Thursday, October 1, 2015

Not Quite Autumn at the Ditch -- and a Few Words About Dad

This is a rather long post -- two in one, actually. First, an early autumn walk through the ditch, then a few words about my dad, whose 100th birthday would be October 2.

The Ditch

A few weeks ago, after having passed up walks at the ditch for swimming, I decided it was time to check on Harry (not present this day) and my ducks, along with seeing if autumn was beginning to arrive.


The short answer is "not really." There are a few signs. Certainly the sumac is in full fall force.

And the goldenrod is looking pretty golden!

But for the most part, it's still fairly green, perhaps a more faded green, but green nonetheless.

On this flawless day, the ducks were sunning themselves in the reeds...

...and on the rocks.

Some had chosen the shady (if murky) "third" pond, enjoying the shade of the weeping willow.

Clearly it was a lazy day for the ducksters!

It couldn't be a better day for a walk, with spots of color from asters and berries.

Even the breeze was quiet, gentle and lovely. And soon, some color!


This post is going live on the day before my dad's birthday, which is October 2. Had he lived, he would be 100 on this day. It's quite the number to wrap a brain around!

Rick and I were talking about things that had evolved or were invented during his lifetime and the things that had come about since. Probably the greatest invention during his life was the computer. He died in 1993, just as the personal computer was beginning to come into vogue. A few of his friends had one but they were very expensive and the internet wasn't really what it grew to be.

How he would love that! I could see him checking out his hypochondria on every web medical site and chat room he could find (and see myself talking him down!). He'd see places in the world he'd been, learn about things that were his passions. It would be the next communication step for this guy who cut his teeth on ham radio when he was a teenager.

It struck us that in large part, most things we think of now had  been invented or conceived during his lifetime -- but had evolved into something much bigger in the 22 years since. Before he was born, most wars were regional. He was born during WWI and who would have imagined we would still be fighting them today, even if they aren't called that.

Could he have imagined that he'd hold a phone no bigger than his hand -- one that could connect to Internet? Or that long distance would be covered by the "phone plan"? Or that just about every appliance ever made would have a computer chip within?

The airplane was invented before his time -- and the car. But they both came into common use during his lifetime and even more so after. Medical techniques have changed. Perhaps the lung drugs I use each days are the next generation of medications, having evolved from those he required to simply keep going.

Call me selfish, but from where I sit, the biggest thing he missed out on in these past 22 years was me. He never knew Rick and I know he'd be so happy to know that we are so happy. He'd be impressed by Rick's classical guitar and appreciate that he liked the lake. I can imagine him having long conversations with Greg on art (another thing my dad liked) and with Kevin about Ford. Dad was a Ford guy, for the most part. The Tempo not only got him through his years, but got me through more than a few after I totaled my car a year or two after he died.

He would have been glad to know I had a cat. He always liked cats but the only one of mine he knew was Stimpy, who made visits to him on his kitty leash. He'd had loved "let me crawl all over you" Gypsy and my sweet Purr Girl Lizzie.

Dad was always my biggest supporter (mom, too -- but that was so long ago) and he always worried. He'd be relieved to know that I'm OK. Yes, I think he is.

One hundred candles, one for each of the ways I value the things I learned from you and the memories we shared.

Happy Birthday, Dad.


Victoria Zigler said...

Happy birthday to your Dad. I'm sorry he never got to meet Rick; I expect he knows how happy Rick makes you though, and is smiling as he looks down on you.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy a nice walk before the Autumn sets in fully.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Happy birthday to your dad. He sure was a handsome fellow! I hate that he was taken from your life at far too young of an age. And I am sorry that he never got to meet Rick. I never got to meet Phil's dad as his Alzheimer's had progressed too far when Phil and I started to date so it would have only confused him further if they tried to bring a new person around. :( I did get to see a video that had some shots with his dad in it, though, and it was really wonderful to get a brief glimpse of what he was like (Phil is a lot like him).

I'm sending lots of love and hugs your way - I know your dad is missed every day but events like their birthday are days where they are especially missed.

Mae Travels said...

Wonderfully expressed memories of your dad... we would all like to have met him!

Anonymous said...

What a handsome man with a sweet personality! I love your story about your father.

Tante Mali said...

Happy birthday to your angle dad! Great man! Oh, yes I know what you are talking about and I love it as I love the pictures of your walk. What a wonderful fall!!!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Great to know people like you. They are warming the soul!
All my best to you

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

You sure look like your dad my friend. My dad would be 110!! I too often wish he knew how happy I am.

Bella Rum said...

What a sweet post about your Dad. My Dad was amazed by computers. He loved gadgets and computers are the big daddy of them all. Your Dad was a handsome guy.

Your ditch is a beautiful place.

