Tag Archives: Dad

Another Year, Another Day

2 Jun

I wonder if when my parents got married 40 years ago they ever imagined they’d have a daughter so lazy that she’d rerun the one and only thing she’d ever written about their anniversary.  I hope so, I’d like to think I was making their dreams come true.

Oh, and please add 366 to the end, okay?

________________________________________________________________________________

Today is our parents’ wedding anniversary.  They were never huge celebrators.  Every once in a while Stacy and I would get some hair-brained idea to do something for them, which usually turned out pretty lame.  One year we took an old bread basket we found in the basement and embroidered their wedding date into the woven surface.  The term ’embroidered’ here is about as loose as the stitches in the project.  It was pretty special.  Mom probably still has it hanging up somewhere near her desk downstairs.  So Mom, please feel free to toss it any time you like.

Don’t you love their wedding photo?  Mom’s all white with just the right amount of black accent on the super trendy glasses and Dad’s got that completely groovy Bang Shwoop.  Love it.

Also, look closely at the candelabras.  Do you see it?  Look again.  Yup.  Bulbs.  Real, live, electric candles.

Mom and Gramma made the wedding dress.  I think she told me it cost $12.  That was so smart.  I cannot tell you how many times my sister and I have talked about the stupidity of spending hundreds of dollars on a wedding dress that we would only wear once when we could have had something beautiful, and simple, and white for much less.  So, in order to take down the cost-per-wear on ours we have each donned them at least one other time.

On our fourth anniversary I was cleaning out the cedar closet (I know, romantic, right?) when I saw mine hanging in the back.  I had just lost some of the baby weight from Thomas’ birth and so I decided to see if it still fit.  I was so excited when it zipped all the way up that I ran through the basement toward the backyard where Jerry was mowing (much like my parents, we seriously know how to live it up on our anniversary) and I knocked our poor seven month old son right over with my train.  And that, my friends, is one of the reasons you should wait until after you are married to have children.

Stacy put on her gown at our house last summer while Mom and Jerry were out building a retaining wall.  We were so excited by its ginormousness and her teeniness that we ran out side to show them.  That’s when our new neighbor across the street finally came to introduce herself.  And to warn us never to come near her or her family.  No, not really, but seriously, can you imagine having us as neighbors?

It’s safe to say that our love of everyday joys comes from our parents.  It wasn’t the wedding itself that was important.  They didn’t focus on the dress, or flowers, or cake and punch reception in the church basement, but in Christ joining them as one in heart, body and mind.  Mom and Dad’s anniversary always reminds me that marriage is about the everyday.  Their marriage is no different on June 2 than it is on the other 364 days of the year.   I don’t know if that’s why they don’t make a big deal about their anniversary, but it seems like a valid rationale to me.

Happy 14,244th day of marriage, Mom and Dad!

Close, but not quite.

8 Mar

Scads of young children agree: Opa's a funny man.

Things I (We) Love:  Our Dad’s One-liners

Some of which may be unintentional.  Take this one, for instance:

Dad and Abraham were playing hide and seek.  It was the best kind of game –  the one that requires no adult movement and excessive preschool giggling under a blanket.  After one of Abe’s many reappearances, Dad said,

Oh!  There you are!  I thought you were like Dumbledore, and had aspirated.

Deep, Dad. Deep.

24 Oct

Last month while my parent’s were here in Michigan I was working on a post.  As usual I was stuck.  My mistake was in letting my Blogger’s Block become public.  Dad, always quick to the punch, or possibly just punchy, had this sterling advice:

Plant it deep and pack it in.

It’s a post.  Get it?

Don’t worry, the next time you go out to help build a fence you’ll get the joke.  If not, well, don’t feel bad, Dad’s jokes have been lost on us for years.

It's been this way all my life, I tell you.

And so today, since you’re already deeply mired in the mud of a Memory Dirt Road Monday I’d like to share with you two special jokes that our father wrote.  I guarantee that you have never heard these before (unless you know our father, in which case you’ve probably heard them anywhere between 6-422 times in your life.)  Are you ready?  Okay, here’s the first:

Q:  If you’re flying down the road in your canoe and a wheel fell off how many flapjacks would it take to cover a doghouse?
A:  Nine, because ice cream doesn’t have bones.

