16. The Sense of Beauty

My grandfather, Gibbs, liked to tinker. He enjoyed fixing old, broken things. And he was good at it, too. The basement of his small North Georgia home was his workshop, and I remember sometimes going down there when we visited. He had these glass baby-food jars that he used to collect nails and screws and springs or anything that he might use for general repair. They were all lined up on the wooden tool bench that he, I’m sure, had built.


Gibbs was a member of a local civic club and held the distinction of having perfect attendance for forty years. Can you believe that? He didn’t miss a weekly meeting for forty years. How often today do you hear of that level of commitment?


Gibbs liked cars, too. But I don’t think he would like modern-day automobiles; they’re too hard to work on — too many computers. He liked mechanical things, especially things like clocks with gears and springs. He was also fascinated with televisions and telephones.


The years that I knew “Granddaddy Gibbs” he wore a hearing aid. I don’t think he really minded being hard of hearing; sometimes he would even turn down the volume on his earpiece in order to enjoy a little peace and quiet. Haven’t you ever wanted to turn down the volume a bit?


Gibbs wasn’t much of a talker, and yet his habits and mannerisms made a life-long impression on me. He had a nice smile; he was well-respected and honest. He wasn’t out to impress anyone or to get rich. He enjoyed the simple things, and that, I’ve discovered, is what I most appreciated about him – the simple things.


Days 16-18 Guide


Sometimes it seems that complexity rules. But beauty is so often hidden in the plain, nondescript corners of life. Think about simplifying your life and opening your eyes to the things that don’t normally command your attention.


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