Daddy's Snowmen


25 Jun 2009 02:50 pm

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My Dad and Mom married young. They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary this month.

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My brothers, my sister and I were lucky kids. We had a father and mother who raised us with love, attention, and discipline. My Dad was always my idol and I followed him around like a puppy. (as I have written before)

I was busy celebrating Fathers Day with Daddy this past Sunday and neglected to honor him here at The Wide Awake Cafe. So here are some photos that almost capture his sweet essence.

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My Pop, drinking a pop.

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His grandkids call him “Pappy.

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The Beautiful People

04 Feb 2009 10:01 pm

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Love can teach you so much, especially when it’s as well reciprocated as it has always been with my Dad. I have always written about my hero worship of him, how I followed him around and watched him draw and paint and sing and play fast pitch soft ball and be a role model for my brothers, my sister and me.

Daddy turned eighty one years old the other day, on Ground Hogs Day actually, and he saw his shadow, a very long shadow indeed, and we, his children, walk in his shadow.

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I remember when I was learning multiplication in school. One day when we were out for a ride in Daddy’s black 48 Chevy, Daddy taught me my nines times tables just by explaining the patterns the digits made if you started from either end and added or took away from the ones or tens places and switched the digits.

For example……

1 × 9 = 09 -Daddy said, do the switcheroo. take one away from the ones place and put it in the tens place. Then we’ll have the answer to 2×9.

2 × 9 = 18 -He said, try it on this one too. Take one from the 8 and you will have 7. Add that one to the 1 in the tens place and you will have 2. Hence, 27. It works all the way down to 90.

3 × 9 = 27

4 × 9 = 36

5 × 9 = 45

6 × 9 = 54

7 × 9 = 63

8 × 9 = 72

9 × 9 = 81

10 × 9 = 90

He explained all of this to me while he was driving the car around town.

It’s not that my parents were the pushy kind of parents who insisted on their kids making straight A’s and stomped down to the principal’s office at the first hint of a B+. Not at all. Sometimes our lives were so busy and interesting that our doing our homework was the last thing on our parent’s minds but our conversations with our parents were always interesting, engaging and naturally educational. When Daddy taught me that interesting trick with the nines table it opened my eyes to patterns in numbers and made math much more interesting to me, which was something, unfortunately, none of my elementary teachers did.

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Daddy has always been an excellent artist. I find that I am just a pale immitation when I compare myself to him.

Watching Daddy’s kindness to people who were down and out was not an unusual occurrence to my brothers, my sister and I when we were growing up. Both of our parents were of one mind when it came to taking care of our neighbors, our friends and family who were in need. Daddy has a deep faith in God which should come as no surprise. I remember some calm words of faith that he offered me when I was leaving home for the first time to go to college. He didn’t have to tell me to be careful either. All he said was, “All my ships are leaving the harbor.”

When you watch your own father pray it makes it easier to believe.

Here’s to many more Ground Hogs Day Shadow Making Birthdays for my Dad. The love will just keep on multiplying.

16 Jan 2009 12:08 am

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Old King Cole, one of the many snowmen my Dad built back in the snow days of our childhood.

It’s snowing today, just a little really but it’s cold here in the foothills of the Boston Mountains and I say, bring on the snow.

I can’t say we’ve had much of the white stuff in recent years, much to my regret. Our father made snow so much fun when we were kids that I have always loved cold weather and have looked forward to even the hint of snow.

Luckily, we’ve lived in a lot of snowy places but in recent years since my husband has retired it’s been like living in the Sahara Desert when it comes to snow.

My mother could always tell when snow was coming by watching the birds. She could spot the snow birds. For some reason the weather men can’t seem to do that. There was no hint of snow in the weather forecast last night.

Our weather man has taken to blogging.

I keep forgetting to check out the link but I should because it tells me more than the actual weather page, which should tell us something about the effectiveness of blogging….

I remember noticing something the other day about the world entering a global ice age, that global warming is passé which is why the environmental wackos have been changing their lingo of late to “climate change”.

It’s all a cycle. There was a lot of snow in the fifties and sixties here. It slacked off in the past twenty years. I’m ready for some snow but not ice.

I am writing under the influence of being under the weather today so this is all a stream of consciousness.

Last night I felt like I was being hit over the side of the head. I couldn’t sleep. All night long I was awake. That’s me though. When I do sleep it’s good. When I don’t it’s up all night for me. Notasleep. I am on twitter now and that’s my handle. Then for an hour I did go to sleep. When I awakened I looked out the window and there were all these little white things falling down from the sky. I hadn’t seen them for so long I had a hard time identifying them until I turned on the coffee maker.

There was white on top of the car, on the yard, on the porch. It was fun looking out of the window and seeing so much white.

Flakes.

Snow.

Coffee helps to clarify the mind and therefore the fingertips on the keyboard.

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Daddy kept up his snowman-making-skills after I grew up and married. He sent me this photo of Elvis, the snowman when we were stationed overseas in Germany. He made this snowman in honor of Elvis Presley after his death in 1977. That winter was a cold one in this part of Arkansas.

He wrote on the back of the photo that he worked some more on the snowman after he took the picture and it looked better. Ever the perfectionist.

If you scroll back up to the top picture and look at Old King Cole, the snowman, take a look at the background and you will see the kingdom of our childhood, where my brother, Bobby ruled supreme. He was always the Captain and our neighbor, Mark was his right hand man. Tommy Across the Street was the Sgt. Lucy was the tattle tale and I was probably one too. Lucy and I did our own thing except when the boys took to building forts.

We always got in on that. When there were wars we liked to play too. Lucy and I liked to be the Indians and would go to the moss kingdom and look for arrowheads. There was a stream that ran through the woods and at the back of the woods it got wider and we liked to jump over it. We would jump and jump and purposely get sloppy so we would slip and fall in the middle and make a splash. A big white sycamore tree hung over the stream and it had lots of hanging vines we liked to catch hold of to swing across. Behind our woods was a large pasture which belonged to a neighbor. They had a large pond on their property. On a very rare ocassion we would slip through the fence and go over to the pond to try to skip some rocks.

But we had enough magic going on in our own woods.

Especially when it snowed. Our own horse, Scout got in on the action. He loved it when it snowed. Note the little shed in the background of the photo. That was his shelter. It was open in front so it didn’t keep him very warm. Quite often when Daddy closed the gate in the front yard giving Scout the run of the yard our intrepid horse would manage to get into the garage which is where we kept the feed and the hay. One time he trampled Daddy’s box of Al Jolson records.

One winter when it was so bitter cold that the temperature dipped into minus degrees my mother was so worried about Scout that she took one of my maternal grandfather’s old wool coats out to the shed and put it on Scout’s back. He wore it until it warmed up.

But Scout loved the snow. When it snowed he would roll around in it making his own kind of horse snow angels. He was just like all of us kids when it came to snow and rain.

But now the day is over. I just looked out the window and the snow stopped long ago and is no more. It’s cold still and will be extremely cold tonight.

Still no snow.