Tag Archives: Grandfather

Repost: A Great and Good Man

Candy blogs: “When the sun goes down below the horizon, he is not set; the heavens glow for a full hour after his departure. And when a great and good man sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after he is out of sight. Such a man cannot die out of this world.” Beecher

Grandpa's Famous Smile

October 25 marks the 13th year since my beloved grandfather, Rev. Kenneth R. Bertholf, passed away. This saying was on the cover of his funeral program. It seemed so fitting. But when I created it and his obituary, I struggled with trying to condense 92 years into a few paragraphs. How can one do justice to a whole lifetime on a single piece of paper?

Grandpa Ken was born in Tekoa, WA on April 28, 1905, one of ten children. He was quite an athelete and especially loved baseball, and the Braves in particular. He was also a country musician. He had a wonderful bass voice, and played the fiddle, guitar, steel guitar and harmonica. (Would playing the washtub in a kitchen band also count?) He was an old time lumberjack, short order cook, insurance salesman, vitamin salesman and carpenter.

When he was 29 years old, he became a Christian and felt called to be a minister of the Gospel. He married my grandmother, Blanche Payne, in 1935 and they spent the next 46 years planting, building and pastoring churches around the northwest.

But these are only public and general details “about” my grandfather. They don’t tell you about the kind of man he really was …

As a young child, I lived with my grandparents on a church campground in the mountains of beautiful northern Idaho for two years, and spent every summer with them until I was a senior in high school. I have wonderful memories of long, lazy summers in their home. Almost every evening after dinner, I would sit on my grandpa’s lap to hear stories from God’s Word, the Bible. Grandpa loved the outdoors and took my brother and me on long hikes in the woods on Sunday afternoons. He showed us the needles of different pine trees; some had two, some had three, and some had five separate needles. Then he would run them through his mouth, and no matter how many strands it started with, they would all form one strand, one complete needle. He wondered at this simple miracle. He whittled us whistles out of sticks and told us we should never try to outrun a bear! He taught us the parts of the flower and how to blaze a trail through the woods. He used to jump over picnic tables and kick the tops of doors well into his 60’s. We played math games and made snow angels and went sledding. I’ll never forget his silly Indian talking and dancing. He always had a huge garden and we loved the fruits of his labor! But by far our favorite activity with Grandpa was sitting at his feet while he sang his cowboy songs with his guitar and harmonica on that strange shoulder contraption so he could play both instruments at the same time.

Grandpa & his fiddle

Yet even more important than these more intimate family things, was the fact that Grandpa loved people to Jesus. He was always the center of attention; children and young people flocked to him. He always had a silly joke or a silly song or a silly face. He made people laugh and feel comfortable. You always knew when he was in the room. He had a special love for those who didn’t know Jesus and led many to Christ over his lifetime. It was his passion. Through his sacrifices of time and salary and worldly possessions, God used him mightily to change the lives of thousands of individuals and families. His life was always focused on others.

Me & Grandpa

My grandfather was always the one unchanging presence in my life. As a child, he gave me the stability I needed in my very unstable world. After his passing, I felt rather alone and adrift … unanchored. I had so depended on his predictability and steadfastness for my strength. But I have remembered what he taught me about God: that He is the only one from whom I can draw lasting strength and peace and direction. Because my grandfather loved and mentored me every summer, I grew up to realize that God alone was the one immovable and unchanging force in my life.

Grandparents: Don’t under estimate your influence with your grandchildren.
Grandpa was 92 when he died; he said that 92 was old enough to die. He was ready for heaven. I will always carry a part of Grandpa Ken inside me. I especially miss him at this time of year. But I remember what he taught me and who he pointed me to.

Kenneth Ross Bertholf … a great and good man.

“Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Psalm 102:18

Be a Moment Catcher

Candy blogs: I often describe myself as a “moment catcher.” I have a passion for etching special moments into my mind (and my camera) to be enjoyed again and again. Our lives are made up of “moments.” When you add them all up, they are our life. They are all we really have, and when we’re gone from this life, they will go with us unless we have taken the time to bring the moments to life by taking photographs and journaling our experiences and thoughts.

The holidays bring up the strongest desire to recall and create moments … the familiar … the traditions … being with our loved ones. The weather, the music, the smells, the foods … they all bring up special moments from the past. We love to re-live them; we even re-create them for our children. The weather has turned colder and that makes us turn inward. Some moments just happen on their own. But others are created. I just enjoyed looking at some photographs of a friend with her first grandbaby. Now there are some MOMENTS, huh?! I’m grateful that someone thought to snap a picture. But even if there was no picture, the story can still be told in words. In fact, pictures are pretty much worthless without the stories that go along with them. So it really comes down to words. We can have all kinds of moments tucked in our memories but unless we turn them into words, our moments … our lives … will most likely fade after the next generation.

The palest ink is better than the sharpest memory.” Chinese proverb

This from my company’s website: “When the economy is in strife, when the immediate future isn’t abundantly clear, people are drawn to the comfort of their homes. It’s called cocooning, as coined by renowned marketing consultant and futurist Faith Popcorn.

