I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the experiences that I’ve had over the years with my mom’s parents because of the current situation they are in. Things for them are tough now and I know it’s having an effect not just on me, but the rest of my extended family as well. Thinking through all the time spent together there are just some memories that come to mind and I think about fondly.

One example was the summer that I spent working for my Grandpa in his shop. He was a diesel mechanic that worked specifically on fuel injectors for big rigs. That summer I had the chance to learn about the business and to spend time with my grandparents. A lot of my job during that time involved cleaning; now I don’t mean simply sweeping the floor or washing windows, though there was some of that too, mostly I cleaned parts.

Thinking back on it now I couldn’t list what a single piece was, but I remember the process. First I would disassemble the injector into each individual part and then buff it with a grinder. This was a blast since you had to be careful not to lose your grip on it or it could go flying across the room. It was also a little dangerous since it could slice up your hand pretty bad and even with gloves I had a few cuts on my fingers. After buffing with the grinder to remove all the rust it was off to the sand blaster. That was by far the best part of the job! Open the door and insert the parts, then blast them with high-powered sand particles until they shined. It was so much fun! Finally the parts got washed in solvent and then dried and reassembled. It may have been repetitive but I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with them and it wasn’t just all work, but more on that tomorrow.

As I think about my kids and the relationships that they have with their grandparents I’m very thankful that we live so close. My in-laws are about 5 minutes away and my parents about 30. We have the chance to get together most weeks to enjoy playing games, watching shows, or just enjoying a meal together. Family is so important as we face the challenges that life present and I know that I would not be the man I am today without the family that God blessed me with.