21 Wits said...

Just imagine all those candles! I truly enjoyed your stories about your father, his photos and incredible human spirit, what wonderful memories to hand down and remember. He was so handsome too! Now about those autumn photos, your ditch is quite lovely out there. We have a few hints about too, it's been too warm and that's okay with me, the colder weather and color changes will be here soon enough!

Barb said...

Love, love, love this post, Jeanie! The photos of your Dad though the years are great. I think maybe you look like him - I see it more in the early photos. The Ditch still looks summery to me. Our fall is nearly over in Breck and yours is just beginning. Enjoy it!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

What a nice tribute to your Dad! These are all great photos of him. What a great way to commemorate his birthday!

Tracy said...

Happy 100th to your dear Dad, Jeanie... What a handsome man he was--young, and older! LOVE that pic of you, your Dad and that kitty! Oh, it is a great pity he didn't get to meet Rick... But I like to think your Dad is somewhere wonderful now, and he can see--see you happy. :o) ((HUGS))

Joanne Huffman said...

Happy Birthday to your dad. Mine would be 104 now - and I remember a discussion we had about him learning to knit in school to make scarves for the soldiers "over there." We also talked about how he remembered big news about early flights when we watched the moon landing. Had he lived long enough (he died in 1978), he would have loved the computer. I still miss talking to him. Your photos of your dad are full of wonderful memories. I also enjoyed the walk along the ditch.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jeanie! What a sweet post and tribute to your dad! In that little boy picture of him, I see your sweet little smile! He was proud of you and I'm sure he'd be so proud now to know you've met the right man for your life and that you're so happy. And...that you loved your daddy so. My daddy passed away in 1998 and I still miss him. I was a daddy's girl too. Sending big hugs to you.
Shelia ;)

Tammie Lee said...

such a lovely tribute to your dad and such a handsome man. Love the photo with the kitty!

your world is looking lovely ~

I need orange said...

What lovely tributes to the changing seasons and, especially, to your dad.

Nice work.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Jeanie! How I loved this beautiful tribute to your Dad! What a special man, a wonderful father, he was! Amazing what happened and evolved during his lifetime and since. And what a shame that he died too soon to have met Rick and to know how very happy you could be...though, maybe, I hope, he does know somehow and somewhere beyond us he is celebrating the person you've grown to be!

The Artful Diva said...

Your dad must have been a really great guy - he certainly raised a really great daughter!

Kailani said...

:: hugs re your dad ::

I want that ditch to be around ME. It's gorgeous. :)

beth said...

he does know how you happy are….and that you have rick and your cat and all the other love that life has given you!!! he knows!!!

Becca said...

Naturally your beautiful memories of you dad made me teary-eyed. Our fathers would be happy for both of us, i think. My dad definitely wanted a god life for me, and I think he was assured I had one. Jim loves to tell the story about how my dad gave him a stern warning the morning of our wedding..that he better "treat his little girl right." I love that he was so fiercely protective of me.

Fathers set the stage for the kind of men we love, I think. You and I both did well in both categories.

bj said...

bwaaaaaa...I am reading this and bawling like a baby...I KNOW how much you miss him because I miss mine so much. I'll have to come back later, after I get myself together.....

Jennifer Richardson said...

Oh Jeanie, I love your dad:) Such a beautiful tribute.
To tell his stories....this is truly honor.
And your watery images with the first traces of Autumn
beginning to creep into the changing light....gorgeous!
Thanks for putting your life and travels and stories "out there"
for the rest of us to glean. We're all the richer for it:)

Mom said...

As usual you have written a wonderful post. I feel like I knew your dad. Your memories are fantastic. Thanks for sharing them. Love to you and Rick.

Marilyn Miller said...

I do enjoy walking with you at the ditch.
The photographs of your dad are a real treasure.

littleRamstudio said...

So lovely reading about your Dad. What a handsome man in his uniform!
And you can't go wrong with a man who likes cats. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Jeanie they were a joy to read.
Heather :)

shoreacres said...

Aren't we lucky to have had such wonderful dads? You're especially blessed to have so many wonderful photos. I have enough to keep memories alive, but not nearly so many as I would like!

I know you dad would like Rick, and there's no doubt he would have enjoyed all of your success in life. It's strange... in some ways, I think I know my dad better now than I did when he died. Of course, I was still very young at that time, though far from a child. I'm wiser now, and more perceptive -- thank goodness!

Your autumn is coming our way. I saw a first V of geese today, honking their way south. There was only one V, but it was a large one, and they were flying fast. They must have heard the grain fields are full and ripe.

Arti said...

What a moving tribute to your Dad. Thanks for sharing these very meaningful and intimate photos. From the photos, I can see what a gentle and loving man he was. Yes, I'm sure he would have been comforted to know you're ok and happy too.

~*~Patty S said...

Beautiful and touching tribute to your precious Dad.
The photos are priceless.
Where does the time go...
(((hugs))) dear Jeanie!

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