Monday, August 24, 2009

DJR 8/26

Intimate tales of my personal life are few and far between here on oldgreymare. I admit to chatting about the kids from time to time, even though I'm sure they prefer that I didn't. Now and then personal is required, if not simply needed. Lives, wholly lived, are personal.

DJR at twenty-something

Wednesday is a special day for me. It is my Dad's Birth Date. DJR was his signature on so many things, including my allowance slips. Yes, my brother Scott and I had to turn in allowance slips in order to get paid for our allowance. If you did not turn in a slip by Wednesday evening- you did not get paid on Saturday. His thought was that we should learn to punch a virtual time clock of our employer and get paid fair wages for good work. We had to list any additional extra chores completed to receive any bonuses.

Dad was big on teaching us about responsibility and "doing things right the first time". I can still remember his exhibition of the proper way to mop the basement floor, the "NAVY" way. This was being given because of the mistake of a dog rescue name of "Sandy", who refused to be house-broken and subsequently was sent back. Meanwhile, even though Dad rescued the dog without family consult, it was I who was in charge of Sandy's latrine duty.

Other dissertations were given on how to fish, pitch a tent, burn trash, (we did that back then in the country) stack logs, build a campfire, mow lawns, iron, do laundry, plant gardens, wash dishes, balance checkbooks, refinish furniture, paint walls, wash cars, change tires, scrub bathrooms and above all how to be organized. (Mentioned in earlier post).

I am sure I did my fair share of complaining about most of it, and he probably wondered if I would ever retain any of it. Well, I did, all of it. Just ask my kids. If I begin to say "anything worth doing...", they immediately roll their eyes and respond "is worth doing right." I have taught my kids most of what PapPap was unable to teach them, being separated from them by way too many miles. I have applied and valued every detail of every lesson, except for the appreciation of sardines in mustard, a frequent Saturday fare. shudder - shudder

Dad best lessons were taught by example; stopping to help every stranded motorist we came across, offering every friend and neighbor aid and encouragement. He cared for my Mom through many difficult years of illness, and never complained when he and cancer battled four times. He had a "wicked sense of humor" at times and told horrible puns and jokes to anyone who would listen....and then told them again, and again, and again.

He fancied himself a creative cook, but we were truly innovative in finding ways not to eat what he had concocted. He loved the Steelers and the Pirates, always watched the Indy 500 (but rarely any other racing? something to do with Mario Andretti) One of his favorite films, was Turner and Hooch. It was the gelatinous drool factor. Go figure. He befriended every waitress and teased every waitress.

Dad always gave two hugs, first the big one, then the extra big squeeze and pats on the back. He was a great hugger. He whistled a lot and sang Perry Como when he did woodworking. He often greeted you with "Hello There". I called my folks every single Sunday from the time I left home for college and continued until well, until they were no longer home. Often Sunday was not enough and mid week calls were made, but always, always on Sunday.

He was a beloved boss and community member and believed strongly in giving back through charitable donations and community activism.

My Father was an honorable man who loved and cared for his family. I loved him dearly. I miss him more than these mere words could ever convey, but I tried.

Trout Fishing in Spring 1976

1 comment:

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Oh I have tears streaming down my face... what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful daddy... family is the number one thing on my list in life and I love to hear other ladies special memories... you included so much of what your daddy stood for and what an honorable man he was... I know how you feel about mopping the floors, only my daddy was in the Army, so I am sure I was taught the Army way while you learned the Navy way! I miss my daddy so much too... I posted about him on his birthday as well... Thank you for sharing such precious memories... Julie Marie