Before my Grandpa died he wrote down his memories of growing up. My aunt and uncle typed and edited the hand-written pages and then gave bound copies to all the family. I decided it was time to read it. Grandpa wrote an inscription on the inside cover: "To Tim and Tabitha. We have enjoyed living this life together. Grandma/Grandpa Brown." My eyes misted a little when I read that.
Born in Kansas in 1905, Grandpa saw a lot of changes in his long life. He lived on various small farms and houses in Kansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York. Many did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. He wrote about using a privy and drawing water from a well. In many ways, life on the farm in the early part of the 20th Century was the same as what you read in "The Little House on the Prairie."
Grandpa was an engineer who had an eye for all things mechanical from a very early age. He provided descriptions of threshing machines, corn shuckers, water pumps, and many other mechanical devices. These devices were powered by hand, horses, or steam. Automobiles and tractors were very rare. They didn't have television, radio, video games, or the Internet, but they still managed to survive.
I never knew Grandpa as anything but a senior citizen. I was surprised that his mother called him Danny. My Grandpa, "Danny," was once a young boy who played games with his friends, loved to read, and had childhood crushes. He was more than the gentle white-haired man I knew who wore flannel shirts, drove an old VW bus, and could build anything. I am now even more grateful for the time I got to spend with him.
Grandpa has been gone for several years now. I still miss him.