I couldn't have said it better myself.! This Is For You Dad.
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble… At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered..
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.
Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up. ‘The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
‘Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveler asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.’
Excuse me!’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.’
‘How about my friend here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog.
‘There should be a bowl by the pump.’
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.
‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.’
‘Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’
‘No, we're just happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’
Author Unknown You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime!
I don't know about you, but I am impatiently waiting for that first garden tomato to show itself…In my opinion it can't come soon enough.
So to keep my artistic mind from becoming atrophied, I began to open my mind to creative re-purposing.. So I hit a dead spot creatively. Is this the same as writers block? I think the feelings could be similar. Frustration.
I’m walking the summer garden, while looking over the hill I spy two broken and downed trees. These smaller oak trees had been killed by the death grip of ivy. Some of the ivy vines were an inch thick. These poor oaks never had a chance.
As the winter ice had grown heavy on the oak and ivy it could no longer hold it’s own weight and snapped.
“Wow, Ron look at that. Those are so cool. Do you think you HAUL those up on the back yard?” “Really Shirley? Are you kidding?”
We get the trusty old come-a-long and chains and haul them both up to the backyard.
They both are worn, bedraggled and look like they need to be used as firewood. NO WAY! Hey let’s build an arbor…
Old Oak and Ivy
Ron sighed resignedly. He dives in cutting the grass back twelve feet and levels the area. Of course there has to be a step. What were you thinking?
If you know Ron, you know that he is a sweety. He will do just about
Ron Deep In Thought
anything legal and or moral to keep me happy. Poor dear.
The yard is now a mucky mess. But hey, look at it this way, we will have less grass to mow..
We embed four tall steel rods into concrete for strength. Then start to wire the curved trees to steel posts, overlapping the limbs at the center. We then cut stray limbs off to make the arbor more symmetrical.
Looks pretty bad at this point. But in my mind I could see it at the height of summer. Mind you, Ron still can’t see what I am envisioning. He just plugs along.
Now that the arbor is built we need to plant. Oh Wait…We need a bench so people can enjoy the view. Right? Wait, it gets better. To get to the bench we need stepping-stones. Agreed?
At this point Ron just wants it to end.I found an old fence and designed the seat so you could sit facing the valley or sit facing the yard. Simple? You would think so…I never think things through as thoroughly as I should. But Ron always makes it work.
The stepping-stones are formed from concrete. we poured them individually in the studio as it was raining cats and dogs outside. As they dried we took them out and placed them in the muddy dirt.
We have planted several varieties of roses. One is a white climbing vine rose and will eventually cover the arbor. I can’t wait ten years to see the result so I am planting hops which will cover the entire arbor by mid summer. Moss and small steppable ground cover will be planted among the cobbles.We eventually placed the last cobblestone. The pillows came soon after.
Can you envision the end result. Hope we get to see my grand scheme. Poor Ron.
As heat waves rise from my patio cobblestones, the pumpkins are sprouting and the ground is getting hard. These sweet weeks of summer bring back many memories of the farm where I was raised.
I miss lying in bed at dawn waiting for my dad to inevitably, come to wake me. I could hear a cicadas raspy calls, the frogs croaking and the occasional song of a whippoorwill. We used to call them road runners.
My dad was a great farmer. His eighth grade education never seemed to be a hindrance to his success. It was my father who taught me; anything could be fixed when you put your mind to it. If he had thought to have a motto, his would have been ; You can fix anything with baling wire, hard work and a good shovel.
My behavior must have been learned at his feet. I have always known I could accomplish anything, if I spent the time to learn, to work hard, to be honest, and civil (which seems to be a lost art.)
Sooo….I get to work and try to make my father proud I was his daughter. I will figured it out dad. I will be honest and ethical and even civil at times. OK. Don’t push me. I will try to be civil most of the time. How’s that?
Times are tough. We are feeling a bit sorry for ourselves with the lousy economy. People are out of work. The rent might be late. Hmmmm. Are we feeling a bit sorry for ourselves?
Dad would just quietly make a point of; “Shirley Kay, the water needs to be changed on unit seven.” We have to make sure the water gets down to the end of the row.”
“The water needs to get down to the end of the row.” What a complex thought, dad. He will never know how this statement has effected my life.
Finish what you start. Make sure you do the best you can. “Get the water to the end of the row." Endure to the end.
OK. So I will stop whining. And start finishing to the best of my ability. Be who I am. Create. Make something useful and beautiful.
The summer brings the memory of my father’s garden and life. His creations. All useful. All beautiful. I will try to do the same.