If you have been reading my past blogs, you would know My Great Grandfather
(simply called Granddaddy) was a passionate man in all he did....be it as a minister, a gardener, a wildcatter, a mule skinner, a Grandfather, or as a husband, he always lived with a passion for life...
his views on life, and how to live it were explained more through his example rather than his words...
he could talk a wonderful talk....but he walked an even better walk...

My 17th year was such a learning experience for me... once I graduated from High School, I left the small Texas town I felt imprisoned in and hit the highways... 
first stop.......South Texas to visit Grandmother and Granddaddy...
My buddy Darrell went along with me....and my 1980 Pinto was primed for the trip...
Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" , the Beach Boys "Endless Summer" and Super Tramp’s "Breakfast in America" filled the air when we got out of radio signal... yep......we were hip....we had CASSETTE !!!!
I surfed in tournaments, and although Darrell did not....we had two Bronzed Aussies (Surf Boards) racked on top of the car....
We pulled into My Great Grandparents property....thinking we would visit, spend the night and be on our way.....we really just wanted a free place to crash....after all...these were old people....how much fun could they be???
We had just Graduated High School....and we KNEW EVERYTHING!!
We had both graduated in the Highest 12 of our class... (Well sort of...)
Darrell graduated 3rd in our class....and I graduated 108th out of 112 students....
(well that IS the highest twelve in my perspective anyway.. 108 is much higher than say...5th is it not?? ) perspective is EVERYTHING!!
But I digress....
My Great Grandmother was so pleased to see us...and started cooking right away...
She was a short woman...about 5ft 5 inches tall....heavy set.....and full Blooded Indian....her face...looked the 80 yrs she had lived of a tough life...
in fact , she sort of reminded me of a little English Bull dog..Cute and cuddly with big jowels ....and brother, if you ticked her off...you would have thought she was one......
she kept a fly swatter handy.....not for flies......for kids...
however....she was as tender a woman one could ever meet..
Granddaddy took us outside to show us his garden...he had plowed it with a mule and a hand plow.....and the things he grew were amazing...a whole acre and a half of some of the most amazing fruits and Vegetables I had ever seen...
he knelt down and picked a tomato, and handed it to Darrell....
I remember Darrell’s eyes lighting up just slightly as he bit into it...
he then gave me one...and picked one for himself...
then something happened that struck me as totally odd..
He started to cry.....and he raised his hands towards heaven....and simply said..."Thank You Great Father!!"
I asked him why he was crying...and, if he was ok...
he smiled...and said...."the way of life gets me every time Boy.....How God cares so much for me...that he allows me to plant a seed, and in its own time, grow to be something that I can enjoy....this is a good day"
then he turned and walked back towards the house...and we followed..
Grandmother had the table set...
Chicken, and a whole mess of fruits and Veggies covered the Table....
it was not dinner...it was a feast!!!
She even made a blueberry pie.....sitting in the window, to cool.....
Granddaddy said the Blessing over dinner....
but I noticed My Grandmother never sat down...she just stood there.....
Granddaddy looked the food over, and tasted the chicken...and nodded at Grandmother......with that nod...she sat down and began to eat....
I was pretty upset by this little ritual they had....it seemed barbaric to me...
that she would cook so much, and basically slave in the kitchen and wait for him to say it was good enough before she would even eat..
However......Who am I?? I was 17... Who was I to tell someone who had been married longer than I had been alive what was right or wrong for THEIR marriage based on my in-depth knowledge of life??
That is a problem we have so often in the world.....people need to just shut up and let others live their lives.....especially if they are happily doing so...
ANYWAY.....
I remember that really bothered me....
UNTIL.....
Grandmother finished eating....she grabbed her tea, and scooted off to the living room and laid on the couch , watching Jeopardy....
Granddaddy , got up, put on an apron, and did the dishes....
when he was finished, he called out....."Mamma I’m done"
Grandmother then came in and inspected the dishes....
if one was not done to her liking...he had to wash it over.....
Never with a complaint.....he just simply rewashed it...
it was HER kitchen...he built for HER.....so it had to be done HER way....
that was his philosophy...and it worked for them....
when she approved his job....they went together into the living room..
He lay on the couch...and she lay in front of him....
and they (regardless of Company) watched their show together.....
the Wheel of Fortune....
Granddaddy bragged on Grandmother....saying how good she was at Wheel...and how he thought she should get on the show....
she just turned red and giggled a bit..
Here is the kicker....
during commercials....she would turn towards him and they would just kiss...
not a little peck....but real Suck Face smooching...
I was like....Ok Eww.....Stop that this instant!!!
Granddaddy laughed......."Whets the matter Boy....you never seen kissin??"
"yes sir I have., Mom and Dad do it all the time and that grosses me out too..."
and now my 17 years of wisdom and understanding of life and the way things should be started to kick in....I got cocky...
" I think that people should have respect.....for others around them..I think that this sort of behavior belongs in private...and I think that the only thing worse than watching two ugly obese people kissing is watching two OLD people kissin"
granddaddy got up.....and I took a step back.....coz I didn’t know if I made him mad or not...
he was simply going to refill his tea...
I breathed a sigh of relief....."Whew...that was close" I thought...
When he came back into the room...he was holding a big dark red tomato....
and he handed it to me...
he said...
"you asked me why I cried in the garden.....it is not just about tomatoes Boy..
it is about Everything in my life that I have been blessed with"
he went on to say...
" Every morning....just like those seeds in that Garden....I plant seeds with your Grandmother...I tell her how much I love her....I DO for her...and I keep the weeds from getting into our Marriage.....I Tend the Garden God gave me..I simply tend my Garden"

How many lives does one person touch?? I don’t think we will ever know...the impact we have on the lives of others....
many years later my younger brother passed away...I remember so many people at the funeral saying " I wish I would have told him how I truly felt about him" but ya know what?? No one in my family said those words... know why?? We were taught to tend our gardens!!
If you are reading this...then I have considered you as my friend... and I want you to know here and now....You are loved!!
God bless you...
RickyRay