A Grandfather Learns That Life Is Not A Beach. It Is Really A Ratchet.Posted by: ChetH Post date: March 26th, 2012
Grandparenting is a special gift from God awarded to those fortunate enough to survive to the proper age and circumstances. No one knows for sure why the creator rewards us with this magic time. Perhaps as a reward for completing parenting with some success or maybe just as a little comfort to help the aging grandparents deal with those new aches and pains the body discovers at this stage of life.
Grandparenting is much different from parenthood. The daily stress, decision making, financial problems and other strains of parenthood are not present in grandparenting. Once one reaches this remarkable stage he or she is allowed to savor all the joy of being with grandchildren knowing that any time they become tiresome or develop a problem they are easily returned to their parents.
Being A Successful Grandfather Requires Constant Research
However a grandfather who wishes to retain the respect and awe granted to him by grandchildren between the ages of 1 and 13, must always be prepared with tidbits of knowledge. He must always be ready to convince the child that he knows things that parents and maybe even their school teachers have not yet learned.
This is a rather short time span, about 12 years, in which a grandparent has any chance of impressing the grandkids. After age 12 the youngsters go through a remarkable metmorphasis. The change was best explained to me one day when I asked one of my daughter-in-laws why she and her husband no longer brought their two growing sons to the family gatherings. Their sons were both in Junior High at the time.
She replied, “Dad they don’t think we’re cool any more”. There you have it. At this point it does not matter what you know, they have found information sources more to their liking and have moved on. In order to keep my index of grandkid knowledge as sharp as possible I devote much of my time to reading.
All Those T-shirts Have Been Mislabeled
It was while reading recently that I discovered that Life is really not a beach as thousands of T-shirts scattered throughout Florida have attested to for so many years. No, according to one Jonnie Hughes who has penned a remarkable book entitled, On The Origin Of Tepees, Free Press Publisher, in which he devotes some 274 pages to the study of Tepees in an effort to fully demonstrate his beliefs in the Origin Of Species, he goes to great lengths to prove that Life is actually a ratchet.
Lest I give you the impression that this work is some half-hearted work meant only to entertain and not inform, let me introduce you to some terms you will deal with as you work your way through this book. Although he uses tepees to help you understand his well thought out premise, you will be forced to deal with terms such as pyrimidine nucleotide, the single posterior flagellum, multicellularity, bilateral symmetry, enterocoely, the notochord and others.
Of course all of this is useless to a grandparent looking to impress someone less than 12 years old. However this skillful author was able to include much information made for my purposes. I now know that there are actually different types of tepees. I won’t go into too much detail because I do have other grandparents in the family to compete with.
But I will tell you that there are 3 pole and 4 pole tepees and two very different models of smoke flaps. Some tribes allowed the tepee support poles to extend quite a distance beyond the top of the tepee cover. Tepees had inner walls to help draw smoke from the central fire up and out the smoke hole.
Tepees were generally sited with the entrance facing East to take advantage of the prevailing wind in helping to carry the smoke away. 3 pole tepees can be set up faster than 4 pole tepees and can be set up by one person. Those 4 pole structures require 2 erectors.
You have most likely seen many pictures of tepees and are aware that there are many more than 3 or 4 poles in a finished unit. The 3 or 4 poles are support poles against which all the remaining poles are set.
You can imagine how important this kind of information can be to a grandparent. This is not the kind of stuff parents have the time or energy to accumulate. Grandparents on the other hand are blessed with many hours which can be directed to the reading of such books allowing them to keep their wits sharp and ready at a moments notice.
In Addition To Tepees Knowledge I Learned How To Repair Ping Pong Balls
You will have to read the book to discover as I did why life is a ratchet. Mr. Hughes used almost 200 pages in his book to illustrate this belief. I will not attempt a description in this short article. I think you will find the time well spent. If you remain alert while traversing around all the 3 and four syllable words you will be rewarded with other gems such as a method of removing dents from ping pong balls.
While I played a little ping pong in my army days and for a few years after discharge it actually took me 72 years to discover that boiling water was the secret to removing those dents. Now this is the kind of stuff that makes grandparents legends. The little tyke of course will return home and advise his parents, my children. that grandpa knows how to remove ping pong ball dents and also must be an Indian because he knows so much about tepees.