What?  You don’t get it?  Try this one instead:

Q:  What’s the difference between an orange?
A:  A bicycle because a vest doesn’t have sleeves.

Still nothing?

Okay, fine, we don’t understand them either.  But we never let on.  We just laughed and laughed . . .

You should probably do the same.

Happy Birth-, I mean FIELDday, Dad!

30 Aug

Today is a very important day in our family.  One that should certainly not go unrecognized.   It’s a date that Stacy and I are expected to remember every year, and as the end of August draws near we receive countless reminders that the preparations are underway.  The anticipation is palpable.  And even though on the surface it would appear that this day is just about Dad, we must never forget that Mom’s role in making sure that everything comes off smoothly is crucial.

You see, today is Field Day.

Oh, yesterday also happened to be Dad’s 60th birthday.

But Field Day, that’s the big deal.

Unless your father also happens to be a Seed Corn Salesman or you’ve done an anthropological report about the major events in the lives of corn farmers you might be wondering what a Field Day is.  Well you’ve come to the wrong place for answers.

Neither Stacy nor I have ever been to a Field Day.  We don’t know exactly what the Big Hub Bub is about, but we do know that it is a Big Hub Bub.  And over the years we have been able to piece together what we assume is a fairly decent picture of the event.  This is what we do know about Field Day:

Erase all images of Three-Legged Races and Standing Long Jumps.
Field Day is not to be confused with Track and Field Day.  As Dad would say, “I don’t know where you’re from, but here in our parts we call that them there a Track Meet”  Okay, Dad would never say that.  He uses good grammar.

The food preparation for Field Day rivals only that of Christmas.
Approximately two weeks before Field Day Mom starts baking and cleaning like nobody’s business.  We get disjointed e-mails from her that read something like this:

Just look at that spread. Yuh-hum.

Field day . . . 11 days.
35 dozen monster cookies
pumpkin bars,
picnic bars
scotcheroos
potato salad
broccoli salad not done
must can tomatoes . . .

Our mother, who also uses good grammar, is reduced to nothing but a walking, baking, list of a woman.

The household preparation for Field Day rivals only that of nesting.
Last year as Mom and Dad were in the throes of Field Day prep I was nearly in the throes of labor.  With Twins.  While I didn’t have the physical ability to do much but point my finger and complain about the thirty-odd projects that I wanted done before the babies arrived, they were at their own house doing their own thirty-odd projects.  Re-siding the garage, power-washing the old shed, mowing the extremely large lawn,  weeding the garden, building picnic tables.  All I wanted was for the Christmas decorations to come down.

On Field Day my father serves Cowboy Beer.
Dad makes beer.  Good beer.  Delicious, substantial, manly beer.  On Field Day dad supplies his guests with their favorite drink.  Cowboy Beer.  A faintly flavored and tinted beverage that has no place in my parents refrigerator the other 364 days of the year.  And although I think he attempted a batch once, my Dad doesn’t waste his brewing talents to fill the red plastic cups for this event.

On Field Day a bunch of farmers and their wives eat a lot of brisket.
My parent’s serve absolutely delicious brisket on Field Day, and apparently the deliciousness of the meat is a key ingredient of the day. It is possibly the reason some customers choose to come.  We’ve heard tales of men sitting around for hours eating sandwich after sandwich of the tender, succulent beef.   And while there isn’t much to the preparation of the meat, the act of acquiring it is fairly complicated.  You see, the brisket comes from Sam’s Club.  Mom and Dad are not members of Sam’s Club.  That means, that in order to possess the meat that draws the crowd they must connect themselves to a Sam’s Club Shopper.  We are members, but Michigan is pretty far from Ainsworth in terms of meat transportation.  Omaha is closer, but Stacy is no longer on the Sam’s Club roles.  Instead she must enlist the assistance of her in-laws to help lasso the elusive cow our parents need.

There is a Field.
For years Field Day actually occurred in a field.   They would haul tables, and chairs, and roasters, and salads, and desserts, and beer, and anything else that they might possibly need out into the test plot (a field where they have planted a bunch of different varieties of corn close together.)  Several years ago they began using the my uncle’s field across the road from my parent’s house as the test plot and this allowed them to have Field Day in the comfort of their own garage.  They’ve never looked back.

