I am sorry I did not get this posted for Father’s Day…… 😦
In honor of Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, I am posting my dad‘s picture.
I love him, he’s the best. Daddy you had my heart as a little girl…Daddy’s girl… and you still have a big chunk of it today and always.
I thank you for all that you have given me of yourself through the years.
I remember many “campfires” in the backyard. I recall a picture..don’t know where it is at, I am in a frilly pink dress sitting on your lap, at about 1-1/2 -2 years old, sitting at the fire ring. You are pointing at the fire, I am sure you are telling how hot it is. And it all went from there…. We had many “campfires” in the backyard growing up with the all the family as it grew. Dad, mom, me, my sister and two brothers. We were the hand full.
I remember at about 5, I threw and glass insulator (from an old electric line) straight in the air, with the screw still intact, and it came down in the middle of my forehead. You say it was one of those slow motion things. You saw it happening and you yell at me…NNOOOOOO….and you were running in slow motion…couldn’t get to me soon enough before it was done and I was on the ground bloody and crying. You picked me up, ran into the kitchen, laid me on the table and mom started to get wet clothes and you cleaned me up. Head wound bleed a lot. I was fine, with a small “nick” in my left side of my forehead at the hairline. Jumping off the table and trying to run out and play again. You kept me in for a while so that my body would settle down.
In grade school you work 2 jobs so mom could stay home with the 4 of us rowdy kids…we sure would fight at times…oh man….
We would see you leave or work nor would we see before we went to bed. BUT every night you would come in our room sit on our beds, hug us and give us a kiss. There were some nights we would stay awake and pretend to be asleep when you came home, I sure you did know, but you never let on. I sure enjoyed those hugs and kisses. Sometime you would talk to us. Ask us how our days went. You had already talked to mom so you knew. As you talked to us you would carry on a conversation with us all by yourself. You missed us.
Come your one and only day off, you spent with the family. You wouldn’t let any thing get in the way of your day with mom and the kids. We would picnic. Go to the river. Leave late the night before and camp under a tarp and fish the next day.
One weekend we had, we were in a tent and it rained and rained and a skunk tried to room with us. What fun! 😦 I think the skunk won that one and we all got in the truck.
You chased a bear or 2 off in our camping days.
I learned to cook on an open fire with you. Camp food was some of the best.
You taught me to fish. You told me if i wanted to fish with you I had to learn to bait my own hook. As I got a little older I had to learn to clean, scale and skin them. Yu tought me I had to sit still and be patient. The fish didn’t come to those that were up and bouncing all over the place. “Keep the line tight and don’t wiggle it around. You’ll never get a fish like that. Stop with all the noise, you’re gonna scare them a way for me also.” You’d say to me but never in anger.
You taught me to raise animals. We had many dogs and cats. We also raised a few sheep. Little did I know, after the “fair show” they were going off to market. I was crushed! I would not eat lamb for years in fear I was eating my lamb I raised.
You taught me and the other kids (siblings) to shoot any gun we ever own. You taught me to hunt quail, dove and rabbits. Again, if I was going to hunt I was to learn how to take care of the critter once I bagged it. So in other words, if I shot the critter I had to gut, clean and skin it. These were things I also passed down to my kids….there are other stories in this area I may share at another time. 🙂
As I got older, in Jr. High, I was afraid of a couple of girls that were giving me a hard time and said they wanted to fight me…say what! Fighting with your brothers and sister was one thing, but girls from school! I talked to you one night and yu told me not to start it, leave things alone, don’t fuel their fire. But if you need to protect yourself do this….and they will leave you alone. The fight happened…I don’t remember what happened. A teacher broke it up, nothing was said. My parents were called to the school office and the principle laughed…come on..ok..I wasn’t in trouble. Talk had gone through the school…small school…my actions were justified and, I guess laughable. Know what, to this day I don’t remember a thing about the fight. 😦 Probably just as well.
Dad taught me to drive. He started teaching me when I was really in the 2 grade. 🙂 In 6th grade we lived in the “sticks” and I had to learn to drive a standard…ugh. This standard pickup was and 1965 Chevy, no power steering and a clutch that just didn’t like being pushed to the floor. On top of that the stick shift was so hard to get in gear if I killed it I might as well have walked home. That clutch and gear shift had it out for me. Dad told me until I learned to drive that I was not to drive anything else…I could drive an automatic rather well. He also told me if I could learn to drive that truck I could probably drive anything, so far he was right.
In my driving years I ran the car off the road once and tried to hide it from him. He knew our tires…and the tread they had. I was up a creek without a paddle. He went to the school…I was now in high school, jr. year, to make sure I was all right. He was waiting for me when I got home. “Any problems going to school?” “Uh, no.” “Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to tell me?” “No everything is fine.” Well so much for trying to get away with something and to lie to my dad…ugggh!!! His ears started to burn with smoke and flaming eyes were heating up…”Well, I know you ran off the road this morning, going to fast. Who helped you out?) I was half way in ditch and had to be pulled out by a near by resident down the road..I was already 3 miles from home on a dirt road and no one else in between. The smoke and fire got thicker and hotter. Dad never yelled. “I went to the school to make sure you were all right. who pulled you out?” “The “dairy farmer” down the street.” “Ok this is the way it is, you lied to me, you’re ground, you can drive to and from school. no lunches off campus or anything else..I know the mileage to and from school, I WILL check it. Second, if you’ve try and hide something like this I WILL take you license away and there will be no more driving.”
One year later I tried another dumb stunt… I got my first speeding ticket. I went to the courthouse and had it figured out and paid it. So I forgot all about it until dad picked up the mail and a letter from the magistrate court in my name was on it. He handed it to me and asked what this was about. I really didn’t know. It had been a month later or so before the letter arrived. I opened it up and said, “Oh.” “Oh what?” I explained what had happened. He told me he was glad I took care of the ticket myself, but I hid it from him. “Go get your driver’s licence.” I did. “It is mine now,” he said. I didn’t dare ask for how long. I was 18 and a senior in high school. I rode the bus to and from school. Two months later He came into my room and handed me my licence. Kissed me on my forehead and said, “be careful,” and left with the rise of eyebrow. Do you know wha tI mean by the “rise of the eyebrow.” Well you should. Truth was aways on dad’s side. I think God planned it that way.
In January of my senior year,my high school sweetheart asked my dad if he had his permission and blessing to marry me. Dad said yes! Dad kept it quiet, only telling mom.
It was in May one week after my high school graduation we were married. My dad cried all day. He would hug and hold my hand with no words, only tears. According to my mom he spoke very little that day. His baby girl “flew the coup.”
Two years later I told him I was expecting our first child. He took me by the hand, we went for a walk. Hand in hand no words, only tears trickled down his cheeks. We arrived at a small hill back behind our house-the house I grew up in-sat down, dad put his arm around me and said, “I love you!” We sat there for a while with no words. Again he took me by the hand and we walked back home. My husband asked me what was said sense we were gone so long. I said, “he said he loved me.” “Is that all that he said?” “Yes!” A strange look comes over my husbands face. He has learned by now my dad was a man of few words, but when he spoke he meant what he said. Dad is a kidder and a since of humor, but when it comes to being serious, you listen.
Today my dad is not well. He has had 3 strokes through the last several years and the last one was a month ago. He is in the nursing home for rehab. He is in a wheelchair and has minimal use of his limbs. We are still in hopes he continues to recover from this last stroke so he can return home.
Through the years dad has tought me a lot. He has let me be me and been there when I needed him. I love my dad, he is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. “Thank you Lord!”
“There is no more vital calling or vocation than being a father.” John R. Throop