A while back I posted about my grandfather -- my mom's dad -- and what a special relationship we had. Well my other grandfather was very special to me, too. He was a World War II veteran and one of the "Greatest Generation." He must have seen some real atrocities in that war because he never would talk about it. I am really sorry about that now that he's gone, as there is so much I'd like to ask him about his experiences. Because I was very much a surprise to all my grandparents, and all of them were at a young age, I am sure it was not an easy thing to be a grandfather so young. But he loved me and had his own special name for me. When he would hear me coming he would smile and call out, "There's my little squeegee." (It was only many years later that I learned what a squeegee is, but I always think of him when I hear the word.) He sang in the choir and was in church every Sunday for as long as I can remember. He had a lovely voice, and I would often walk in to hear him singing a hymn.
When I was in elementary school, he realized a dream he had held for a long time. He built a pond just a few miles from town so that he would have somewhere to go fishing when he got off work each day. As time went on, he made improvements to it, such as adding a couple of piers and a boat dock. But the dream was not just about the pond, and a couple of years later he began to build a cabin there. It was a two bedroom, one bath "camp house" with large kitchen and den great room and a huge porch. It had a basement and a patio under the porch with a couple of porch swings. He loved this place, and it became his haven. He tended the fish, tended to the landscaping, and just generally put his heart into it. It truly became a beautiful place. I loved to go out to it particularly when I was in junior high school. I wasn't much for fishing, but I would paddle around in the boat, or find a spot to read, or just go for a walk... all the while enjoying the beauty of God's creation.
Now that my grandfather isn't with us, the lake has passed on to my father and his sister. It is there for all of us to enjoy, but it holds such beautiful memories for us all of my grandfather and how much he enjoyed this "dream come true." Each time I am there, I expect to hear him singing or whistling a tune... and I can almost hear him call out, "There's my squeegee!" For Christmas this year, I did a sketch of the place for my dad, who was very moved by it. I gave a print of it to my brother who happens to live just across the road and around the bend from this place.