Thursday, November 1, 2012

For Grandpa Monson

I've been meaning to sit down to write this post for a while, but, you know, life gets in the way! But here it is, a brief ode to my Grandpa Monson!

I like this one because has traded his usual stoic "picture"
expression for a smile.
My Grandpa has been retired my entire life but nonetheless is one of the most active folks I know! I don't think he'd mind my announcing that he is now well into his 90s (90s!), but is still playing cards, visiting friends, tinkering around the house not to mention staying active with his many grandkids and grandpets! He always has a story or a joke to tell, sometimes not wholly PC but most often hilarious! He has so many interests! I think this is key to a full life- staying social and retaining interests. From history to engineering feats (bridges, dams and the like), to trains and planes, to the goings on in Chicago, he always has something new he's read or heard. He often sends Adam and I clippings from the Tribune- he's way more up to date than we are and I always appreciate the articles especially because he has a great handle on what we are interested in- beer, running, my Elly, to name a few.

One of his interests is trains. Multiple family members have become interested in trains over the years so much so that for as long as I can remember there has been a huge working train set in the basement. I haven't been down to see it (or certainly to play with it!) in years, but I remember it like I saw it yesterday. Electronic switches to make the trains go, various switches to change the tracks, a huge train play land. My brother and I used to spend hours down there playing with the trains before we graduated to pool, and then cards, and then sitting around chatting with the adults:)

Courtesy of Nelson Stills.
My brother recently has become quite the photographer, truly impressive. You really should check out his work- Nelson Stills Dramatic Photography- for some absolutely stunning images including some recent ones in Alaska with the aurora borealis. One of his recent photographs is of a train in California. He dedicated it to Grandpa Monson it so seemed perfect to include here!

iPad early adopter
In addition to being a devoted grandfather and social butterfly (he never misses his AM McDonalds coffee with the guys), Grandpa is an early adopter of technology. A few years ago he became the first member of the family to own an iPad, here he is learning how to use it. For a few months there my grandpa and my then 2 year old cousin were the only two in the family who owned iPads!

A bit of rain at my wedding rehearsal didn't stop them!

Grandpa (and Grandma) always attended our important life events. They sat through countless (probably really bad) band concerts, athletic events and (probably the most boring of all) graduation ceremonies. They participated rain or shine, always full of smiles and praise.

Thanks for everything, Grandpa! I'm lucky to have you in my life!

Chatting with little Aly.

My Brother, Dad and Grandpa.

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