What my grandfather taught me.
My grandfather had retired from the sea to a life of farming at a young age and because of the love he had for my grandmother that he could no longer be apart from.
We would visit in the summer and being 8 years old I was always in trouble.
I had heard about the woodshed from my father and the horrible things that were possible there,but had become weak one day and had committed yet another horrendous act against my younger sister.
It seemed that I would discover the charm of the woodshed first hand and because the act that I had committed was so bad, the punishment was to be delivered by my grandfather himself.
On the way to our destination,as I watched him remove his hand braided belt,I could not imagine what was to come.
He sat me down on a birch log that was waiting to be turned to firewood and began to speak very softly about regret.
He told me that when he was younger, and a young father to my father, he had made many mistakes and had thought that punishment was needed.
He told me that the true test of a man was his ability to be gentle and that is how you show your strength.
He told me that a strong man looks at the world through others eyes.
He told me that a strong man measures his strength through his ability to care.
Then he said"look like you got a good whoopin" and he took me back to the house.
I think he would have made a good horseman and a trainer.