Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dads, Part II

I wrote this whole thing and it didn't save, so I have to start over.  I want to beat my head against the wall, but it wouldn't really benefit me in recreating the masterpiece I felt I had...

My dad became the man of the family at age 6 when his father died.  It wasn't cool to be on Welfare then, so he went to work at age 10 so they could take care of themselves.                                                                                                                     
From the stories we all love to hear, he was probably the ringleader of his mischievous brothers and one sister.  From pulling pranks, teasing cousins, burning horns off young bulls down into the skull (actually one horn off one young bull who went through the rest of his life as a form of unicorn),  to stranding his younger brothers on the roof in their underwear after they were sent to fetch the mis-thrown Sunday paper, to sneaking joyrides in the car they stored for their future step-father while he was off in the War, it sounds as if he kept life quite interesting for their single mother.                                                                                                                                       
Dad married Mom at age 18, and became the man of his own family.  He worked so hard through the years making sure the 7 of us had a good home, food, and clothing.  He did a number of things in his life, including driving a milk tanker and serving as a volunteer fireman, a sheriff's deputy, and a justice of the peace.                                                                                     
When I was 15 months old, he worked in a hardware store that he commuted to about 45 minutes each way.  He left in the morning before I woke up and got home in the evening after I was asleep for the night.  On weekends, I cried at the sight of him, not knowing who he was.  He couldn't stand that any more and we moved closer to his job.                                                                                                                                                                         
He spent most of his life working in the building materials industry.  He realized his dream of being his own boss when Grandpa D retired, and he partnered with my mom's brother to own and run the hardware store, working 6 long days a week.                                                                                                            
Dad was laid off from his job when I was 10.  It was a very low time for someone who valued hard work and his role as a provider so highly.  I will always remember the first Christmas after he got the new job, when he went through stores joyously buying gifts for my mom...Small appliances, clothing, personal items, and even jewelry, in deep appreciation for the sacrifices she'd made during the tough times.  My younger sister and I had never seen him like that, and giggled as he fairly danced around the aisles, singing, "I yust go nuts at Christmas," from Stan Boreson's comical hit.                                                                                                                                         
He is quite industrious.  When I was 5, we bought property with community beach on Hood Canal. It was supposed to come with a small cabin, but the developers reneged on that part of the contract for all the buyers.  To suffice, my dad bought an old school bus and fashioned it into a motor home.  Not all the community members appreciated the look of it, be we thought it was so cool.  Years later, he was able to finally build us a cabin.                                                                                                                                  
I remember sitting on my daddy's lap and dancing by standing on his shoes when he got home from work.  And I remember fishing.  He and I seemed to enjoy a quiet day on the water with a fishing pole in our hands more than the rest of the family.  Occasionally, Mom and my younger sister came along, but there were many great, great days Dad and I boated alone down the Black River, trolling for trout.  We always meant to try bass fishing together, but we never did.                                                                                         
Dad has endless skills regarding construction projects.  During the few hours he wasn't at his job, he worked to maintain and repair our house.  He always made sure our cars were maintained just right, so that his family could travel safely in a reliable care that would get them where they were going. He built the house we lived in when I was born, and he's helped us with all of our homes, whether it was advice over the phone, or often, with tools in his hand, making sure the job got done, and done right, for us.  When we were finishing the basement in our last house, he taught Prince Stoic to wire outlets, and they worked, side-by-side, wiring all the rooms.                                                                                                  
Now the kids love nothing better to sit after a meal, listening to his stories and experiences.  He and Prince Go-for-It enjoy talking fishing, and Grandpa gladly shares some of his 'never-fail' equipment with the young prince.  I think I might have shared this before, but Prince Go-for-It says, with agreement from Prince Inventive, "I wish Grandpa was my age, so we could be best friends...He's so cool."                                                                                                                                             
My dad knows EVERYTHING...and isn't that what dadding is about?

Hubby wasn't sure he was ready for a baby when I was.  But after escorting Princess Bossy to the nursery while they stitched me up after my only C-Section, he had to stop off in the restroom to find a private place to cry in thanks, and in overwhelming awe at the amazing blessing we'd been given.  She had him wrapped around her finger from that point on, and the rest of the kids do, too.                                                                                                                                                
So it wasn't just with babies...
I've shared photos previously of his customary position with every baby...Baby on shoulder, both baby and daddy sound asleep.  That baby smell and those cozy, stretch terry jammies got him every time.                                                       
My parents have admired Hubby's patience with all the kids, loving to have them work with him, even if things have to proceed at a slower pace.  They, and many others, also admire his willingness to help out and jump up to do the most minor -or major- favors.  He is a giving person, with skills to share, and seems to have been born lacking the ability to get his lips to form the word, "No."  ;-)                                                                                        
You can't tell me this doesn't make the job
take longer!  Classic Hubby.  No problem.
This picture makes me laugh...
and love him all the more
He shared with me his dream to build his own house on one of our first dates.  He never knew then that it would be 21 years until it became possible.  I know he wouldn't change the course of things, though, as there is no other memory he holds as dear as building our house with our homegrown crew at his side.  His buttons almost burst talking about the great and accurate carpentry and finish work the kids did in our home.  Of course, the credit is due to the teacher and the priorities they were taught.                                                                                    
As with the generosity and timing of many blessings in our lives, we are blown away by the providential timing of our house build.  All of the kids were past the baby stage, so able to help in at least some little way, and everyone was still at home to make it a true, whole-family project.                                                                                                                                    
He's a hard worker, always melded to his grandma's words, "Work before pleasure," and "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."  The kids, of course, only want him to play.  With a fairly easy-going type of personality, he was always ready for an impromptu silly dance, or doing a train around the house with all the kids latched on, streaming behind him.  They convince him to take time off from the endless list of tasks to play catch, participate in a game of croquet, have a campfire, or go fishing.                                                                                       
He is the reason people rave about what good workers our kids are, and why they love to go to church every week.  He wants to make sure the kids avoid the pitfalls of overspending and debt.  He wants them to know the Lord, which, thankfully, they do.  He loves their mom and makes sure they know it.  His dream, now, is to help them all build or remodel their own homes.  He can't wait.                                                  
He's a good dad. 
Teaching how to clean a fish...Gotta love those expressions!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...