Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Father's Day Post

One of these days I will figure out how to put up the family history booklet I made for my primary kids. One of the challenges inside is to learn a hobby or trade one of your ancestors enjoyed and today as I stood balancing (for hours upon hours) between a ladder and a window frame, reglazing our windows, I thought about two of my fore-fathers. First, I thought of my Grandpa Conrad, who would climb up anything, balance on anything, and who could probably fix anything. One summer during the Great Depression he and his brothers and cousins dug a swimming hole and built a high dive, just for kicks. But the picture in the collage is of him after he'd shimmied up a pole to do some repair work to the CB radio antenna. It makes balancing on a ladder (for like eight hours!) look easy. 

I also thought of my great-grandpa Russell. He was a plasterer (you can see him plastering in the collage below) and his son, my grandpa Layton, started a drywall company, a trade my father also learned. I don't think that any of my siblings have ever really attempted drywalling (or plastering) but I do have a basement that could use some drywall so perhaps I'll try my hand at it (hahahaha). I have many memories of watching my dad at work as he finished various basements of various houses that we lived in—the oozy mud, the *scrape, scrape, scrape* of the trowel. 
I come from a long line of good men, and in situations where there seems to be a dearth in good men (as in the picture in the top left corner—sorry, Great-grandpa Charlie (the man on the left); you could have done better) there were always good men at the ready to step in to help (you can see my grandma's great-uncle Elias Rudd in the righthand corner of her family picture, a wonderful example of a man who stepped in). I'm grateful for their collective experience, hard work, and sacrifice. I'm grateful for the way they cared for, loved, and enjoyed their families. I'm grateful for their passion and their laughter.

They are all (or at least most of them were at some point) "out standing" in their field, or "outstanding" in their field, as the case may be (with Andrew, for example, it's probably the latter). It's a running joke in my mom's farming family, to take a picture of the farmer(s) out in their field and caption it as "So-and-so, out standing in their field."

For example, in this collage you can see my grandpa and his brothers (bottom right), out standing in their field, leaning on their hoes. And in the middle you can see my great-grandpa Art out standing in his field, talking to a friend.

They are very punny people and I won't even tell you how long it took for me to get that pun. I was always nodding my head and laughing along with everyone else, thinking, "Yes, they are out standing in their field..."

Out standing vs. outstanding is the joke, in case any of my children are reading this and not getting it. And by and large the men in our family are outstanding.


Glazing update: I have now finished glazing 90 panes of glass. It is the project that will never end.

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