The year I turned 12 was a challenging year for me. We moved from where I was born in Greensburg, IN to where Grandma and Grandpa live today in Frankfort, IN. I remember I was initially not very happy about moving. I was going to miss my friends that I played baseball, basketball, and football with most days. I was going to miss most of my relatives that lived close by, and I was definitely going to miss being able to walk around town. Our new house was out in the country – while not a farm it was definitely rural, and a car was necessary to get to any store or anything to do.
For some reason, during the move I stayed with my Grandpa and Grandma on their farm with our dog, and I remember I came up a week after everyone had moved into the new house. I remember riding in the Grandpa’s old green Ford pickup in the middle of summer with no air conditioning on the highway with the windows rolled down. We also didn’t have a DVD player, IPOD touches, Nintendo DS’s so we did what most people did on long trips – we talked. I was complaining to Grandpa about how “horrible” the move was going to be for me – no friends, no family, and nothing to do. I remember like it was yesterday that Grandpa pulled into a rest stop about 20 minutes from our new home, and told me that me two things were going to make the difference for me in this move and frankly in life in general. The first was that I needed to have faith that God and my parent had a plan for the family and me personally, and the second was that attitude is everything. I could focus all day on the negative or I could be happy and focus on the positive. Sure I was like most 12 year olds at the time, and I said “sure Grandpa,” but I’m not really sure that I meant it.
Funny thing happened was Grandpa was right. We lived in a house that had two big hills for sledding, a creek in the back to explore, a small pond in a neighbor’s yard where I developed a passion for fishing that still exists today, two neighbors with basketball goals where I practiced free throw shooting for hours trying to see how many shots I could make out of 200 attempts, a big field in front of our house where we played numerous touch and then tackle football games and countless volleyball matches. We had 3 other houses within a short walking distance miraculously with kids our ages so we always had enough people to play 3 on 3, 4 on 4, or 5 on 5.
Shocking how after about a year Grandpa asked me how I liked our new home, and I was telling him all the great things about our friends, our church, my school, and all the outdoor things to do, and I remember him just smiling at me. I’ve never ever stopped at that rest stop again, because it is so close to my parent’s house, but every time I pass by that rest stop I reflect back on one of the most important life lessons I ever received.
I’m convinced that faith and attitude are things that will make you successful in life not just when you are 6 or 12 or 18, but when you are 40 or 50 or even 90.
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