Tag Archives: Dad

Dry Roasted Peanuts

Dry roasted peanuts are very tasty.  And the memories that come with a handful of these little nuggets of goodness are many.  Most of them revolve around my Dad.

He was known in our family for liking dry roasted peanuts in a variety of ways:  mixed with M&Ms; roasted with honey; in a trail mix; and just by themselves.  So, as you can imagine, I can’t eat dry roasted peanuts without a memory of my Dad having a jar of these at his side as he watched sports on weekend afternoons.

My wife just bought some of these dry roasted peanuts along with a bag of candy corns.  Believe it or not, the two of these mixed together tastes remarkably like a Butterfinger candy bar.  Once again, the memories flow.  My Dad’s dry roasted peanut legacy lives on.

But that’s not by any means the only thing my Dad left as a legacy.  What’s far more important is the fact that he touched so many lives when he was alive that quite a few people came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ at his funeral.  Nothing could be more important than an eternal difference made in someone’s life.

So what are you living for?  Yourself?  If not, why do you do anything at all?  Just for the sake of knowing that you made a difference somehow?  But for what reason?  It’s certainly a selfish and self-centered existence to be living for yourself alone.  But what guarantee do you have that anything else you do is going to last?  Our motives can be very revealing.

This all comes into sharp focus when you’re living out what God would have you do with your life.  An “eternity mindset”.  A realization that every day has the ability to count for someone’s eternity and where they will spend it.  My Dad had that kind of influence and I’m proud of that fact.  I know God is using my life even more so to that end.  And He is helping me to raise my two boys to be even more influential for His Kingdom than my life has been or will be.  And that means everything to me!

Hopefully your legacy consists of something more than just dry roasted peanuts.  If not, it can.  I would encourage you to really think about how you do that.  Regardless of what it is, it will have eternal consequences.  So choose wisely, my friend.  Your eternity depends on it!

Coming of Age

Growing up brings many “coming of age” moments.  For our oldest son, he’s experiencing a pretty big one today:  Shaving for the first time.

I remember my first shave.  I was pretty nervous about it.  Of course, that may be also due to the fact that I was in fifth grade when that happened.  Yes, I shaved my mustache every two weeks at that point.  By middle school, I was dressing like a back woodsman with a beard down to my belly button and a deep, gravelly voice that drove the girls crazy.  (Ok, maybe I didn’t have the beard.  Or the backwoods clothing.  I had the deep voice, but no girls.  Fine…forget it.  Moving on.)

William will be shaving his rather thick mustache today.  My wife pointed out that he even has an inch-long hair or two on his throat under his chin.  Yup…it’s time to shave.  He’s pretty excited about it.  Monumental moments in the coming of age process and this is one of them.

Do you see them with your kids?  Unfortunately, my Dad wasn’t too keen on taking advantage of moments like this.  That’s not going to happen with my boys.  I just pray that God helps me see them when they come along (I’m certainly looking for them).  What kind of influence can a Dad have on a child during this coming of age process?  I totally believe it’s more than us Dads can possibly fathom.  What about our Heavenly Father?  He’s the Dad of all Dads, right?  You can bet He doesn’t miss a single one of these kind of moments in our walk with Him.  We are told very clearly in His Word that He has never failed us and He never will.

So when a coming of age moment like shaving for the first time comes up, look out!  Someone’s going to get cut.  And deal with ingrown hairs.  And sensitive skin.  But he’ll get used to it.  He’s got a good example to follow in his Dad.

A Fond Memory (Bethisms)

I have many a fond memory of my wife and my Dad together.  With that being the case, I thought I would share an earlier story called “Bethisms”.   I know you’ll enjoy it!

