Monday, November 8, 2010

Grateful Nostalgia

Yesterday evening, I sat on the sofa surrounded by children and looked through my photo albums.  I started at #2 album.  That’s my childhood.  (#1 is Jeff’s childhood, because he is older than me, just in case you were wondering.)

I love photos.  I’m so glad I organized those darn albums, because even though they can make me feel sort of sad and weird everytime I think backwards through time, they also make me so grateful for my childhood.
I found this picture:

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That’s my Dad reading to me.  Doesn’t he have a hip shirt on?  (And isn’t that green toile sofa awesome?)

My Dad worked so hard for us.  He would leave at 5 in the morning and come home around 6 every evening.  There is something to be said about those times when a man never expected, asked, or desired any help from his wife in terms of providing for his family.  Now don’t get all offended and weirded out by that comment, I know anyone can pick that sentence apart and crucify me, I just think he did what he had to do to provide and come hell or high water, he was going to accomplish that task, and he was proud of that, and there was no question in his mind that what my mom was doing was the most important thing on earth.

I remember sometimes laying in my bed, in those early morning hours, when the snow was a couple feet deep and the thermometer read below zero, and I’d pray for my Dad’s car to start.  Really, I would.

Because sometimes it wouldn’t, and I’d hear him come in, the door would bang, and then he’d go back out and try again.  I’d pray and pray and pray, because I know he must have been freezing and frustrated and he needed to get to work.  Sometimes he’d even have to plow the whole driveway and fix his car, and if he did plow, of course he’d do the whole street too, and the neighbors driveways, because that’s the way he does things.

In the summer, when I was really little, I’d run out and greet him with notes I wrote.  My Mom kept a stationary drawer in her bedroom, and I’d have lots of pretty stationary to pick from (yes, she’d let us pick from everything because that’s the way my mom does things) and we’d run as soon as we’d hear the car (back then a VW Bug) on the driveway and hand him lots of little notes.  He always looked really tired, but he would smile and say thank you. 

On Sunday, my Dad would brush out my tangly (Johnson’s No More Tangles was my best friend) hair while he watched 6o minutes.  6o minutes was (and still is?) torture to any child.  Boring beyond belief.  But I’d sit there because I loved when my Dad did this.  In my mind, I was getting all the attention, and probably making my sisters jealous, but in reality they were probably happy as heck they didn’t “have” to sit there and watch Utter Boringness.  I have that memory come back to me everytime I hear the tick-tick-tick-tick stopwatch in the beginning, when I watch it now.

27 comments :

  1. Absolutely precious.My Dad was the same, and after a day of teaching high schoolers went to his second job selling tires so my Mom could be home with me. I remember my Daddy drying my hair on Sunday nights after Lawrence Welk... it must have been the only night he was home, so he had time to spend a little extra with me. Thanks for reminding me of such a sweet memory.

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  2. So sweet. Thanks for reminding me to say thanks to my dad and my dear husband...and I'm thankful that I'm still home doing the most important job on earth. Now that all the kids are in school, I'm getting a lot of, "So what do you do all day?" My answer is pretty long. :)
    julie

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  3. Thanks for dad memories. I lost my dad a year and a half ago to horrible stupic pancreatic cancer. Your post gave me a minute this morning to have some neat thoughts of my childhood hero. Thank you.

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  4. Fabulous memories....thanks for sharing.

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  5. Oh..how I remember that tick tock...I had the same sentiments with 60 minutes!

    sandy toe

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  6. What a beautiful story!! I think we all have memories of that boring tick tock of the 60 minutes clock haha.

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  7. What an awesome sentiment I couldn't agree more. Today it is getting more rare to see moms stay at home or even more rare for even a stay-at-home mom not to contribute to the family income in some way. But I have to say that I think the income part should be left to one person while the other parent can be a full-time parent.

