Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arkansas Travelers

My Dad loved to do things for people. When I was a little girl in the 1950’s you’d see hitchhikers often. Daddy never passed one, even though Mom would fuss. He’d say, “That was me years ago coming back from the war and I sure appreciated a ride home.” Many Christmas’ as we made the trip to Grandma’s in another state, the car packed with presents, we’d make room for a stranger who was making his way home. I don’t remember the names of any of those people, but they felt like a friend after riding with Daddy a few miles.

Every spring he would set up cold frames so that he could start his tomato plants early. In the cold months of February and March he’d go outside no matter the weather to check on the progress of the 200+ tomato seedlings. Now Daddy didn’t need that many, but he wanted to share those “Arkansas Travelers” that he considered the best! All summer long he’d weed, water and tend that garden so that the bounty could be put away for their winter use. But the abundance was the real joy of that garden, he loved to share with neighbors.
Years ago, Daddy built me a chicken coop after I mentioned I would love to have one. They were visiting and he made the trip to town, picked up the needed materials and hauled them on the top of his CAR to build me the coop that held 6 little hens. Those clucking, bug-eating, fresh-egg-laying hens gave me so much pleasure.

He was a hard working Daddy who worked a 6 day week but never failed to take us fishing and camping. He was a mechanic that loved to cook breakfast or make big pots of stew for his family. He never tired of telling stories of long ago, family stories of his Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins.
I see him when I am out on the lake, or digging in the garden. I see him when I see someone down on their luck needing a hand up. I see him when we gather for family meals and remember how much he delighted in us all being together. I see him in our Grandsons, growing up to be strong men who will carry on where Daddy left off.


  1. What a lifetime story! By the way, Happy Father's Day!

  2. "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." ~ Mark Twain

  3. How beautiful, Joy. What a lovely example of a father, the kind so many of us dreamed of having, sometimes forgetting the father we did have was remarkable in his own way.

  4. I read your story with great emotion. In Italy ,Father's Day is on 19th March, on St. Joseph's Day.Bye.

  5. Oh how blessed to have wonderful memories. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Father's Day celebration.

  6. What a lovely tribute to your father.

  7. Oh my gosh what a guy! Lovely memories!

  8. What wonderful memories..
    God is good.

  9. It is a blessing to have such memories of your wonderful daddy. I have those too, and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.....

  10. This one brought tears to my eyes and made me think about and remember my Dad. He was a gardener and we shared some wonderful contests with our gardens.

    Thank you.


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