For whatever reason, this week, I had been thinking about my maternal grandfather. They gave me his name and therefore we had a connection.

I was thinking about him because this month I turned the same age as he was when he passed away. I hope there is no connection there.

When I was a child, I spent a month, every summer, with my grandparents. They lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania in a long valley. My grandfather was a farmer and his main income was his dairy cows. He taught me to milk cows, and he did it in the traditional and practical way.

My grandfather and my grandmother were quite opposites. My grandfather was quite quiet and did not speak much. On the other hand, my grandmother never had an unspoken thought. I guess it made up for my grandfather’s silence.

But my grandfather was quite different, a very calm individual. I remember one afternoon sitting on the front porch with his brother, Dan. The three of us sat there and the conversation went something like that.

Grandpa, “Sure it’s a good day.”

After a few minutes, Dan said, “Sure you do.”

That was the conversation all afternoon. That was my grandfather.

As a farmer in the mountains of Pennsylvania, he was very adept at growing things.

One day he came home and in his truck there were four bushes. At least they looked like bushes. I helped him plant them on the left side of the driveway. I never saw my grandfather so happy in his entire life. Although he was smiling, he was not speaking.

I asked my grandfather what we were planting and he simply said, “Peach trees.”

The next day, a friend of my grandfather stopped by and saw the “bushes” along the driveway.

“Hey Jim,” said the friend, “what is that you planted there?”

Grandpa just looked and said, “Peach trees.”

The friend laughed and looked at my grandfather and said, “We don’t grow peach trees here. And they don’t even look like a peach tree.” And he kept laughing.

It wasn’t long before everyone in the valley made fun of their “peach trees.” In fact, the traffic in front of my grandparents’ house increased and decreased as they passed, and everyone looked out the window and pointed out those infamous peach trees.

I don’t think anyone has grown peach trees in that area before. Everyone thought that peach trees were a southern fruit and that no respectable Pennsylvania farmer would ever grow one.

Rumor had it that they weren’t, but my grandfather was just trying to fool everyone. After all, he was like that.

A year later, I was back with my grandparents for the summer, and several people would stop, look at those peach trees and ask my grandfather, “Jim, where are those peaches?” Then they would laugh at him and move on. Nobody believed peaches grew on those trees. After all, they looked like little bushes.

When I came home from my summer visit, I usually forgot about those peach trees. But then I would come back the following summer for a month and catch up on the peach tree story.

It became one of the stories of the valley because everyone thought it was a ruse. There are no peaches this year in those peach trees. Which made everyone in the valley suspicious and they thought my grandfather was trying to play a prank on them.

“Where are those peaches?” People asked as they passed by and paused for a moment. “I want a peach.”

My grandfather was smiling and it didn’t seem to bother him that he was the point of many jokes throughout the valley.

The third summer was the same. No peaches.

Then I went up the fourth summer and to my surprise those peach trees were covered in peaches.

My grandfather was a farmer and, as a farmer, he knew how to “milk” a situation. And boy, did he milk this situation.

Everyone passed by and asked my grandfather for a peach.

My grandfather would smile and say, “Those peaches aren’t ready to pick yet.”

When they left, he took a peach from the tree, gave it to me, and said, “Here is the first peach on my peach tree.” I ate it and it was delicious.

Every day he picked a dozen peaches from the trees and brought them home. My grandmother knew how to make peach cobbler like no other peach cobbler I have ever owned.

Day by day, I would remove the peaches from the tree, and when people stopped, I would tell them, “They are not ready to pick today.” Then they would leave.

In one week, all the peaches were harvested from the trees.

Then the fun began. People would pass by and ask, “Where are those peaches?”

My grandfather would look back at him and say, “What peaches?”

Then he would laugh as they walked away.

He said, “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do.” And he walked away smiling.

As I thought about him today, I thought about the scriptures; “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

If you know what you are doing, do it for the glory of God and don’t let men distract you.