Against the Grain

I love music, all kinds of music. Today I had a playlist on my itunes playing on shuffle. Garth Brooks song, "Against the Grain" was playing. I listened to it a few times, and you know how sometimes music just fits the way you live? I've always thought outside of the box, never wanting to be a conformist. And I wondered where did I get the strength to live my life this way. Helping others whenever they needed it. Telling the truth when I lie would be much easier to live with. I thought of my Grandpa. He was a cowboy until he couldn't afford to be one anymore, pictured above. He had to settle for driving an oil truck. But when I look at the few pictures I have of him, there was always a dog or cat in his lap. Hobson was his name, and he lived his life "against the grain"!

My Mom never talked to much about him, except for the part about loving animals and being a stand up guy. He took his own life way too soon. Not sure why a guy of his character would do that. Maybe life just got too hard for him, and he finally gave up. Sadly I will never know the real reason.

That's my Dad above with me.  This man drove me crazy my entire life, but he had a heart of gold. He was always arguing with a car repair place or someone else because if they hadn't done it "right" then he was going to make damn sure they did! He always helped those that needed an extra hand, that is just the way he was. 
He never compromised when it came to right or wrong. He always chose the right way even if it was
"against the grain"!

By the time I was in my late teens, and early 20's, I had made the decision, or maybe it was my destiny to do what was right in the world. Use to spend a lot of time on an Indian reservation outside of Yuma, Arizona, close to Mexico's border. I learned what it felt like to be discriminated against.  I learned what real poverty was and how important it was to do the right thing, even if it was "against the grain."

There was no doubt in my mind that my own kids would grow up and know what was important in life and what part was basically BS!  They knew at an early age that the truth was always better than a lie.  They are good kids and I am proud of all three, very proud. They will be the first to help anyone in need, rescue any animal, or give to a good cause! And they know to always tell the truth even if it means going "against the grain".

The picture below was taken a couple of months after Riley was born and a couple of months before my Dad passed away. I look at his hands, they show his years. But I also see the way he is holding his first born grandchild. He wanted to make sure his little "baby girl" would also carry on the family tradition of doing what was right, even if it was "against the grain"! It is important in life to remember how important the truth really is, even though not everyone would agree with me. And there are times you just have to stand tall and be proud that you are an individual that will always choose "against the grain" rather than compromise your personal beliefs. 

"Against The Grain"

Folks call me a maverick
Guess I aint to diplomatic
I just never been the kind to go along
Just avoidin confrontation
For the sake of conformation
And I'll admit I tent to sing a different song
But sometimes you just can't be afraid to wear a different hat
If columbus had complied
Then this old world might still be flat
Nothin' ventured, nothin gained
sometimes you've got to go against the grain

Well' i've been accused
Of makin' my own rules
There must be rebel blood
Juat a-runnin through my veins
But I aint no hypocrite
What you see is what you get
And thats the only way I know to play the game.
Old Noah took much ridicule
For building his great ark
But for forty days and forty nights
He was lookin pretty smart
Sometimes it's best to brave the wind and rain
By havin' strength to go against the grain

Well, there's more than a few
Who share my point of view
But they're worried if they're gonna sink or swim
They'd like to buck the system
But the deck is stacked against them
And they're a little scared to go out on a limb
But if you're gonna make a difference
If you're gonna leave you're mark
You can't follow like a bunch of sheep
You got to listen to your heart
Go bustin in like old John Wayne
Sometimes you've got to go against the grain

Nothin ventured, nothin gained
Sometimes you've got to go against the grain.


Irma@CosasBellas said...

OMGosh Sue, this is the best post ever. Thank you for sharing your story, why you are who you are and what you stand for.
Your Grandfather Hobson(great name by the way) was way too young to go but it's so great to know that who he was is embedded in the hearts of his family three generations later, actually four cuz I'm sure your grandbabies are already being brought up with the same values.
Thank you again for sharing this story and the words to this beautiful song. Have to go get a tissue now.

Many blessings,

The Boston Lady said...

Sue, I feel that "against the grain" is another way of saying "I'm original", "I'm going to make a difference no matter what people think". Your dad and Grandpa would be proud of the difference you've made in so many people's lives and the fact that you have passed down that wisdom to your kids. And now your beautiful grandchildren. Ann

Faded Charm said...

I, too love the words to this song. I always enjoy when you talk about your family and you are always honest whether it be good or bad. You have such a big heart Sue! Thanks for sharing.


Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

What great stories you have about your family. I love just about any Garth, but that's one of my faves! Love the way your family values have been passed down for generations, and how you hold onto and treasures the memories and stories.

Teresa said...

Sue, you have such a way... you reach way down inside of me, to a place I keep guarded so fiercely.. You always make me think... and sometimes you make me look in the mirror, and realize it's okay for me open that part of my heart, and allow myself to cry sometimes. You are a beautiful soul. It feels like we've had so many of the same things in life to go through. I love your story. I'm not strong enough to open up, the way you do, especially about the painful memories. I've got to go now so I can stop crying. I hope you never stop writing.

lisa said...

i came across your blog via another because i'm obsessed with old antiques and decorating. i never expected to be sitting here, tears streaming down my face, as i read this post.
your honesty is inspirational to me, as i too, live "against the grain". it's not easy and i often think how "simple" life would be if i just turned my head, or pretended not to see something. being the great defender of every animal in need or every cause i feel strongly about is hard sometimes, but it CAN'T be any other way. i find great peace and satisfaction with my life and who i am because i live this way. i hope you don't mind, but i posted your link on my facebook page as i hope you will touch others the way you have touched me.
my soul thanks you

lisa said...
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