (says Arrow is my generations version of that show... um... no. Ha ha). Don't get in between him and his ice cream (or any sweets) he will not be denied!

It's hard not to look back on my childhood without seeing a lot of time with Gpa. Some of my favorite memories are when we went on adventures in the motor-home (though the time that I slammed my thumb in the door and he told me we'd have to cut it off to get the door to open was traumatic! LOL). He and Gma went on all sorts of adventures outside of Alaska in their Recreational Vehicle, and I was always so jealous. I get my trip planning skills from him, as while going through the memory albums recently I found his itinerary list... it looks identical to some of mine. I can't deny we're related, that's for sure.

My grandfather held many different jobs in his life, farmer, Navy Signalman... he worked for Aerojet (including some stuff for the space program!). When they moved to Alaska he was a Servepro man. Spent many years working for them, and I remember his van well. Lime Green with Sammy on the side. I loved that van. It had the best smell to it - it was definitely a grandpa smell, but not something gross like old man smell. It just smelled like servepro, cigar, and motoroil. I miss that smell.

Gpa was my go to for Iditarod everything. He gave me the book "Danger the Dog Yard Cat" when I was 5 and I was hooked. He was so excited when I took both jobs with the Seavey's (Gpa is a fan of all the teams). He had a coat he wore to the Iditarod every year - with patches from each race he attended. I have that jacket now. I love it. It's so Grandpa.

He's now in Oregon with my Uncle Bob. He needed the change. It's weird to think he isn't in the house that I spent so many hours of my childhood in, but I know he's where he needs to be. And he is just a phone call away. I hear he went for a walk and had a great bday meal. No doubt finished with ice cream.

Happy Birthday Gpa, you are one of the best ever. <3 br="" love="" you="">

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful tribute to and beautiful man!