Some of my most favorite memories are of my grandfather. Before I learned what I call the "language of the grouchy" I was afraid of him and all his gruff. Eventually I got over that and he became my very best friend and mentor. We would sit outside in the yard swings and talk or simply listen to the wind and watch the birds. My grandfather, I would later realize, was the one whom I learned to listen to the wind and talk to living things as living things. He was an example to me that no matter how down and out you are or feel to never take any bs from anyone. I remember he would turn the tv to old westerns or National Geographic or sometimes the History Channel and we'd watch together while having a bowl of ice cream. That man was the biggest part of my life growing up. He encouraged a love for God, taught me how to paint, and seeded a curiosity for our heritage. When most men around me believed that women were stupid, my grandfather had me helping him in his shop with various projects. One of the things I look forward to, other than finally getting to hug Jesus, is to see my grandfather walking around on his own two feet again asking if I'd like to get us both some ice cream.