Today would have been my Grandpa Smart’s 97th birthday.
Always excited to learn new things, the man was using email before I was. When I was a freshman in college, he sent me this picture via “snail mail” (what he called the USPS.) It was taken during one of his bicycle trips.
When I was young, Grampa took me to the mountains where we stayed in hostels and spent our days cross-country-skiing, and he took me to the city to see plays.
He introduced me to dried fruit, backpacking and live theatre.
He recited poetry to me.
This Robert Frost poem, in particular, always reminds me of him:
The Road Not Taken
Two paths diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel them both
And being one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
And took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there,
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Happy birthday, Grumpy!
Thank you for showing me how much adventure and beauty this life has to offer.