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  8. Sarah-- so many of your posts have touched me, but this one brought tears to my eyes. I need to call my Dad and thank him, then call my husband and thank HIM!

    Thanks for sharing those memories. Do your kids do the note-thing for Jeff? That would be a nice surprise for him today, if not!!

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  9. What a wonderful tribute to your father. I can tell that he loved you and you knew you were loved. I have the same fond memories of my own dad and, as I grow older, I realize what a blessing that was. Not everyone has such fond memories of a father that loved them unconditionally. As you know, we are 2 that are blessed beyond belief to have had fathers like we did. Hugs- Diana

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  10. My dad worked harder than anyone I know. He worked the night shift so he could be home with us during the day while my mom went to work. We were always home with our parents, and my sisters and I never spent a single day in daycare.

    My dad was awesome. I just wish he were still here to enjoy the legacy of grandchildren he left behind.

    Thanks for sharing your memories of your childhood. I've been feeling a little nostalgic myself lately. Must be the change in the weather?

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  11. Great memories Sarah! Nothing better than a happy childhood :)

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  12. Wonderful post. Now that my kids are 11 and 13, I am suffering great angst over whether I should get a job or not. It's not even "going back" to work for me, because I have never really worked outside the home. I feel so conflicted about it, knowing there is so much I can do at home, and need to do, and that those things get cut short if/when I have a job. But boy, I get those questions and looks and snide comments about "what do I do all day?" and I have such a hard time with it. Your post makes me feel so much better, and your blog gives me so much more confidence about continuing to be a SAHM.

    I do have to say, I don't mind your comment about there being a time when a man didn't question his job of providing for his family. In many cases, you're right on and I know way too many men who pressure their wives to work so they can live a certain lifestyle. I also have to say, though, that with high and rising housing prices, gas prices, food prices, etc.--combined with basically stagnant wages over the last many years (statistically, since about 1980), it is dang hard for many families to make it on one income. I wish we could go back to the time when more families could live even a simple life on one income. The housing bubble where prices went up and up didn't help at all. But of course, in part those prices wouldn't have gone up if there weren't two income families. There's no easy answer to this dilemma, and it seems a bit of a chicken and egg question.

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  13. beautiful memories. it's always great when you have undivided attention from a parent. cherished time.

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  14. This is beautiful Sarah ;) Simply priceless :)

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  15. What a wonderful photo and such good memories of your dad. I am so glad that my kids have a strong father in their lives. I think it's so important and all too lacking in our society.

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  16. What a wonderful memory. I love how photos can take you back to that instant. I used to sit in my dad's lap after bathtime with my towel wrapped on my head and watch Battlestar Galatica. A big deal to get that time all to myself with him considering I was the oldest of 4.

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  17. I love that couch!! And I think we had the same dark wood paneling in our family room. What great memories and a sweet photo of you and your Dad.

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  18. And we had a couch just like that.

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  19. I love this post. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. What a beautiful photo, one to cherish forever. Your story was very touching too; how much you loved your dad and wanted his car to start. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Precious memories! Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Wonderful memories+picture, Sarah!
    How easy would be for us (women which want to be stay-at-home-moms) when all men wouldn't expect from women to work also outside the house... But women fought so much to achieve equality with men and now look what we've achieved: we, women, "qualified" for double working - job+home. I would gladly say "no, thank you" to the job, but let's see if somebody will ask me :-)

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  23. What a wonderful story. You should not apologize for anything. I have been blessed to stay home the majority of my childrens lives and I think we are all better for it. I love that you watch 60 minutes now...feeling your Dad with you each week. Thank you for a sharing such a wonderful memory.

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  24. lol. I was watching 60 minutes the other day and thought about watching that torturous show with dad. And then when our Shirley Temple movies got cut short cause of Football games? He always watched Hogan Heroes, Hee Haw, Candid Camera, 60 minutes, and if it wasn't for him I would never have discovered Hot Fudge Sundaes!!! lol or chocolate malts.

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