Thursday, October 6, 2011

lessons i learned from one of the greats.

my papa passed away yesterday. argus lincoln martin. can't have a much better name than that. i mean that just screams awesome. and if you saw him you would know it.

i woke up at 3:30 am this morning and started thinking about him. i woke up hearing an owl hooting outside my window and all i could think was my papa would like that owl. so 30 minutes later i am writing about him...something he wouldn't do, don't know if he ever looked on the internet, which is sometimes a luxury i wish i could say i have.

do you have that family member that you just feel like gets you somehow? you think "yep, that's where i get it from..." i don't know how many girls feel that way about your grandpa that's 50 years older, but i felt that way about him. We were alike in a lot of ways minus the cool hat collection, the john deere tractors in the garage, and sheds full of treasures in the backyard. so here are some lessons i have learned from one of the greats and one of my favorites and a fella i will miss a whole heck of a lot.

1. Do what you love.

Sometimes i think that my papa was happy every day of his life. of course i didn't know him as long as i would have liked, so maybe he found that later in life (or when i came along, i mean i am pretty special, ha!). But he did what he loved. He loved being outside and farming. He loved working hard and coming home to granny's cooking. shout out to granny's cooking by the way, i would love coming home to that any day. It could have been that being in World War 2 helped him to not take things for granted and find joy in the everyday. I'm not sure but he loved life and he loved it well. So find those things that make you happy and do them. Or live life happy where you are. it isn't as hard as you think.

2. You don't have to leave the county to be adventurous. carpe the diem.

I always thought it was kind of funny that my granny and papa didn't like to travel too much. i mean they did their share of traveling early in retirement. or the crazy road trip up north when my mom was young. still wish i could have been in that car in with them when Papa was just driving throught NYC while people were yelling at them that they were gonna get killed. but the majority of the time, they stayed in good old ansonville, nc. but my papa he was an adventurous fella.
why not start beekeeping at 80?
join and start a band at 80 too? alright.
start singing in the choir.
plant a field of sunflowers just cuz you feel like it?
run after an ice cream truck on a hot july 4th with your granddaughter when your 86 just cause you feel like it?
i think he would just get ideas in his head and be like "i could do that". and do it. not just think about it. not say, hmmmm...will this be profitable? will i be able to do this and watch reality tv? nope he just did it.

3. Be generous.
My granny and papa are pretty much the most generous people i know. my parents run a close second. it was almost like nothing was theirs. i was always overwhelmed by the generosity that they showed me and the community of people around them. they saw the best in people. whether it was their relatives, people at church or a random stranger they always see the best in people and try to bless them in any way they can. even their stray cats have it good. whether its with free honey, letting their tenants off for a months rent (or 5, ha!), they did what they thought would help that person. its something i try to work at daily.

4. Do something unexpected just to get a laugh.
ok. so i don't think that papa tried to do anything that he did. i think it was probably just his personality to get people to smile and laugh. he would let out a hollar at an unexpected moment. he would know what to say to you to get you riled up and then look at you and grin which you couldn't help but laugh out loud. just do hilarious things at the dinner table that i just can't describe. Dance to Justin Timberlake at your granddaughters wedding, you know i loved that. play.

5. Be proud of what you do. it seems like everytime i went to their house, i would be taken on the "garden tour". He would go out and show me the stuff he was working on in the yard. i would get to see how the blueberries were coming along and how the tomatoes were growing. sometimes i would get to go in the truck and look at the fields and how they were coming along. you could tell he was proud of it. i want to be that person that looks at the work they did that day and know that i tried my hardest and that i am proud of it.

6. Other small lesssons:

always go for seconds on thanksgiving or christmas.
and bojangles biscuits are good. but don't ever ask for an extra biscuit in your family pack because they get really confused.
if you leave the county make sure you don't stay overnight. :)
go panthers. and nascar.
an apple a day or some kind of fruit makes you happy. it always helps to have the fresh fruit on the tree right outside your house.
you can never eat too many nuts.
or own too many flashlights.
the more rakes in your shed the better.
the early bird gets the worm. or 5:30 am is the best time to get the paper, check on the yard, eat breakfast made by granny on the tv tray and turn on the weather channel for the rest of the day.
nothing is better than a comfortable chair.
you can never watch enough old westerns.
oh and remember to wear whatever hat makes you happy that day.

i learned alot more but that might have to wait for another day. i might need to get back to sleep now, right when papa would be getting up, ready for a new day.


  1. Aw, Kelly- this is so beautiful. I'm so sorry about your Papa but so glad he was such an influence on you and brought you to us.

    namaste, Kelstar

  2. Kelly- I love this post. It hits home for me. I can relate, as my Pepaw and I were close like this as well. Write down as many memories as you can today. Hugs your way. I know your Papa is proud.