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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

90 Years and Counting

 We celebrated Grandpa Steigerwalt's 90th birthday on Friday the 13th--his actual birthday.  It was fun to get together with my aunts and uncles.  We don't do that very much anymore.  I sure did love talking with them.
This is the kind of guy my Grandpa is: a builder.  He worked for Steigerwalt Builders for a long time.  When he got home, he worked with my dad on the farm; we grew up on.  Grandpa was used to 14-16 hour days.  He always had time to be nice to the grandkids.  You hardly ever saw him without a smile on his face.
He was all about the golden rule of treating others how you wanted to be treated.
Grandpa would come over to our house every Christmas morning because he wanted to be around when kids were opening packages on Christmas morning.
Grandpa would help build projects for school with us and he showed us how to do things the old-fashioned way often...like butchering our own meat for the freezer.  He had sayings like "enough salt to track a rabbit" when we were making our own sausage.
I think my favorite memories are grandpa taking us ice skating.  There was a box of ice skates in his closet.  And we would try them on until we got a size that worked from the old skates.  We'd waddle from the house to the creek about a football field or so from the house.  He would take a scoop shovel  from the farm and push the youngest grandkid around in the shovel.  We thought he was talented because he could do a figure eight.  Grandpa was awesome about giving us the gift of his time.  He always had time to talk to us or tell stories.  I loved growing up in the house next door.

Now Grandpa can't remember who we are.  He is pretty healthy, except for the memory.  I think that is okay, I hope he is happy where ever his mind is, because he sure has a legacy of love all around him. 

One of my funniest memories is when Grandpa thought it would be a good idea for me to drive his standard truck in the corn field at age 15 while he was sitting on the tailgate with a hand-crank broadcaster for seeds.  His idea was that I would drive while he sowed the seeds.  I don't know how many times I threw him off the back of the tailgate before I got the hang of it.  He would smile while getting up and explain what I had to do with the clutch and brake, again.  And again... and again...

Gramps, I love you!  Happy Birthday, I hope you have as many more as you want!


  1. I can't blame you at all for not wanting to miss this one. What a wonderful grandpa you have!

  2. How wonderful to be remembered so fondly. He sounds like a great man. Even though he can't remember the past, he left so many awesome experiences for the family. I guess that means all of you will have to remember for him. Happy birthday to him!

  3. Great tribute to your grandpa. And happy birthday to him!


  4. happy birthday to your grandpa. loved the great memories that you shared with us.