My Dad and my wife always had a very special relationship. He knew that I had prayed for the “right one” for a long time, and when he met her for the first time, he knew I had found her. The two of them just clicked. It was awesome to see! What was also evident to me was the fact that he had a lot of respect for her.  I believe he did both for simply who she was and also for her profession.  She does Daycare out of the home now, but back then she was a Social Worker.   She had seen and experienced a lot of things which produced insight and wisdom. I could tell he admired

My wife has much more of a forthright personality than I do (probably another reason my Dad was fond of her). But she can also be…well, no other way to say it….she can also be rather “blonde” (after all, it is her natural hair color). She’s never been “ditsy blonde” like the stereo-type we’re all familiar with (you know, like the On Star call many have heard where a woman has apparently locked herself inside her car and has to be talked through how to pull “the shiny thing” [door handle], only to discover that the keys were in the ignition the whole time). Nope. Nothing like that. Just “blonde” to the point that it has produced a few events we like to call “Bethisms”.

She has had quite a few over the years, and most of them seem to jump back and forth between doing her nails and baking in the kitchen. It’s kind of like watching a tennis match. I’ll be the first to tell you that she is great at both of these things. But not only do these Bethisms occur mostly in these two areas of her life, they occur with the same incident happening–every time.

She has done her own nails for years and is very good at it.  So, it naturally follows that a Bethism has occurred with this hobby of hers.  It happened here in our home one night as she was doing her nails in front of the T.V.  As we are watching a show, I and our boys suddenly hear, “Oh, crap!!”. I look over at her and she’s leaning back on the couch, holding her fingers together above her head. An odd sight, to be sure, but I thought I would wait for an explanation. She’s laughing, but there’s something different about it–something uneasy. She then proceeds to tell me that she has glued the thumb of one hand to the finger of the other.  And in case you aren’t aware of it, fingernail glue sticks like superglue. So she’s laughing (also because she’s leaned back so far into the couch that she can’t get herself back up with her fingers glued together like that) and repeating, in no particular order, “Dang it” and “This is really gonna hurt” and “Oh crapcrapcrapcrapcrap”.

Now I, sensitive husband that I am and knowing how much my Dad would love to know about this, promptly pulled my phone out and started recording video of this amazing and unusual event unfolding before me. Ben, our younger son, started to tear up and wanted to help his Mommy in any way he could.  So he volunteered to go get the scissors to cut her fingers apart.  This, of course, was definitely not how she was going to fix this. She eventually sucked it up, took the plunge and pulled her fingers apart. We were all amazed at how little skin was actually missing compared to what we thought we would see. If I remember right, it took a couple of weeks for that to heal up. This has happened more than once–and just as funny every time!

The Tire Bulge

As I was growing up, my parents had some friends who lived in an A-frame house behind some woods.  These friends literally farmed out some of their property by the house, which included letting my parents have a garden of various sizes out there each year.  In my six-year-old mind, that garden always seemed to be huge, and we were stuck with weeding it all summer long.  No kid enjoys that, but these friends of my parents had a daughter whom my brother and I enjoyed playing with–especially the Mousetrap game–so the last thing we ever wanted to do when we went over there was to be forced into any kind of manual labor by the local Communist dictatorship of my parents.  Child labor laws were a pointless and laughable invention at that point of our lives.  But what kid doesn’t feel that way about his or her parents at that age?

I have fond memories (overall) of being out there, but two distinct memories of that place come to mind.  The first involves the Chevy van that we had at the time.  This van had a long history with us, namely due to the fact that my Dad and this friend of his “MacGyvered” a very nice bench-and-table-that-turn-into-a-bed system for the back of the van (it’s what my brother and I fell asleep on when we took those trips to the cabin on Paradise Lake that I told you about some time ago).  Well, my Dad realized one day that one of the van’s tires had a bulge on the outer sidewall that was about the size of an egg.   As you can imagine, that’s not good.  So my Dad contacted this friend and made arrangements to drive the van over to his place and have him help with getting the tire off and the spare on.  I can remember the tense drive over to their place!  What didn’t help my Dad, though, was the fact that this van also had manual shift on the steering column.  Not necessarily a bad thing (I prefer stick shift to automatic transmissions any day), but this van had a particular affinity to being shifted into third gear, particularly when my Dad was the one driving.  Even at that young age, I can remember how hard it was sometimes not to burst out in loud guffaws and raucous laughter as we watched him fight with the gear shift, the van slowly losing speed as it coasted down the road, waiting for my Dad to finally get third gear engaged.  More often than not, by that time the van had slowed down enough that second gear–or even first gear–was needed again before the inevitable attempt to shift into that ominous and intimidating third gear was to once again be broached.

