Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A MEMORIAL.......

.....to my Dad. Born 05 November, 1914, crossed 22 June, 2008. A long life, 93 plus years.

He will be missed by all of us, family and friends.

Dad was not able to finish high school, he was out and working and helping to support his parents and siblings when things got tough. So Dad was very much a self~taught man. He was both intelligent and wise. Perhaps coming up the hard way made it so. He was a good man, in all aspects of that word.

Dad was an outdoorsman, in the very best sense of the word, long before people got on the ecology bandwagon, Dad was already there, perhaps not strictly in the total sense of the word, but he was nonetheless careful of the things that made up this earth. He taught us so very much, especially to respect the world around us. That included not only people, but all the living creatures on this earth, as well as the earth herself.

He was a fisherman and a hunter. Now maybe that does not sound like a person who respects all creation, but he was. We didn' t hunt for "sport", we hunted so that we could use the game for food and more. We didn't fish for "sport", we fished so that we could consume our catch. Yes, of course, it was enjoyable, and Dad so loved to get out there and hunt or fish, and yes of course, it was a thrill to hook that big fish, or bring that big buck home, but because Dad got us out there we learned to repect.

I have been told that I had a fishing rod in my hands not too long after I was able to walk. Dad spent a lot of time with us, teaching my two brothers and me how to fish, and you have no idea of just how much patience on his part that took. Sometimes his patience was "rather thin" and he would blow up, but I have a feeling that we gave him more than enough reasons to rant. He taught us to "think like a fish", and while he was at it, we learned to enjoy and respect the outdoors and all that it was. He taught us to carefully release fish that were too small, or not lawful to take. He taught us how to clean those fish we did take home, and the innards and non~edible portions went out to our garden {when we did have one anyway} as fertilizer. Waste not. We grew up eating a LOT of fish, and I think we enjoyed them all the more because we had brought then home.

Dad taught us that as hunters we were responsible for the guns. And yes, guns are weapons. We were taught that a responsible hunter NEVER pulls the trigger until he is SURE of what is in the sights. He taught us to be sure that when we took that shot, it would be a quick killing shot, and it we weren't sure it was going to be, well, you just didn't pull the trigger. He taught us that if we did unfortunately happen to wound something, it was our responsibility to find it, and make sure it suffered no longer. My brothers spent more time with Dad in the field and in the duck blind, but I am always grateful that he taught me about guns. That knowledge stood me in good grace in later years, I was the best shot at the zoo with the dart guns and the rifle.

Dad had to hang up the guns some years back, as his legs just wouldn't carry him in the field, but on his last hunting trip with my one brother, he sat in a chair at the edge of a cornfield, and showed everyone that he was still the best "shot" around. He brought home the geese that day, a good way to end. He still managed to fish though, and had a good fishing buddy to help him with the things he couldn't manage himself, like getting the boat in the water.

I have so many good memories of Dad, hard to put them all down here. I remember shortly after we had moved to our house "in the woods" {which by the way, Dad practically built by himself, because we weren't able to afford a "finished" house}, my finding a nest of brand new cottontail rabbits at my Grandmother's house. The nest had been run over by the lawnmower, and was destroyed. So, I brought them home to raise, NOT an easy task. Dad was the one who helped me figure out how to keep them warm, much to Mother's dismay, because we used the oven with the door open so the heat on low would keep the babies warm. And, yes, I did successfully raise them, again, much to Mom's dismay, because they were the ones who came back after we released them and ate quite well off of our garden.

I remember the Garter Snake I found, and wanted to keep for a while. The inside of the house was not finished, we were still using the stationary laundry sinks in the utility room as our sinks/water supply as the plumbing was not finished. So, until I found something to keep the lil snake in, I put it in one of the tubs. No lid of course, cause Dad said it couldn't get out. Mom was not too happy about it, but there the snake was. Evening came, and we had eaten dinner. Mom was on her way out to the utility room with an armful of dishes. She flipped on the light with her elbow, and let out the most horrid shriek. Dishes went flying and crashing on the floor. Yup, the snake had crawled up the slanted front of the tub and was on the floor. She almost stepped on it. We all came running, the scared snake had slithered under the sink, and Mom was just fuming! Dad laughed. Oh my, that was not a good thing in Mom's opinion. Don't think he was ever allowed to forget that. Oh, and I did get to keep the snake for a while, then released it.

So many memories that I will always have to keep Dad alive in my thoughts. I am so glad that he was my Dad, and will miss him.

Dad has been cremated, and we will be having a memorial service for him as soon as my one brother recovers from his hip replacement surgery. The service will maybe be followed by a BIG Fish Fry. Just the thing to remember Dad in the best way.

Huggles,
Vala

1 comment:

Mommabear said...

My heart goes out to you! You have a wonderful way with words, I feel like i can just picture your dad and what a wonderful guy he was! God Bless You

Marion