Field Day has a purpose.
But we’re not completely confident we know what it is.  My best guess is that it’s sort of a cross between a Customer Appreciation Picnic and a Look What Great Results Our Hybrids Get Party.  I don’t know if people wander across the road to see the corn.  I assume so.  I do know that Dad put’s up a lot of signs, but you can read those from the driveway, so it’s hard to say.  I would venture to guess that the women and children probably stick close to the scotcheroos, but then again, I could be wrong, because . . .

We’ve never been to a Field Day even though our Parents seem to have forgotten this.
Field day is now such a monumental event for them that I suppose it’s difficult to remember that when we lived at home Dad didn’t sell seed corn. Pro-boxes, and pallets, and soy beans, and semis, and hybrids weren’t part of our everyday lives as children.  We try to keep up with these changes and someday I hope we can make a late August journey to Nebraska and experience what seems to be the culmination of their day to day life.

Until then I must be content with my own romanticized images of men in Pioneer caps holding a red cup of beer in one hand and the world’s yummiest pumpkin bar in the other sharing big belly laughs over old farmer stories while their wives kindly assist my mom in refilling the salad bowls.  Happy Field Day, Mom and Dad!

(Oh, and Dad,  Happy Belated Birthday!)

They’re Related

16 Jul

Remember this gem?

Here’s another:

What genetic code so strongly connects our babies to our Dad? Wait. Don’t answer that.

Love you, Dad.

The Royal Fathers’ Day Treatment

19 Jun

These are our guys.  We love them.  They’re the best dads in the world (really, we love a lot of you other dad’s out there, but we are partial to these guys.  Surely, you can’t blame us.)

Opa: King of the Family

Jerry: this one deserves some sort of Royal Title to be sure.

A.J.: the Jester and some of his Apprentices

Happy Day, Guys!

Day by Day by Day . . .

2 Jun

Today is our parents’ wedding anniversary.  They were never huge celebrators.  Every once in a while Stacy and I would get some hair-brained idea to do something for them, which usually turned out pretty lame.  One year we took an old bread basket we found in the basement and embroidered their wedding date into the woven surface.  The term ’embroidered’ here is about as loose as the stitches in the project.  It was pretty special.  Mom probably still has it hanging up somewhere near her desk downstairs.  So Mom, please feel free to toss it any time you like.

Don’t you love their wedding photo?  Mom’s all white with just the right amount of black accent on the super trendy glasses and Dad’s got that completely groovy Bang Shwoop.  Love it.

Also, look closely at the candelabras.  Do you see it?  Look again.  Yup.  Bulbs.  Real, live, electric candles.

Mom and Gramma made the wedding dress.  I think she told me it cost $12.  That was so smart.  I cannot tell you how many times my sister and I have talked about the stupidity of spending hundreds of dollars on a wedding dress that we would only wear once when we could have had something beautiful, and simple, and white for much less.  So, in order to take down the cost-per-wear on ours we have each donned them at least one other time.

On our fourth anniversary I was cleaning out the cedar closet (I know, romantic, right?) when I saw mine hanging in the back.  I had just lost some of the baby weight from Thomas’ birth and so I decided to see if it still fit.  I was so excited when it zipped all the way up that I ran through the basement toward the backyard where Jerry was mowing (much like my parents, we seriously know how to live it up on our anniversary) and I knocked our poor seven month old son right over with my train.  And that, my friends, is one of the reasons you should wait until after you are married to have children.

Stacy put on her gown at our house last summer while Mom and Jerry were out building a retaining wall.  We were so excited by its ginormousness and her teeniness that we ran out side to show them.  That’s when our new neighbor across the street finally came to introduce herself.  And to warn us never to come near her or her family.  No, not really, but seriously, can you imagine having us as neighbors?

It’s safe to say that our love of everyday joys comes from our parents.  It wasn’t the wedding itself that was important.  They didn’t focus on the dress, or flowers, or cake and punch reception in the church basement, but in Christ joining them as one in heart, body and mind.  Mom and Dad’s anniversary always reminds me that marriage is about the everyday.  Their marriage is no different on June 2 than it is on the other 364 days of the year.   I don’t know if that’s why they don’t make a big deal about their anniversary, but it seems like a valid rationale to me.

Happy 14,244th day of marriage, Mom and Dad!

They Go to the Same Barber

9 Apr

But apparently that joke got old really fast.