Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's Dad's Day

This is a tribute to all those dads who stood up to the plate of "parenting."
I give tribute to the men who have been there throughout my life.
To my great-grandfather on my mom's side who cuddled me and told me jokes when I was just a wee one. He made a wooden doll's cradle for me that I still own.
To my granddaddy on my mom's side who told me what life was like when he sold newspapers at the age of 9 yrs for 5 cents on the street corner to help out with finances at home. The stories of WWII and the Great Depression when sugar and gas were rationed and times were tough. He sang songs of this beloved country to me. I remember most, the Betsy Ross song. He told stories of his grandmother who had 19 children and how they lived in the mountains of WVA. He had a gift/talent with carpentry and made me the most beautiful play cupboard and table with chairs for Christmas one year.
To my Pap-Pap on my dad's side who taught me the true value/meaning of life and to appreciate my heritage and the honor of family. He told of hard times when he was forced to mine coal at the age of 12 to help with homelife. He taught me to appreciate our Earth and said, "No man owns the earth and yet they go to war over possession of land. No man will ever actually own land. It belongs to the Great Spirit."
He taught me to whittle with a pen knife and to have respect for others. His famous saying was, " A man is only as good as his word." A saying that I have applied to many people albeit man/woman in my own life.
To my own Dad. You taught me to laugh and have fun. You taught me discipline and manners. I remember you playing baseball and hide and seek with us. I remember you taking all of us to the drive-in theater, The County Fair, little bags of penny candy and the trip into town to see the Magician. You made me feel important by taking me to town at Christmas to help you get that special gift for mom. I was 7 yrs old at the time and mom was really surprised when she opened that new toaster and dress slip (well at least she acted surprised). In spite of the fact you knew it would never work, you still took me deer hunting after I begged to go. I chattered like a magpie (not a good thing for a hunter to have a chattering 8 yr old girl while deer hunting). I finally decided I would have more fun at the farmhouse helping mom-mom & pap-pap with the "Hunters' Dinner."
You read the newspaper funny paper to us every Sunday morning before going to church which helped mom. It kept us out of the kitchen while she cooked breakfast.
You taught me how to fly a kite and weed a garden ( I could do without the latter...ha-ha) There are so many wonderful memories; baling hay, making fudge (when mom wasn't home), snow ice cream, potato candy, sled riding, maintaining my bicycle tires/brakes/chain, teaching me to drive and not yelling when I ran the car through the brand new garage door. How to check the oil in a car (things a girl should know) and the ins and outs of building a house. I could go on and on. Your famous saying (and it is applied many times in my life), "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Thanks Dad, I Love You.
To my own husband who stepped up to the parenting plate to two little boys and then to our own two daughters. You worked two jobs and many long hours to feed, clothe and house this crew, we call a family. Sometimes it was difficult for you to find time to spend with us but somehow you managed.
You played ball and you taught them how to fly kites. You taught them to drive and you were very understanding through the eldest son's "need for speed." You went scouting (in sub zero temps to make "men" out of the boys.....LOL), fishing, band concerts, football games, baseball games, dance recitals, horse shows, church pageants, graduations etc., you managed to attend most of them.
Remember when you dug your good (rusted) saw out of the ground after a long, hard, snowy winter? You looked for that saw for months. The boys "borrowed" it to work on their tree house in the early fall and "forgot" to put it back. You weren't happy about the saw but you secretly told me, "at least they had fun." You never said much but you were sorry to see them "leave the nest when it was time for them to fly." You taught the boys to be "honest men" and the girls to be "independent women." You have supported them in everything they have accomplished and loved them along the way. Job Well Done!


Channon said...

What a sweet post! Thanks for sharing with us.

Bubblesknits said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. :-)

Laura Neal said...

Have you thought of writing? I think you should write a book about your family.

Firefly Nights said...

How fortunate you are to have had so many wonderful men in your life. Both of my grandfathers died long before I was born. My father did live until I was in my 30s, and I had one uncle, but that was all. And, my father and uncle didn't tell many stories. Looking back, I guess I should have asked questions.