Sunday, July 5, 2009

Barnyard wisdom for graduate grandson

6/3/09 Chatterbox Betty Kaiser Okay, I’m going to brag a little bit today, so bear with me. This column is dedicated to my eldest grandson, Paul Daniel Linman, 18, who will graduate from Buena High School next week in Ventura, Calif. It’s hard to believe that our little boy with big brown eyes and a smile to melt your heart is all grown up and on his way to college. Paul is the grandson our daughter Kathy told us we would never have. She and her husband were “too busy.” Then, miracle of miracles, she and Tim produced Paul. We immediately began to practice being grandparents and spoil him rotten. We admired, cooed, cherished and lavished affection on this precious bundle of joy. We still do. Now there are five adorable grandsons to love but Paul is the cousins’ top dog. He is the one they all look up to. He directs traffic and keeps the peace when they’re together; and sweetly holds little five-year old Joshua’s hand when they cross the street. He is the one who introduced grandson mania into our hearts. Looking back, we can see that his Swedish and German gene pool was active at a very early age. In other words, although he appeared quiet and shy he was also very strong-willed. (Dare I say stubborn?) Even as a toddler he was not easily distracted. He always focused on the job at hand whether it was learning to feed himself, practice saying his ABCs or ride a bicycle. He was never shy about expressing himself. When he played with little trucks and cars the noises that he made were loud and racetrack real. When his brother came along, he lovingly doted upon and protected him until he intruded upon Paul’s space. Then it was “Matthew, NO! Stop it NOW!” From kindergarten on, he was the classic overachiever. If he didn’t understand a subject he stayed after school for tutoring. Perfection was always the goal and his attention to detail paid off. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is graduating with honors as a track star, coach, church youth leader, Eagle Scout and Explorer Scout firefighter. He’s a great guy with a zest for life, a yen for adventure, a love of family and an eye toward the future. Most kids need a little breathing space before they go out into a world of responsibility. But we tend to load them down with advice. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to introduce an old farmer (we’ll call him Frank) whose observations will make us laugh and shed some barnyard wisdom on how to live at any stage of life.
Barnyard Bob’s Advice Author unknown
1. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. 2. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance. 3. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. 4. Whispered words soak into your ears … not ones that are yelled. 5. If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around. 6. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with stares back at you from the mirror every morning. 7. Good judgment comes from experience and most of that comes from bad judgment. 8. Don’t interfere with something that isn’t bothering you none. 9. Most of the stuff people worry about will never happen. 10. Every path has a few puddles. 11. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging! 12. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. 13. Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got! 14. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. 15. Meanness doesn’t just happen overnight. 16. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. 17. A bumblebee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. 18. It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. 19. You cannot unsay a cruel word. 20. Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads. 21. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. 22. Always drink upstream from the herd. 23. Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in. 24. Don’t judge folks by their relatives. 25. Live simply. Love generously. Care Deeply. Now this guy is a communicator at a level we can all understand. Of course, I could add a few thoughts of my own. But on the rocky road of life that we all travel, who’s going to remember anything else? Congratulations, Paul! We love you very much and are unbelievably proud of you. God bless your hopes and dreams as you move into this next arena of life. And best wishes to all graduates near and far. You did good and this is your moment to shine!
Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. She is published in the Cottage Grove Sentinel and local Humane Society.

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