What a Nice Day

January 9, 2008

It was the 8th of January and it was 69 degrees today. I spent as much time outside as I could, cleaning the yard and shed. I have a pile of diseased wood to burn tomorrow. The weather was changing so quick, when I started around noon it was windy and clear, by 3PM it was overcast and looked like thunderstorms were moving in soon.

I get a kick out the people who talk about global warming when there is a day like this. Like that proves the case. I remember that Al Gore preached that an ice age was coming. Scientist are predicting the weather 50 to 100 years in the future when 5 days is a stretch for a good weather forecast. I know this will ruffle some feathers.

But if I remember my history correctly the Vikings settled Greenland and were able to raise dairy cows and farm. I don’t believe that can be done today. The weather works in cycles and unpredictable ones at that…

I can remember playing tackle football (him being on his knees) when I was 7 or 8 and when he “tackled” me and I had all the breath knocked out of me. I can picture (and feel it now) he in a white t-shirt kneeling over me while my Great-Grandmother leaned out the window scolding him for playing so rough. I remember it so well because at that moment I really knew my Father was concerned for me, really concerned. (And I also realized he couldn’t fix everything) I felt like I was a man, being able to be hurt and then toughing it out.

Another time we three boys were dancing around the fire barrel while my parents burned wallpaper. We dressed for the occasion by making head dressings with feathers and I in my PJ’s (which were Indian or cowboy themed, flannel none the less). Man, I can remember this like yesterday; it was just getting dark and well past my bedtime. We were doing a rain dance like thing around the fire barrel when a large piece flew out of the fire and landed on my back. In an instant there were flames all over me, my Dad ran over and ripped all my clothes off and I wasn’t even burned! I can remember thinking that nobody on TV was tougher than my Dad.

I can remember going squirrel hunting with him for the first time, my favorite part was holding his hand on the way back. I know we didn’t get a squirrel cause I was to noisy. I think that’s why my Mother insisted I go, because she hated to cook squirrels and my Dad never missed. Once I saw him shoot a crow from at least 200 yards with a .22 and another time shoot a rabbit on the run with a pistol.

He grew up during the depression without a father and dirt poor in the hills of West Virginia. They hunted and trapped from the time he was 8 or 9, he claimed he didn’t really have shoes until he went to school. After listening to his Brother talk my Father was not stretching the truth, they were really poor.

I’ll post a few more memories, maybe some of our great adventures we boys had chasing over the hills.

I have been planning this weekend for at least three weeks (all the work I want to get done for the cookout Monday evening). I have decided to quit working on the yard and garden before 5 PM (even if I’m not done) so I can spend the evening with my family.

Water balloon fights come to mind if it doesn’t thunderstorm. Maybe I’ll go to the dollar store and buy squirt guns and noodles to have some real fun with the kids and Wife. What ever we do we’ll have some fun.

Monday we’re having a cookout our family and a few guys from work. Just burgers, hot dogs, beer can chicken, smoked pork, roasted corn on the cob, and other cook out stuff. No over kill this year. Just a simple cook out with family and friends. And I plan to remember our troops and fallen heroes…

What are you doing?

Parenting, what a challenge! It seems you can only know how you’ve done by the end result. And what is an end result? When I’m older and grayer with grandchildren? Or maybe there’s another way to “judge”? Maybe that could be in present actions, like following through on yard work and other chores. Or maybe making good judgments on friends, employment and schoolwork. I believe, I rely to much on the ending well part, and sometimes overlook positive signs now.

I’m very busy with work, church projects and work around the house (including homeschool things). So what a relief today when I asked my boys to dig a few holes for our new pergola I plan to install this coming week. I called home from work and they have two holes done and if the rain lets up they’ll get the other two done tonight. My girls 7 and 12-teen are scraping the arbor to ready it for paint on Monday. Sounds like a small thing, I could dig the holes in about an hour, or scrape the arbor in 30 minutes, but this will allow me to get it done quicker so I can plant the garden early in the week.

Plus, I think this will give them some ownership when we finish the projects. I have a mostly built shop (16×20 timber frame) that each has helped in their own way. The girls will come out and sweep the floor and pick up nails (I recycle used boards and beams) and the boys have helped lift walls and countersink nails in the floor.

So for the future I will look on the present and encourage my kids and be thankful for the wonderful help they provide. (I cannot leave out my beautiful Wife, she deserves more credit for the children’s good points than I do.)