March 2, 2012

Slice of Life Challenge: Grandpa Knows Best

Grandpa and I ~1994

Do you see that man in the background? That would be my "Bestest Friend" growing up otherwise known as Grandpa Essen. When I was little I spent most of my time at my grandparents' house while my parents were at work. It seemed like everyday there was always something new and fun to do: help Grandma in the kitchen, go with Grandpa to Hardee's to pick up Biscuits and Gravy along with some Mini Cinnamon Rolls every Sunday for breakfast, sit and chat with all the friends that would visit and I could go on and on.

Grandpa and Grandma during Christmas ~1970s

My favorite days were those during baseball season. I'm sure you could probably guess which was our favorite team but I'll say it anyway: THE CHICAGO CUBS!!! Whenever there was a game being broadcast you can be sure that Grandpa and I had the TV/radio tuned in to watch the boys play, but mostly to listen to our favorite announcer Harry Caray. During every game we had our rituals, my favorite being singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Grandpa and Harry.

Grandpa on his family's farm ~1930s

But my love for baseball wasn't the only thing that my grandpa instilled in me. He is one of the big reasons that I decided to come to Iowa State and study Dairy Science. Every now and then Grandpa would talk about how he used to work with cows and how much fun he had. I loved listening to him and watching his face light up. He even talked about how he was an auctioneer and at least once a month would take me to sale barns at the fairgrounds to look at the animals. I sure did have a great time at those auctions, seeing him in his element and absorbing all the information I could. Some times at these auctions we would see one of my grandpa's good friends who owned a dairy farm and if we didn't we would usually go stop out to visit. Grandpa knew how much I loved those visits going to see the cows and play with their calves. It's what every little girl dreams of.

Because of him, I am the person I am today...