My dad was a smart man without the benefit of a formal education. He was born prematurely in 1922 in rural Georgia in a house that was little more than a shack. Weighing in at two pounds, he was clothed in a diaper shirt which was then pinned to a small pillow, He was fed sugar water from a glove.His mother used a shoebox for a bassinet and placed it on the warming board of their wood burning stove. I can't imagine how he survived but evidently it agreed with him. He grew to be a strong, strapping, six-foot man.
Dad, or Papa, as his grandchildren would call him, grew up strong and tall but his family did not have it easy. His father was a sharecropper who died young. Dad learned to read and write but by his recollection stopped going to school in the third grade to work in the fields full time. Dad and his five siblings were raised by a strong woman whom I never knew. From others, I know she had a beautiful alto voice, was creative, had lush gardens and was much loved by my Dad. Her porch was covered in plants contained by whatever was available. Coffee cans, buckets, jars and chipped dishes displayed the bounty of her green thumb. She was forced to make do with whatever she had. This necessity fostered a unique type of ingenuity in her children. Under different circumstances I imagine my Dad would have been a successful engineer. Instead, after serving in the Army in WWII, he drove for Ryder Truck Lines for thirty years. He had three children that he did his best by. Truthfully he wasn't around a lot when we were growing up but when he was home he was a loving Dad who took care of the maintenance around our home and always had beautiful gardens. His farm boy roots were apparent even when we lived in an apartment for a short while. This was evidenced by the Beefy tomatoes that he planted in the rose garden there. He made do with what he had. Later when I was grown and married he loved to lend a helping hand when he would visit. During one visit our old riding mower needed some repairs. A spring had broken on the carburetor. We didn't have a spring around but he found an old pair of underwear and cut the waistband to fashion a strip of elastic that would serve the same purpose as the spring. It lasted for several years until we replaced the mower. A toilet handle, made from a stick and rope, served until a trip to the hardware store could be made. Frying pan lids over bird feeders fended off squirrels. He was ingenious. I don't think I ever told him that. Our family has honored his abilities though by coming up with their own ideas for creative solutions and with each solution they state "Papa would be proud!" My son and husband have a name for this particular brand of ingenuity and have an ongoing joke about their own maintenance and engineering company called "That Dawg Will Hunt".
The following posts are dedicated to the unique problem solving abilities that have enriched our lives most often with laughter and fond memories of my Dad.
That Dog Will Hunt Posts
Sunday, September 18, 2016
I'm also using this silly little app to teach kindergarten. It's called My Talking Pet. It's simple, fast, cheap and easy and the kids are mesmerized. They listen to the dogs much better than they listen to me. I'm sure the novelty will wear off eventually but I'll enjoy 100% engagement for as long as it lasts. Hopefully it won't create long term confusion about talking dogs.
Dogs Who Teach
Dogs Who Teach
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Saturday, January 09, 2016
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Tuesday, March 03, 2015