Looks like this
There are days the catchy title of a blog comes easily to my thoughts. Other days I think my mind acts like the pieces of this little writing table before we put it back together. Sanding down the surfaces of thoughts is not easy. Blurt might be a good game when speaking what’s on the tip of the tongue, but filtering our words before we say them should be a common practice. So this blog has been filtered through sand, and rocks. Hopefully what lies beneath the surface will be as beautiful as this little writing table when it is done.
Father’s day is one of those days that holds many mixed emotions for me. I love that my husband and his family want to treat their dad special on the day. And I see my kids wanting to do the same for him. But I argue with myself all day about the best time to call my dad. While he is still living, I hear a few voices say. So I call.
As a little girl, the one thing that stands out is the story of our trips through town and the little voice my dad heard in his ear. It is a story that he often embellishes. Standing on the seat of the pickup with my feet planted in the cushion, and one arm around his neck, I would whisper these words, “Daddy, I think the Dairy Queen is open.” I have no memory of those days before my younger brother came along. (And before you get all fussed up about no carseats, remember there was no such thing back then.)
While visiting with the family over lunch on Sunday, it pleased me to hear that my nephew’s little girl loves her ice cream. And that her daddy takes her on ice cream dates every Sunday afternoon while brother takes a nap and mommy reads her book. What a special memory. Even if she is unable to recall these dates, others will tell her about them. And somehow these shared moments will solidify a good daddy-daughter bond that is better than gorilla glue.
The writing table found in our basement or in the old corn crib at our house in Iowa. I used it for 20 years. Gradually the weight of the sewing machine and the vibration wore the joints loose. So my dear husband took it all too pieces, and put it back together again. He used gorilla glue on the joints that needed it and we put a new slide on the slide out writing board. It accepted the first coat of poly-stain on father’s day.
Accepting the many colors of our dad’s personalities can be a challenge. Sometimes I struggle with how to handle some of the things that he cares to talk about. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Maybe, it’s because there is a void when it comes to talk about our family life growing up. Realizing that for years, that his only identity was work helps some.
While listening to his talk about he grandkids last evening, it was difficult to pay attention to his words. The radio/television was on rather loudly in the background. So I went along with the conversations with a few “uh-huh’s” while I tried to figure out who was talking. I nearly laughed out loud when I realized it was the gospel television network on cable. I forgot how much he likes the Gathers Gospel music.
He must have asked me a question, because I gave up trying to listen to the “Jesus Preacher” and came back to listening to my dad. Then it occurred to me that I knew exactly why and when he had stopped going to church. And in reality, I had wanted to quit too. That might be a whole different blog, but it boils down to hypocrisy and male leadership that was very ungodly. Not surprised he quit. Just sad that his identity and reason for going to church was not in Jesus back then.
Putting faith in people will always disappoint us. But that does not mean that we should not believe in people. I am glad that through the difficult years, I did not give up on the dad that use to take me to dairy queen. It took a lot of work, but eventually we got back to that. Every conversation that we share, I can glean some tidbit of wisdom. Whether it is for me for for someone else, I try to pick it up and mull over it for a time.
This week it was this… “Every day a man goes fishing, he adds one day to his life.” This statistic is real. I looked it up. What they found, is that people who learn to relax and be patient while fishing, find carry through into their lives. That patience and ability to let go of worries is key to better behavior. No, my husband does not want to take up fishing even though so many in the family love it. We do enjoy our motorcycle rides to no where. Just putt-sing along and watching the scenery roll by. It’s relaxing. Fishing of a different sort.
We put the table together and then I was able to get one coat of poly/stain on before the day was done. The next coat will be applied after a light sanding of steel wool. Relationships aften get rough steel wool in the communication gaps. Rinsing the surface with a quick wash of vinegar water can help. I tell myself that just before I call my dad these days. Rinse our the unfiltered thinking with a bit of dish soap. Let my past grievances go. If there is anything not worth our time, It’s dredging up the pond’s settled muck and throwing out bad bait. Don’t go fishing for old tires, I tell myself. Get out the gorilla glue and go back to restoring furniture, if the bugs at thewater are too annoying.
Psalm 23: 3-
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness.
For His name’s sake.”