Saturday the 18th my Grandpa turned 99 years old. Four days later on Wednesday a little bit after noon, he passed away in his sleep. It was a long life, a very long life. It was a good life. Yes, there were some pretty rough bits, there always are. Just earlier this year he buried his only son.
“He was a hardworking man; A man of integrity, kindness, and insight, who was a joy to all who knew him. He loved people old and young, and always had time for conversation. He said of his relationship with Jesus, “I would not have gotten to the first fence post without the Lord.” That’s an excerpt from his obituary and it’s all true
He was a very good man. I think about the life he modeled and I realize three simple lessons on how to be a good man.
Work Hard: He worked hard from the time he was a kid until he just physically couldn’t do it anymore. It wasn’t just pride in doing a good job, He also seemed to take genuine joy in a job well done.
Love Your Family: At the end, he was still concerned that his wife, the love of his life, be taken care of. Family meant everything to Grandpa. You sacrifice for your family.
Be A Man of Integrity: His yes was yes and his no was no. If he said he was going to do something he did. He never cheated anybody in a deal in his life.
If I became one-tenth the man he was I would be a hundred times better a man than I am now.
This is a fairly simple and tasty recipe. One of the key parts involves getting your hands dirty so I like that. The amounts are what I use to make them for myself. They actually store pretty well. I wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. About forty seconds in the microwave and they taste almost as good as new.
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Some milk(about 1/2 a cup)
Thoroughly mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Now comes the fun part. You have to integrate the butter into the dry stuff. I use my hands. I cut little bits of the butter of and smursh the flour into it. I keep adding little bits of butter and mushing it in. I feel around in the flour and when I feel any buttery bits and just smush it together.
I now add the milk slowly while mixing it in. I don’t actually measure out the milk. You want to eventually end up with a soft dough. It doesn’t really matter what fat content milk you use. You can always use buttermilk.
I then put out some floured wax paper and knead the dough a little bit. Not more than a minute. You want to create a little ball of dough.
I use a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about a 1/2 in thick. I cut out the biscuits using the measuring cup I used for the flour. I usually get about 4 biscuits out.. and some weird bit often left over.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put the biscuits on a baking sheet. It usually takes a little over 15 minutes for them to cook up.
The title says it all. On Saturday my Grandfather turned 99 years old. That’s a lot of years. That’s 36135 sunsets. That’s a lot of life. The actual day of his birthday wasn’t that good. I drove down the next day, Sunday, to see him and he was doing better.
Think about all the things he has seen; all the things that have come and gone in 99 years of life. He once told me about being a kid and using animals to work the fields.
For those not in the know, it is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. You can read all about it at the link. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo six times since 2010. I took last year off. Every single year I have tried to write the same novel. I have scattered many versionso f the beginning of this novel. They sit everywhere like relics of past failures. They take up space in various cloud storage accounts. Every one in awhile I find one on an old usb stick.
This year I decided to try again. I have almost all the plot and characters worked out. I just need to write the darn thing.
NaNoWriMo says you are supposed to write 50000 words in the month of November. that works out to 1667 words a day. My main goal is to make sure I write everyday. After that my soft goal is 1000 words a day. I almost never reach this goal though one day I did write almost 3000 words.
So far so good. I have written every day this month. I admit one day I only wrote a single paragraph but hey those words count.
My plan for the weekend was to head to a local park to get some pictures of the fall leaves on the trees. If you check back you can see this is something I usually do about once a year. This year nature had other ideas. On Saturday we had fog.
On Sunday we had torrential rains.
Here is a bonus picture of Jobu with flour on his head from when I was making biscuits.
I have absolutely no idea what happened last week. I sit here thinking back. It got cold. My poor old man brain doesn’t work very well anymore.