Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Dad Things

Time once more for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge.

This weeks topic of interest to me:
3.) What does that tell you about your father?  List five products your father used (or uses).  Write a longer piece about, at least, one of them.

There are a lot of things that come to mind when I think of all the things dad used, but given that it is spring, I'll stick with yard and garden related things.

The five things I remember dad using in the yard and garden:
  • lawn chair
  • hand sprinkler
  • lawn mower
  • spading shovel
  • push hoe
The lawn chair and hand sprinkler go together. Many the afternoon and evening I would find dad sitting on his folding lawn chair with sprinkler in hand watering the lawn. He seemed to achieve a zen state sitting there, moving his arm back and forth, watering. Every so often he would bestir himself, move the chair, and resume sprinkling in a new area. He much preferred to water that way over any other. No sprinkling system or stationary sprinkler held a candle to sitting in the breeze amidst the cooling mist and hand sprinkling for dad.

Dad was also lawn mowing fanatic. From the time we were old enough to operate a mower until we found a "real" summer job, we all had lawns all over town to mow. I can remember being so happy when I got a job in a furniture store as the carpet layer's assistant in 9th grade. No more lawns! Carrying rolls of carpet and moving furniture was a snap compared to mowing multiple lawns day after day. But dad actually enjoyed mowing. When dad retired, he started mowing pretty much all the lawns on the block just for the pleasure of mowing. I think he was mowing 7 or more of the neighborhood lawns at his peak. It was one of the sure signs of his final decline and impending death when he could no longer mow.

Dad was also a spader. He liked to spade, sometimes huge tracts. In his later years when he got a roto-tiller, he still liked to spade. Unfortunately he was not a discriminating spader. Seedlings and weeds and ... were all treated to equal opportunity before the shovel when dad spaded. Along with the spading was digging. I can remember dad digging out the stump of an entire mature tree in a day, using shovel and hatchet and a lot of back breaking labor.

When garden season was in swing, dad loved to use a push hoe to keep the weeds and sand burrs down. Like his spading, his push hoeing sometimes lacked discrimination. Mom was often exasperated as her seedlings and young plants joined the weeds in being cut off at the roots and removed.

The amusing part of all this is that during the time I was growing up, I always swore I'd never do any of those things. And now that I am older - I actually enjoy mowing the lawn and spading. But I still haven't fallen in love with the hand sprinkling. {*grin*} Makes me think that dad may have been onto something.


  1. that was great. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. your dad sounds like he was an amazing man and a hard worker. even while sitting in a lawn chair, he was still working. how fun to be able to see and participate in those activities and think of your dad.

  3. He sounds like he was a wonderful guy. I love that photo. It made me smile. :)

  4. Your dad sounds just like my maternal grandfather. My grandfather loved mowing lawns, hand sprinkling and all the other work involved with maintaining a garden. I think a lot of it was due to the fact that he liked to keep himself busy and the best way for him to do it was to keep the outside of the house looking great.

    Great post!

  5. The hand sprinkling actually sounds kind of relaxing. Maybe I'll try it this weekend.

  6. I love mowing too :) I usually pull weeds by hand. I like the way the dirt feels. Your dad sounded like a great guy ♥

  7. I love this - your dad sounds a lot like my mom, in regards to the yard work. There's nothing she enjoys more than digging around in the dirt and tending to her plants. She's one of those who like mowing as well. So far, I've not inherited this trait! :)

  8. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I loved reading this about your Dad. What a great post. I am sure he was a wonderful person!

  9. HA! I bet sitting in that lawn chair water the yard by hand was his way of getting out of the house away from the madness. It sounds lovely to me!

  10. You dad did value hard work. Terrific post about your dad. I can feel all your affection for him in your words.

  11. Greetings from Malaysia! Wow, your dad seems like a wonderful man! Thanks for sharing this!


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