When Justin Farrell’s much loved Grandpa turned 80 in 2012 they planned an Alaskan hunting, fishing and sight-seeing trip to celebrate. His Grandpa had always been a “big part of his life.” He had taught him the importance of patience when hunting, how to walk quietly, “heel to toe,” why “not to give chase too soon after the shot” and how to field dress a deer. Now he wanted to share one last “incredible journey” with him.
As a mental health therapist and now clinical supervisor of a Vancouver community health center Justin had talked with too many clients who lived with regret, lived with the “if only’s” for what might have been. He didn’t want to be one of them.
At his Grandpa’s age there were no guarantees his health would continue to allow such a difficult trip. “No guarantee Justin would again get two weeks off” and no guarantee their Alaskan relatives would be there to host their visit. The timing was perfect!
Justin’s memoir, God and Grandpa is wrapped in campfire wisdom that features what happens when life slows down, techno gadgets, such as computers and cell phones are unavailable and all multi-tasking stops. Although Justin frequently advised his clients to stop multi-tasking and learn to”stay in the moment,” focus on what was happening in the here and now, this Alaskan road trip would equip him with the luxury of time to practice what he preached.
Colorful photographs of moose, grizzlies and large “stone sheep” with full curled horns enhance the narrative as well as stunning pictures of Alaskan mountain scenery. Then there’s the color photographs of Justin and his Grandpa growing up and snapshots of them fishing in Alaska’s Klutina river or their rafting trip down the Gulkana among many others.
Perhaps the most important part of their trip were the “Lessons Learned on the Road Trip of a Lifetime” that portray their spiritual journey along 4,700 miles of the Alaska-Canada Highway.” Their nighttime campfires where they reminisced about God, His provision and care for them, their family, friends and loved ones.
Justin’s memoir is a quick, fun read about a grandson’s love for his grandpa that’s wrapped in “wildlife, wisdom and whimsy.”
God and Grandpa: Lessons Learned on the Road Trip of a Lifetime, by Justin Farrell, Create Space, 2014, 108 Pages, 978-1503295285, $12.95
Midwest Book Reviews “Gail’s Bookshelf” 4-2015
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Interview with Justin Farrell – God and Grandpa
Daddy Blogger TV host Ricky Shetty interviews Justin Farrell, author of God and Grandpa, about his life-changing road trip to Alaska! and spiritual journey along the Alaska-Canada Highway. The extraordinary adventure begins on an otherwise ordinary Friday in June when the two embark on a journey neither will forget. Starting in Washington state and ending on the raging waters of the Gulkana River in Alaska, they are forever changed during their eleven days together.
God and Grandpa: Lessons Learned on the Road Trip of a Lifetime, by Justin Farrell
Wildlife, wisdom, and whimsy fill these pages as a grandfather and grandson share a physical and spiritual journey along the Alaska-Canada Highway. The extraordinary adventure begins on an otherwise ordinary Friday in June when the two embark on a journey neither will forget. Starting in Washington state and ending on the raging waters of the Gulkana River in Alaska, they are forever changed during their eleven days together. In addition to the breathtaking scenery and wildlife encounters, they shared personal reflections on faith, family, and fatherhood. Ride along with them as they encounter God among the grizzly bears, moose, and bison. Buckle up, God and Grandpa will have you packing your bags for your own road trip of a lifetime.
The Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict, by Justin Farrell
Yellowstone holds a special place in America’s heart. As the world’s first national park, it is globally recognized as the crown jewel of modern environmental preservation. But the park and its surrounding regions have recently become a lightning rod for environmental conflict, plagued by intense and intractable political struggles among the federal government, National Park Service, environmentalists, industry, local residents, and elected officials.
The Battle for Yellowstone asks why it is that, with the flood of expert scientific, economic, and legal efforts to resolve disagreements over Yellowstone, there is no improvement? Why do even seemingly minor issues erupt into impassioned disputes? What can Yellowstone teach us about the worsening environmental conflicts worldwide?
Justin Farrell argues that the battle for Yellowstone has deep moral, cultural, and spiritual roots that until now have been obscured by the supposedly rational and technical nature of the conflict. Tracing in unprecedented detail the moral causes and consequences of large-scale social change in the American West, he describes how a “new-west” social order has emerged that has devalued traditional American beliefs about manifest destiny and rugged individualism, and how morality and spirituality have influenced the most polarizing and techno-centric conflicts in Yellowstone’s history.
This groundbreaking book shows how the unprecedented conflict over Yellowstone is not all about science, law, or economic interests, but more surprisingly, is about cultural upheaval and the construction of new moral and spiritual boundaries in the American West.
Adventures with Grandpa: The Fishing Trip, by Bob Thelen
Adventures with Grandpa, The Fishing Trip, would like to show that there are many great and wonderful things to do with our Grandparents besides just going over to visit and watch TV! There are many lessons that can be learned for both grandparent and Grandchild alike! Passing on ones love for all things wild can bond a family for a lifetime!
How to Babysit a Grandpa, by Jane Reagan, Illustrated by Lee Wildish
A New York Times bestselling picture book about a child spending time with his grandpa. Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for “babysitting” a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play).
Filled with humor, energy, and warmth, this is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!
Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa: 100+ Conversation Starters for Grandparents of Any Age, by Stuart Gustafson & Robyn Freedman Spizman
What is your favorite family memory?
How did the world you grew up in differ from today’s world?
Is there anything in life you wish you did, but never have?
From childhood and family matters to aspirations and fears, these are just a few of the thought-provoking questions you will find in Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa. This wonderfully compelling book helps you gain a deeper understanding of your eldest family members and discover some interesting family history too!
Through intimate conversations, you will soon know more about your grandparents than you ever thought possible. Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa promises to open up your relationship and strengthen the bond between you for years to come. And with plenty of space to write in your answers, it truly is a keepsake worth preserving!