Popcorn’s recent “Culture of the Recession” survey found that 72 percent of respondents are spending more time at home. “What it means is the next iteration of cocooning – uber-cocooning – will see people retreat to their homes as the safe haven from the increasingly threatening outside world,” Popcorn says.

As with other periods of uncertainty on the national and global scale – past recessions, the attacks of 9/11 – people tend to assess their lives and focus on what’s truly important. And family, memories and connecting with others are often what people value most.”

This is the perfect time to put some words to your moments. You are spending more time inside with your friends and family. We’re in the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas so our moment antennae are running at high frequency. What are you thinking about?

I’m thinking about leaning way forward in the car to catch the first glimpse of the lights from Grandpa and Grandma’s house after a very long drive, the candy and caramel popcorn grandpa would have waiting for us, the fudge and pies that Grandma had hidden all over the house to be brought out at strategic times, the four part harmony of family singing, the games of Jotto and Dominos and Battleship, the bountiful meals, the endless hand dishwashing, the sledding, the snow games, the wooden rack set up over the wood heat register from the scary basement for our wet hats and gloves and socks, the creaky stairs that led to the playroom with antique toys, the programs put on by all the grandkids, the presents, the chaos, the laughter … the utter contentment. Christmas at my grandparents’ house was like being under a magical spell. We literally lived all year to get to Christmas in northern Idaho. And we cried for miles when we had to go back home. Can you see all that in this picture?

We're all under the spell of a family Christmas

Christmas in Northern Idaho, 1974

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Don't let the moments of your life go unnoticed and unheard. Think about them, write them down and share them with those who matter to you. Be a moment catcher. It’s catching!
www.candytroutman.wordpress.com

A Great and Good Man

“When the sun goes down below the horizon, he is not set; the heavens glow for a full hour after his departure. And when a great and good man sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after he is out of sight. Such a man cannot die out of this world.” Beecher

Sunday, October 25 marks the 12th year since my beloved grandfather, Rev. Kenneth R. Bertholf, passed away. This saying was on the cover of his funeral program. It seemed so fitting. But when I created it and his obituary, I struggled with trying to condense 92 years into a few paragraphs. How can one do justice to a whole lifetime on a single piece of paper?

Grandpa Ken was born in Tekoa, WA on April 28, 1905, one of ten children. He was quite an athelete and especially loved baseball … the Braves. He was also a country musician. He had a wonderful bass voice, and played the fiddle, guitar, steel guitar and harmonica. (Would playing the washtub in a kitchen band also count?) He was an old time lumberjack, short order cook, insurance salesman, vitamin salesman and carpenter.

When he was 29 years old, he became a Christian and felt called to be a minister of the Gospel. He married my grandmother, Blanche Payne, in 1935 and they spent the next 46 years planting, building and pastoring churches around the northwest.

But these are only public and general details “about” my grandfather. They don’t tell you about the kind of man he really was …

As a young child, I lived with my grandparents on a church campground in the mountains of beautiful northern Idaho for two years, and spent every summer with them until I was a senior in high school. I have wonderful memories of long, lazy summers in their home. Almost every evening after dinner, I would sit on my grandpa’s lap to hear stories from God’s Word, the Bible. Grandpa loved the outdoors and took my brother and me on long hikes in the woods on Sunday afternoons. He showed us the needles of different pine trees; some had two, some had three, and some had five separate needles. Then he would run them through his mouth, and no matter how many strands it started with, they would all form one strand, one complete needle. He wondered at this simple miracle. He whittled us whistles out of sticks and told us we should never try to outrun a bear! He taught us the parts of the flower and how to blaze a trail through the woods. He used to jump over picnic tables and kick the tops of doors well into his 60’s. We played math games and made snow angels and went sledding. I’ll never forget his silly Indian talking and dancing. He always had a huge garden and we loved the fruits of his labor! But by far our favorite activity with Grandpa was sitting at his feet while he sang his cowboy songs with his guitar and harmonica.

Yet even more important than these more intimate family things, was the fact that Grandpa loved people to Jesus. He was always the center of attention; children and young people flocked to him. He always had a silly joke or a silly song or a silly face. He made people laugh and feel comfortable. You always knew when he was in the room. He had a special love for those who didn’t know Jesus and led many to Christ over his lifetime. It was his passion. Through his sacrifices of time and salary and worldly possessions, God used him mightily to change the lives of thousands of individuals and families. His life was always focused on others.

My grandfather was always the one unchanging presence in my life. As a child, he gave me the stability I needed in my very unstable world. After his passing, I felt rather alone and adrift … unanchored. I had so depended on his predictability and steadfastness for my strength. Grandpa had become my father image. Because of him, I knew that God, my heavenly Father, was wonderful and loving. But I have remembered what he taught me about God: that He is the only one from whom I can draw lasting strength and peace and direction. Because my grandfather loved and mentored me every summer, I grew up to realize that God alone was the one immovable and unchanging force in my life.

Grandpa was 92 when he died; he said that 92 was old enough to die. He was ready for heaven. I will always carry a part of Grandpa Ken inside me. I especially miss him at this time of year. But I remember what he taught me and who he pointed me to.

Kenneth Ross Bertholf … a great and good man.

“Let this be for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Psalm 102:18
www.candytroutman.wordpress.com

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