Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ Thomas Edison

 This quote is brand new to me, but it sure brings an old image to mind. All through my childhood I would watch my Grandfather walk through our fields dressed in Dickey’s overalls and a long sleeve brown canvas shirt. He never wore a short sleeve shirt- ever, despite temperatures rising into the triple digits on plenty of days.  And the only time he was ever out of those overalls was on Christmas or at family wedding or funeral.

My grandfather was a salt of the earth farmer- and every single day of his life was brimming with opportunity. He probably never called it opportunity, instead he just called it work- but semantics aside, every single morning he would put on those overalls, sling his shovel over his shoulder, and head out onto the horizon.

In the last few years of his life he became a bit less capable of doing all the work that he used to, but this did not stop him from trying. When his concerned family (which included me) would good-naturedly lecture him to spend more time resting and less time working, he never minced his words. ‘If I can’t work I may as well be dead.’  Thomas Edison was far more eloquent, but I think he and my Grandfather were probably saying the same thing….  Each day is an opportunity…. it may be disguised as work, but an opportunity is just that… a chance that we are given to make a difference in our lives or another.

My Grandfather put on those overalls every day of his adult life until the age of 94 when his work was finally done and he took his last breath.  That last day, no doubt, was an opportunity as well- and if I know my Grandfather, wherever he is right now…he is still wearing overalls.  Because as Thomas Edison reminds, opportunity wears overalls. Who knew?