What do you do with a 70-year-old who refuses to grow up?
Case in point:
Friday, two days before Christmas, Mr. Outdoors, son, Evan, and I were visiting our oldest son, Jon, and his family in Cloquet, MN.
Evan and grandsons Jackson, 9, and Bryson, 7, planned to go snowboarding on a popular hill in Cloquet. First, though, they wanted to practice on the side hill next to Jon and Sara’s home.
The boys had been outside for awhile when I decided to see how they were doing. On my way out the door, I grabbed my camera, hoping to get a couple good photos.
The kids were having a great time! Up and down the hill they went, sometimes boarding all the way to the bottom without falling, sometimes…NOT.
Meanwhile, Gramps was walking on the wooded trail behind Jon and Sara’s home where he always makes a point to scout for signs of wildlife when we visit.
It wasn’t long before Bob emerged from the trail. He stood at the top of the hill, watching the kids take turns. Jackson, Bryson and Evan were having a blast!
Because I was at the bottom of the hill, I couldn’t hear the conversation. Later, Evan told me, “Dad said, “’OK. It’s Grandpa’s turn!’”
For a few minutes no one came down the hill. I thought Evan was repairing something on the board. I didn’t know he was changing the bindings to make them larger for Grandpa.
All of a sudden, I saw Gramps take the snowboard from Jackson and plop it down in front of him.
I looked at him like he’d lost his mind!!! But, I never had a chance to protest!
Gramps launched before I could shriek, “Geronimo!”
I could see he was looking shaky and called out to him, “Look up, not down!”
But, he didn’t hear me.
About halfway down the hill, Grandpa’s courage faltered when he realized he was going faster than he thought he would!
With all the grace of a big old bull, we witnessed his historic colossal
                     W I P E O U T !!!!!!!
(Later, he told me the kids looked like they were going so slow. I reminded him that the bigger you are, the faster you’re going to go!)
The kids rushed to him and helped him down the hill to where I was.
He was shaken. But, thankfully, nothing was broken! He did, however, strain his right shoulder, across to his upper back, including his left shoulder blade, and across his chest. DUH! Landing on frozen Minnesota ground will do that to a person!
We helped Gramps into the house, where, when told the story, Jon and Sara were convinced he’d lost his mind in his old age!!
For a moment, father and son exchanged roles as Jon, who is analytic to the core, scolded his dad for being so impulsive.
Because chemo and prolonged use of steroids, is hard on The Outdoors Guy’s liver, he cannot take pain meds such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I was happy I tossed the rice bag in the suitcase before leaving home. Heating it in the microwave always does the trick to soothe pain. By Christmas Day he was much improved!
Kids will be kids, but when a 70-year-old grandpa and cancer patient thinks he is one, who knows what to expect from the young-at-heart Outdoors Guy in 2017!!

                HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!!!