June: A Homestead-Style Celebration for Fathers

My teenage friends loved my dad! He had a great sense of humor, would drive us to events and tell stories as he drove. He saw more than half of the sunrises of his life as he rose early to milk his herd of cows. I still remember standing beside him watching the sun come up and thinking how fortunate I was to have a dad to stand beside.

He could be intimidating for little kids as he stood 6’2” and weighed in at around 270 pounds. He lost fifty pounds of that weight in later years when he was told he needed a quadruple by-pass. He declined the surgery and changed his lifestyle instead, drinking less coffee, eating fewer carbs. He quit smoking and he exercised even though he was a farmer and got lots of exercise. It wasn’t the right kind to help his heart. He lived to be 85 so all those changes worked. The one and only letter I have from my dad was written to me when I was 18 and in college and had started smoking. There are no punctuation marks in the letter but it is full of heart and easily understandable. He prayed that I’d quit smoking. He was still smoking himself then but he saw the problem of it. And he wanted to extend my life. It was a wonderful letter of love. I did quit smoking. His words moved me. (later I started again for a year or so but when I met Jerry, I quit again and stayed that way)

My dad’s willingness to change, to learn new things, to take in new information – he’d drive three hours to the University to speak to specialists about agricultural issues – to work hard, to stand tall for others less fortunate, to cherish my mom and sister and brother – make him a giant in my heart.

This month, we’re celebrating dad’s, those giant guys who can fill our hearts and make us tremble when we mess up but who discipline us with love. (Yes, my dad could make me tremble by raising this one eyebrow that meant I’d blown it. He never laid a hand on me except to hold me while I cried. He also taught me how to put curlers in my hair when my mother had pulled her hair out trying to teach me!)

We’re looking for nominations of dad’s – and fathers – men who have made a difference in your lives. The winner will get a copy of Homestead and be put into nomination for lunch on our homestead. Incidentally, when Jerry and I had our plane accident, my parents spent a month there taking care of us. My dad watered the trees we’d newly planted and we’d sit at the window and watch the neighbor’s beef cattle make their way down the ridge to water. We had no television or radio…so we watched the world around us to pass time while Jerry and I healed. So my dad has a connection to that homestead.

Let’s celebrate good men who love in powerful ways. Please fill out the form found here. Those who nominate the winner will receive a book as well! Thanks for celebrating fathers and my birthday! Warmly, Jane