Redwoods: Today is Leo’s Birthday (but not mine)

LC_TheRoaringRedwoods_ep7b-3Leo’s birthday is today. I thought I’d share a few anecdotes. And I guess I should say Episode 7 is available now and if you’re not sure you want to read The Roaring Redwoods- try Episode 1 for free (episode 6 is also free).

So Leo was an avid hunter and he told me the maddest he ever was towards me was when he was dressing a deer in the back yard and I came up and said “Ew, gross.” And ran off. He told me this story a few times over decades. The man hung on! I get it now, but I’m sorry to say, Grandpa, I still think that stuff is gross. But it’s not personal, I don’t like cleaning the fish I catch either.

He was the man for trivia. He read and watched tv enough to pick up an amazing assortment of knowledge. I think the history of Redwoods would have appealed to him as I throw in the tidbits of actual history to enhance the fictional one.

But what about writing? So I said he was a hunter. He went on a trip one time and he hadn’t seen any viable deer, so one morning he just went out with his camera instead. And it was beautiful and eery and stunning. And he came upon a magnificent buck (of course). There was something in that morning that captivated him.

And he felt compelled to write a story about it.

He was going to send it in to a magazine who published stories like his.

I don’t know if he ever did. I hope he did.

1474516_778593515537846_7526092334353990690_nAnd now I will tell you this story. When I was 20, I had a solid full time job and was getting burned out by the second. I felt like I had sort of tripped into this job and it wasn’t what I wanted, but it was a good job with a good future… But then I had the opportunity to take a very fun-sounding job out of state– but it was only temporary.

And I asked my Grandpa what I should do (stay with the sure thing or go for the unknown). He told me the story of him wanting a career in Forestry and regretting not trying for it (he had a long career with the US Postal Service). I’m thinking the spark for his love in Forestry caught during his time with the CCC’s pre World War II and he worked in Glacier National Park for a while.

He said if I thought I would ever look back with doubt or regret on the decision to NOT take that fun out-of-state job, then I should do it (and I did).

He said the regret of not trying would be worse than anything that could happen by going. Because if it turned out badly, at least I would not have the regret of not trying.

My writing has been something I have considered highly impractical and most of my family is not supportive. In fact, most do not speak of it. But I could not ignore that I felt experiences or imagined stories and I had to write about them. Something captivated me and I had to write about it.

And the effort to write, and to learn to write well, to publish, to try– well, I knew I would look back and regret not trying.

And my Grandpa taught me better than that.

So Happy Birthday to Grandpa Leo. In his honor, I hope you’ll try something you’ve been thinking of. Because regret is worse than fear.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned?

Who was a special mentor to you?

Have you tried something and regretted it?

What haven’t you tried that you might regret later?