Saturday, July 28, 2012

Missing my Dad

After I got home from the bank this afternoon, I continued my work from yesterday cutting boards for an entertainment center and a bookshelf unit for my new house. As I measured the boards with a tape measure inscribed with the word, "Honeybrook" etched onto the face by my Dad when he still had his cabinet shop, I couldn't help remembering the day he gave me that tape measure. I marked a straight line for my cuts with a square marked bold, "DES" in my Dad's thick handwriting. Then I cut each board to length with a circular saw he had gifted me when the cheap one I had finally died. And then after I sanded the rough edges to be more user friendly in a living room setting, I taught my future bride how to stain with the same technique my Dad had taught me at five years old. To say my Dad was on my mind all day wouldn't be scratching the surface of the emotions flooding my brain.

My Dad was my teacher, my mentor, my guide..... and now he's gone. He never knew I got my job in North Carolina and he never saw my new house. He won't be there when I marry the woman of my dreams, and he will never again pray for me or tell me he loves me when I leave. He won't get to enjoy the beauty of my new car or listen to my stories about how beautiful the mountains are that surround my home. Never again will I hear his voice unless I play that last voicemail he left me that I've saved on my cellphone. My Dad is gone and it hurts like nothing I've ever experienced before.

I'm so very glad he got to meet Alli and wonderfully encouraged by the fact that he saw in her a perfect match for me. I'm so very glad I broke my foot which forced me off the trail because it gave me the chance to say goodbye to him. And I'm so very glad that my Dad got to experience my book named in his honor and so grateful that we shared it together as I read it to him over multiple visits.

Unfortunately, at least for tonight, the bad is outweighing the good. I miss him, so so so very much. Tears still fall when I hear a hymn he used to sing or think about his stories or remember his laugh. What I wouldn't give to hear just one more parable of wisdom or one more chorus of his voice or one more belly laugh that made everyone smile.

I miss you Dad. I wish you were here to help me work on my house. I wish you were here to give me a hug. I just wish you were here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where one lays his head:

  • March 23: Log House - Lisbon, Ohio
  • March 24-25: Limbo & Bird's house - Swannanoa, North Carolina
  • March 26: Stover Creek Shelter - Appalachian Trail (AT) in Georgia
  • March 27: Hawk Mountain Shelter - AT in Georgia
  • March 28: Gooch Mountain Shelter - AT in Georgia
  • March 29: Concrete floor of park pavilion - Lake Winfield-Scott, Georgia
  • March 30: Neel Gap Hostel - AT in Georgia
  • March 31-April 1: Ron Haven's Budget Motel - Hiawasee, Georgia
  • April 2: Plumorchard Shelter - AT in Georgia
  • April 3: Muskrat Creek Shelter - AT in North Carolina
  • April 4: Carter Gap Shelter - AT in North Carolina
  • April 5: Microtel - Franklin, North Carolina
  • April 6-7: My Mom's attic daybed - Columbus, Ohio
  • April 8: Motel Six - Columbus, Ohio
  • April 9-19: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • April 20-21: Motel Six - Columbus, Ohio
  • April 22-25: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • April 26: Limbo & Bird's house - Swannanoa, North Carolina
  • April 27-May 4: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • May 5: Mike & Ginny's basement - Alliance, Ohio
  • May 6-13: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • May 14-15: My Mom's attic Lay-Z-Boy - Columbus, Ohio
  • May 16: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • May 17: Grant's Dad's couch bed - Zanesville, Ohio
  • May 18-31: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • June 1-17: My new red house, Home - Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • June 18-21: Fairmont Inn - Alpharetta, Georgia
  • June 22-23: Home - Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • June 24-27: Fairmont Inn - Alpharetta, Georgia
  • June 28: Home - Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • June 29-30: Alli's Dad's house - East Palestine, Ohio
  • July 1-9: Limbo & Bird's house - Swannanoa, North Carolina
  • July 10: Home - Black Mountain, North Carolina
That's thirty three changes in one hundred ten days. While it was happening, I attempted to wrap my head around that figure and hoped to come up with a dramatic life lesson I could share. Unfortunately, all I could do was try to find some amount of constant in my otherwise whirlwind existence. To say I was uncomfortable with all of it would be an understatement. In fact, it was all I could do to keep my head above water during those months; not even mentioning the life-altering events that were happening all around me at the same time.

Right now, as I sit in my new, "Home" I am finally feeling some kind of normal. This house is still weird to me, not surprising when you think about the fact that I lived in the Log House for thirteen and a half years. During those years (outside of the random long weekend), every night I laid my head on the same pillow in the same bed in the same house in the same town as every other night that had come before and would be to come. Now, none of what had become simple routine, is present. But I have no doubt that normality and routine are sure to come soon in this house as well.

Again, I've yet to come up with something of worth to share out of this experience. So I'll leave you with the words from a plaque that hung in my Mom's kitchen as I grew up, and now hangs in mine... Where ever you wander, where ever you roam, be happy and healthy and glad to come home.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Friday Funny (on a Saturday)

My ever-constant source of material came through again for me this week. Thanks to Cyndy for some good ol' Irish Humor!

Paddy says to Mick - I'm ready for a holiday, only this year I'm going to do it a bit different. 3 years ago I went to Spain and Mary got pregnant. 2 years ago I went to Italy and Mary got pregnant. Last year I went to Majorca and Mary got pregnant.  Mick asks - So what are you going to do this year?.  Paddy replies, -  I'll take her with me!

Paddy & Mick find three grenades, so they take them to a police station.  Mick:  "What if one explodes before we get there?"  Paddy: "We'll lie and say we only found two."

Paddy goes to the vet with his goldfish. "I think it's got epilepsy" he tells the vet.
Vet takes a look and says "It seems calm enough to me". Paddy says, "You should see it when I take it out of the bowl".

Paddy shouts frantically into the phone "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"
"Is this her first child?" asks the Doctor. "No", shouts Paddy, "this is her husband!"

An old Irish farmer's dog goes missing and he's inconsolable. His wife says "Why don't you put an advert in the paper?"
He does, but two weeks later the dog is still missing. "What did you put in the paper?" his wife asks. "Here boy" he replies.

Have a great weekend, everyone.