Today my Grandpa Art Reukauf would have turned 96 years old. Unfortunately he left this world unexpectedly in early 1985 when I was 11 years old. His death was something that hit me hard as he was the first person close to me to be gone. Thinking back now as an adult I wish I would have paid more attention to all of the things he did and told me. I was too busy being a kid, but that hindsight is sometimes a tough one. What I do know of my grandpa is that he was a man of vision. He believed in doing business with a handshake, his word was his bond, and he was a true entrepreneur. He had cattle all over the place...even as far as on cattle stations in Australia. He never knew a stranger and his reputation for raising good horses preceded him. He became my hero as I grew older. I realized that he had little fear and he lived life...he didn't let life live him.
I'd like to think that there is a whole lot of my Grandpa Art in me. I know I got my entrepreneurial spirit from him. I also inherited my love of new, far away places from him. Following in his footsteps I believe that my word is my bond and I still believe that a firm handshake and looking someone in the eye is equal to signing my name on a dotted line. I miss him a lot. I miss all the years that I didn't get to know him. Truth be told I miss the old times. I know the past is not the way I'm headed and it's best to stay focused on the present, but just today I will sit and reminisce a bit about my Grandpa Art. I hope he sees me...and I hope what he sees brings him pride. 12 years ago today I took a big leap and began a business out of my home. Through these years there have been many changes, but I'm proud to say today it's a success. I haven't had to give up a whole lot because I can work from anywhere...even on the back of my horse moving cows out here on our ranch. I've learned a lot over the years, but the thing I've learned the most is that there will be days you feel like quitting. BUT...what you do at that moment is what will define everything for you in the future. I have a saying that I live by: "What you do today determines all of your tomorrows." Those words are always appropriate and so full of truth. Thanks to my family for helping me to believe in myself and thanks to my grandpa for being the one who cut trail for the rest of us. Happy Birthday in heaven, Grandpa!