Gratitude Sunday: Go Ask Dad

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Solstice approaches
Hot summer days near as light
shortens; spring is cool.

Sunday Musings
Happy Father’s Day! I like to tell people what to do (not that anybody listens), so go buy your dad something. Buy him a tie he doesn’t need, or some fishing tackle though he doesn’t fish, or a new grill because you think he should cook outside. Spend money. Be a good little consumer like all those commercials on TV want to make you think you should be.

Or not. Like Mother’s Day we do not have to support the consumer mentality. We can do better. We can pay attention. We can visit Dad. We can talk with him, or help him around the house or the yard. We can take him out for a meal or bring him his favorite meal after all the meals he provided for us. We can ask him to share his stories with us about when he was growing up, or went to college, or to war, or when he held us in his hands for the first time. And we can listen to the same stories again for the umpteenth time, because we will want to hear those stories again when he is gone.

I have a great abundance of stuff in my house, some of which was handed down from my dad. I live with my ancestors in my home: my grandmother’s buffet; my other grandmother’s hand embroidered peacock that my mother framed; my mother-in-law’s writing desk; my uncle’s Chinese table; my father’s leather sewing machine he used for creating leather goods like holsters and wallets as a side income. Everywhere I look in my home is a reminder of my forebears.

Their stuff reminds me of their faces and their bodies, how they walked, and smiled, and hugged, but I long for their voices. Not just their voices, but their stories. I want to hear my grandfather tell about bringing his family out from Oklahoma in 1933 to Idaho, about what they left and what they came to, and about the journey between the two places in the Model T Ford truck they drove. He never told me. Mom told me a little. I never asked him. He was gone before I was curious enough.

I want my dad to tell me again about being a rear tail gunner in the Philippines, what that felt like to ride in a tiny seat in the back of a small airplane, and what it was like to be a soldier thousands of miles from home, and how he dealt with the memories military service leaves in a man. I want him to tell me what it was like to be the first in his family to go to college. By the time I was curious enough, he’d had a stroke and couldn’t talk about it any more, though I’m sure he still had all those memories within him.

Men aren’t particularly good at telling their stories, especially the tough stories, the ones involving hard decisions that may go against social norms. I’m not talking about authors; sometimes you can get a male author who tells a truly authentic story, but that’s not the same as passing stories down through generations. Oral history used to be all we had. Now it seems we’ve becomes so distanced by history books, revisionists, and social media our family stories are disappearing. How can we improve our world if we don’t know what has come before?

This Father’s Day I challenge you to ask your dad, or step-dad, grandfather, or even your father-in-law, if you sill have them, to share a story. Then ask for another, and another, until he’s tired of telling. Record the stories if you can, maybe even write the story down, so when they are gone you have a written record of their words. You might be grateful for doing so in the future when you are missing them.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I love my hardy succulent sedums, and they give me creamy white blossoms as well. How bright the orange and yellow fire colors of these coreopsis. Lucky to catch a bee going about his business in the midst of fire. A neighbor grows interesting plants; I don’t know the name of this peachy spike. Hot fuchsia pink of Sweet William, as fragrant as it is colorful.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} On to season 5 of Game of Thrones (2016, rated TV – MA). I wanted to watch the series again before I view the newest season, which I’m still in queue for. * Season 5 of Orange is the New Black (2017, rated TV – MA), the 72 hours after the prisoners take over the facility. No spoilers. Prison is a discouraging subject for most of us, and we avoid actions that might put us there, but things can go wrong in any life and there but for the grace of God. Prisons in America are being privatized and however distressing the setting is, the reality is people are being abused in the name of profit. Much is being written about this subject recently. I don’t mind capitalism, making a profit, good for you, but not at the expense of other people even if they have committed crimes. Imagine what good helping them might do rather than using them like so much chattel. It would cost less in the short and long run.

Currently ReadingThe Chalk Pit (2017, fiction) by Elly Griffiths. Ms Griffiths is one of those authors I can’t wait to read whatever they publish. She writes good old-fashioned British mysteries with an archeological twist, and the usual inter-weavings of a small community of people interacting over everyday life and the affects of the current mystery. In her Ruth Galloway series the characters develop with each new book, and it’s fun to see how they grow. I find her work relaxing even as I try to solve the mystery before the novel is over. * Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, radical politics) by Jane Mayer. Still plowing through this, revelations on the power of Big Money to control so many things, like education, science, and technology, and how that control can be used to impede progress. Frightening information, considering there isn’t much that can be done to change it, unless you have money.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Memories of my father and grandfathers.
  • Having many hours at my disposal.
  • Finding many things to fill my time.
  • Finding many new corners to clean.
  • Not bothering to clean all the corners until I feel like it.
  • Having so much abundance when I throw something away or give it away, I don’t even see the difference. I’m trying to find items to sell so I can feel a financial difference.
  • Looking forward to spending some time with my sister.
  • Remembering to buy my pool membership at this year’s fee before the next year’s increase happens next week.
  • Getting an x-ray within 24 hours of asking on an unresolved pain that has continued far too long. Diagnosis coming soon.
  • Dealing with some new doctors and a medical diagnosis and possible treatment that might result in an improvement of my health. Looks like a long process and time will tell, then there’s aging, sometimes hard to win on the health factors. I just want to kick a few more years.
  • A friend who needed freezer containers for her strawberry freezer jam just as I was cleaning a cupboard of containers and I was able to give her a big paper bag full of containers with matching lids. She’s feeding a houseful of kids, so I see lots of PB&J’s in her past and future. I was glad they went to a good home and will be well used.
  • Surviving one of those computer scams where they block your computer and make you think there is something wrong, but discovering what they were before I did any damage. Spent some agonizing hours sure I’d been hacked, but at least I had the wit and help from the hubster to do a complete virus scan and no virus found (yay!). Changed a bunch of passwords. Still waiting to see if something will go awry. Anxiety is good.
  • Oregon Hood strawberries. So satisfying to my taste buds.
  • Lovely bags full of sweet fresh greens, and how funny I am to crave the sweet-sour salad dressing my mom used to make that I never liked when I was a kid. Now to find the recipe.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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