Blogger as a young thing in frilly dress [my mother's futile attempt to turn me into a lady] with her Grandpa, Mimi the dog, Taffy the cat
I've been thinking about my Grandpa a lot recently. February 20 would have been his 103rd birthday. Regular readers of this blog may remember the above photo and will know how much Henry Schrader shaped my life. He was the horseman in the family and friend to all the animals. I could write an entire book based on my experiences with this great man, but if I was to name one thing that completely illustrated his influence, it would be his oft used phrase, "Stay in the buggy."
From a very young age, I have memories of Grandpa saying this. Even then, I understood it's meaning: Don't. Give. Up. "I can't catch that stupid pony!" Stay in the buggy. "I can't ride that stupid pony!" Stay in the buggy. "I'm tired!" Stay in the buggy. "I wanna go home!" Stay in the buggy. "I'm trying, why isn't this working?" Stay in the buggy.
There was never a trace of criticism, reproach or jeering, although Grandpa was capable of delivering each, gently and with great love. Stay in the buggy was Grandpa's cheer. It said it all. It was an affirmation of his love for me. It approved of my stubbornness. It guided my decisions. It fueled my passions. It is tattooed with hearts and roses on my psyche.
As I age, I still wonder what I'm supposed to do; how, when and why I'm supposed to do it. I still hear Grandpa's voice with the 40 year old answer. If there was a reason you logged on today, I hope you will find accidental sagacity when I wish for you to stay in the buggy.
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