As soon as we got to their place, us kids were told that the tire could blow at any time and we were to stay as far away as possible while they did their thing.  No problem!  (I hate loud noises.  My Dad used to referee high school basketball and sometimes we’d go to a game just to watch him in action [he was very good at what he did!].  As a young kid, I used to have cotton in my ears at those basketball games and the game horn would still make me cry.  Stupid horn…. )  So we played in their very cool “MacGyvered” playset that her Dad had built for her–me plugging my ears the whole time in case the tire blew–while the adults sweated out the removal of the infected tire and got the spare on the van.

So that’s one of my fondest memories out at their place.

Now for the other one….

A Goal Becomes A Milestone

It took my wife and I longer than most usually do to find each other (shared in “How We Met”).  As a result, we are at ages 46 and 44 (respectively–no reason to let you know which one of us is the older one since carrying on about it and really even mentioning it at all would mean that the chances are highly likely that the woman is the older one so since it is my responsibility to keep that type of sensitive information unknown I won’t say anything about it either way so that you can’t possibly tell which one of us is older and the true identity of all parties is kept hidden as it very well should be in a situation like this) with two boys, the older one being 12 1/2 and the younger one being a little over 11.

Our older son, William, is built like his Uncle Brad:  stocky, tall and ruggedly handsome (as awkward as it is to describe my Brother-In-Law that way).  We could tell even at the ages of 2-3 that William was going to be on the tall side.  So much so that all through his childhood, he’s been a head taller than any of the other kids around him.  As a result, it has been his focus–nay, his quest, his life’s mission, his God-given purpose at age 12–to surpass the height of his Dad.  Now, growing up, it was my brother who ended up being taller than my Dad.  As we both got into high school, it was evident to all of us who the taller son was going to be.  (And, as a side story, we wrestled all the time as kids [remember the story about Max?].  But when he got to being taller than I was and I could no longer pin him to the ground for Max to play with, I became uninterested in such suddenly childish things to do.)  So I never experienced the heady sensation that a son being taller than his father can bring.

William asks for hugs all the time.  So, last night being no exception, he asked and I gave.  Only this time, something was different.  It felt like I was hugging someone taller than me.  Now, it must be noted here that for the last month or so, he’s been hovering at a 1/2 inch shorter than me–my height being 5’8″–and this fact noted a mere 3 weeks ago at Uncle Brad’s house of all places.  So I bring him out to where his mother is in the living room and have her check us out.  She begins to laugh and gasp and generally make a scene as she tells us that not only is William taller than I am, but he’s taller by a good inch and a half!  Here’s what she saw:

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Which means that he grew two inches in three weeks.  To say he was ecstatic is an understatement.  Whooping, hollering, smack talk (something about being the tallest man in the house now…I don’t know, I forget…) and other indecent behavior emanated from this 12 year-old that I now literally have to look up to.   If you find this hard to believe, coming from such a sweet-demeanored boy, here’s some hard-core proof of the preposterously out-of-place and distasteful behavior that I was subjected to last night:

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See what I mean?  You know, you think you raise them right–respect for their elders and all that–and this is how you are rewarded.  What’s a guy to do??  How do I live this down?  Thankfully, I don’t want to.  I couldn’t be more proud of our two boys and the mighty men of God that they are growing up to become.  I must say, it does feel oddly milestoneish having one of my sons taller than me, especially knowing that the height difference and the heckling that will come with it is now only going to get worse.  I say “oddly” in an effort to describe that sad feeling that comes with the significant events of a child’s life that remind you the little boy isn’t a little boy anymore.  But I wouldn’t change that for anything.  I love our family!  The God of the Bible is the center of it.  And everyone sees that.  I love that about us.  We’re not perfect.  Just genuinely seeking to walk with God as close as possible every day of our lives.  My boys see that example and the benefits that it brings, and they are far more likely to set that example for their own families one day.

Yup–choosing to walk out this life hand-in-hand with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit certainly has its advantages!