Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day Thoughts

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Father's day cards are even harder to find than Mother's day.

Unless you're a big fan of the duck call making clan from Louisiana.  There are lots of cards with beards on them.  Not to say I haven't watched an episode or two and laughed right out loud, but, well, beards aren't my idea of good wishes.

Despite the fact that The Artist's beard actually won a competition at a local beard festival.

And he has such a handsome face...

Anyway, I digress.

My dad is a really unique fellow.  He's a Master Farmer (retired), having been honored by the state of Indiana with the title a few years back.

He loves farming.  Loves working in the soil.  Even though he has retired from the business and most of the busy-ness of running the farm (my two brothers having taken over the family business), he still works in the soil, and his gardens are magnificent (yes, he grew the watermelon).

He is a pioneer; he was plowing my grandad's fields with an eye to soil erosion long before there was any promotion of  soil conservation.  He built his own dirt-moving equipment in his shop so he could contour the fields he farmed to minimize erosion.

I was oblivious as a kid.  Didn't everyone's dad buy up scrap metal and weld and hammer it into useful machinery?  Isn't that just what you did if you needed something??

When I was in 5th grade,  Dad bought a farm just a few miles away from the small farm they'd owned since just before I was born and the following fall, Dad, my grandad and a family friend pretty much gutted the farmhouse there and remodeled it completely. We moved in just before I started 7th grade.

Two years after I got married, he put the house on jacks and turned the little dugout cellar into a full walkout basement w/attached garage.

No contractors were involved in any of that.

Dad loves to play games.  He says that he played Pit (the card trading game) during English class in high school...which may explain the grammar in his Facebook posts....

We grew up playing games.  Badminton, croquet, and an odd game involving baseball equipment that we called 'knock out flies' in the summer...Euchre, Pit (of course), Yahtzee, and dominoes in the winter.  Sometime shortly after we moved into the remodeled house, I bought a plastic chess set that  came with a little booklet on how to play the game.  I learned, my sister learned, and then we made the mistake of teaching the game to Dad.   He quickly became better than either of us...and really enjoyed winning.  Let's just say there's an old story in the family dating from when I was 13 that involves a shoe and the frustration of being laughed at for losing that STILL makes the rounds whenever the opportunity arises.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.  My dad spent time with me.

And I spent time with him...or at least, where he was.  Riding on an Allis Chalmers tractor (sitting on a tool box that was attached to the big fender, holding on to the fender, and looking straight down between my knees at the axle, which was the only thing between me and the ground), sitting in the semi truck on our 3rd trip of the night to the grain elevator to deliver corn, hoping that Burger Chef would still be open when we went back through Lebanon (it wasn't),  riding in with him when he took the hogs to market, hoping to get to walk the catwalks at the stockyards to watch the hogs sell, then getting a chili dog from the food truck or stopping by the Kentucky Fried Chicken and taking home a bucket of smell-good that we couldn't open till we were in the kitchen with the table set.

Oh, we had our differences...and I never realized how incredibly savvy Dad was regarding running the farm business, or how innovative he was in his practices.  But I loved growing up on a farm, and the reason I could love it and look back on being so doggone happy as a kid is because Dad knew how to work hard when there was work to do, which gave me security, and how to put the work down and play and rest a bit when the work was done for the day or for the season, which gave me fun. do you find a Father's Day card to reflect on all of that? 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I love you very much.

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