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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Memories

This is a day of memories. 47 years ago this morning the phone rang and it was one of my sisters telling me that our father had died. He had retired from farming 15 years before because of his heart disease so it was not a surprise that this was the way he left us. We are never ready to lose a parent, no matter how prepared we are.

We have such good memories of Daddy, as we called him. He was a jolly person and loved jokes and pranks. He was also a very capable man. He was a farmer, a blacksmith, a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, a mechanic and anything else that was needed. Whatever needed to be done, he was able to do. When I was little, we didnít have running water or electricity or indoor plumbing. My father bought huge glass storage batteries. He put them into the cellar and tended them. He installed a wind charger and we had electric lights! After years of using kerosene lamps and, later, a gas lantern, it was wonderful to have light by just pulling a string in the middle of the room.

When we were very small, all eight of us lived in a little four room house. My parents later bought a house, moved it onto the property and remodeled it. It had running water, electricity and indoor plumbing! The house had four bedrooms and a dining room and a lovely big kitchen. My mother, who was short, had designed and had built into the kitchen a baking area that was lower than the rest of the cupboards. She was my kind of woman. We had a basement instead of a cellar and we felt really uptown! It was a wonderful house and I can remember my father looking at the plastered arch between the dining room and the living room and saying, ďIsnít that a beautiful arch?Ē Some of my sisters have inherited his sense of design and esthetics. Daddy was a gregarious man and loved people and visiting with them. He was a reader and a lifelong student. Even though all little girls think their father hung the moon, our father may have done so.

Anita and LaVerne were both missionaries in Asia when Daddy died. They werenít able to attend the funeral. Another one of the sisters said that on October fourth, the leaves had turned yellow and they were like a canopy of gold. On the day of the funeral, it was cold and wintry. After the services, the house was full of people who were laughing and talking and remembering Daddy. The pastor, at the services, said that he was a Biblically normal man. He lived to be almost 71 and his children rose up to call him blessed.

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