Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
By Emily Blakely
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No moss grew under his long strides but he never minded being shadowed by any of his four children. He found time to till the earth, releasing its fragrant odor and rich feel on feet, bare and trying to stay within his footsteps as he and I planted potatoes.
I never knew Daddy to do anything halfway; whatever he put his mind to was done well. Life’s necessities led his footsteps on many different paths. Mechanic? My nose was quietly there under the hood as he made needed adjustments to the car motor (those were the days when you COULD do those things). Carpenter? In ‘spare time’ Daddy led the family in building a new home on our property; it took about a year. He seemed to be able to figure anything out.
Canning season one summer found mother having surgery–leaving the canning to Daddy, who followed most of the same procedures our mother had long used. Of course we kids helped. Momma did have a little tizzy fit when she learned that he had used our claw-foot bathtub (carefully scrubbed and scalded beforehand) for sterilizing jars. To conserve his time and energy, he figured they could all be done in one big step and the job got done.
Fishing was another path, a favorite pastime for him. Looking back, I wonder at the patience he demonstrated when frequently hearing, “Daddy, my hook is caught!” His fish fries tasted the absolute best. I remember one time it was just Daddy and me fishing the river. It rained and we enjoyed being together under the quiet shelter of a huge tree; no matter we went home empty handed.
Daddy’s gruff bark always brought his kids to attention, yet his blue eyes danced when he found occasion to tease, which was frequent . He provided well for the needs of his family and our wealth was measured in love. Most importantly, he left us with a hope of seeing him again as we follow his footsteps into eternity.
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