My Dad was a farmer, as was his father. They both rose early morning and retired early evening. Long years of hard work kept them both going physically and mentally.
Though I didn’t know my Dad well, he was loved. He and my Mom divorced when I was around five, I think. I didn’t see him again until I was about eleven or twelve, the year escapes me. I can never remember him saying I Love You, but he always cried when he, or we, left. So I know he cared.
My brother and I visited the farm, which was down the hill from my Grandfather’s home, several times during summer or fall, and I have many memories stored. My two older brothers lived with my Dad and taught us a lot about country living. Once when I was maybe thirteen, I tried making pancakes for breakfast. Lord! Who knew there was plain flour? The pancakes were some of the best rubber money could buy. Needless to say, no one ever asked me to make pancakes again. 🙂 Other things that made an impression were a smokehouse, a salt box, a cold, cold spring, and snakes. I loved the spring and its cold water, but hated going because there might be a snake or two around.
My Grandfather owned a sawmill. He built my Grandmother a beautiful large home on top of a hill overlooking fields of cattle with a mountain in the background. I used to love sitting on the wrap-a-round porch where a nice breeze kept me cool. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more quiet or gentle man. So I guess that’s where my Dad got his quiet manner. Off the kitchen was a cool cellar filled with home-canned goods. There was a huge fireplace in the kitchen, for warmth and cooking. The wood cooking stove, for some reason, always fascinated me. He also had bee hives. He amazed me gathering honey in five gallon buckets. Oh, was the honey ever good on hot buttered biscuits.
A few years ago, before my father passed, we were at my brother’s place in the mountains for a family reunion. All of a sudden gunshots rang out. My brother said, oh, that’s just Dad shooting a snake. We all went to the creek that ran between my two brother’s places, to see the snake. It was a copperhead! I always watch my step now when I visit.
Whether we spent a lifetime with our father, or only at special times, there’s a bond that forms. Memories that can’t be erased and those make Father’s Day special.