Friday, January 17, 2020

#3 Life Questions

3. What memories do you have of your father?

As a kid I mostly remember Dad leaving in the mornings and coming back before dinner...mowing the lawn on the weekends, shoveling snow, fiddling in the garage by his tool bench, sleeping in his chair in the living room--but if you tried to change the channel on the console TV he'd wake up and say, "I was watching that!"  He was like most of the fathers in the 50s.

I remember he was tickled by puns and silly jokes--loved HeeHaw.  He always loved word puzzles, any little hand puzzles, and sudoku when that came out.  Watched football and baseball games (Minnesota Vikings and The Twins).  Didn't like to miss Bonanza or Ed Sullivan.  Loved to travel.  We went on many vacations with the long, 2-room, canvas "caterpillar tent" on a trailer bumping along behind the car.  He'd take tons of pictures of the scenery.

He had a tall wooden short wave radio in the basement where he would find people to talk to from far away places.  Then when CB was big he had a CB radio at home and in his car.  Would be up late at night chatting on the CB.  

Dad was the one who took care of the plants around the house most of the time.  He loved his tiger lilies and the tulips.  For a few years he planted this crazy plant beside the front step that grew so huge with large, flat, many-pointed leaves that the mailman couldn't get to the box beside the front door.  We had to use the back door by late summer because you couldn't even jungle your way into the front door anymore.  I think it was a castor bean, but I'm not sure.

He'd been in the Navy in the Pacific when he was a young man.  Worked as a lithographer at a printing company all his life until he had to retire early due to glaucoma.  Had been their top lithographer because he was a detail-oriented perfectionist and could do the printing jobs that were too difficult or exacting for the others.

Dad had a younger brother, who also went into the Navy and was his mother's favorite.  After Dad retired my folks spent a lot of time in Florida and eventually they bought a mobile home in a retirement community down there.  He learned how to play golf.  At the age of 90 Dad finally found a doctor who would do a hip replacement because he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  (His mother lived to be 104 and Dad figured he'd be around a lot longer.)  

[Note: I come from a long line of long-lived, stubborn Swedes.  My brother, sister, and I are the last 100% Swedes in the family.]   

Mom and Dad were in a car accident on their way to Denny's for breakfast over four years ago.  He died instantly.  It was a blessing in disguise because he was 94 and his heath was truly failing.  

But he was still walking. 

The end. 


  1. I love that you have such good memories of your dad. I remember reading your posts when your parents were in that accident. It is so good you can see the silver lining in that cloud. RIP to your father.

  2. What an interesting guy he was. And sometimes a sudden death like that can be a blessing in disguise. Thanks for telling me about your dad. Mine also had a room where he kept his CD and called people all over the world. :-)

  3. Your Dad sounds like a special person! I love that he worked as a lithographer, what an interesting profession. My uncle was into CB radios big time and I even had one for a short time. My Dad had spent time overseas in WWII before I came into the picture. He grew up in a big farm family and was a real fix-it type person because they had no choice on the farm. He loved growing a big vegetable garden. I am sorry to hear about your Dad's death but it is good he was able to walk again those last four years.

  4. What wonderful memories! So inspiring that he lived life on his own terms.

  5. Dear Rita, thank you for sharing with us your wonderful memories of your dad. And also for finding the good that came with that auto accident four years ago. Like you, I have many memories to savor of my father and mother. We were both blessed. Peace.

  6. Such good memories, that made me stare at the photo of my dad that I have on my laptop and think of him and that made me cry, but that's okay.

  7. Your dad lived such a long life! I had forgotten about Hee Haw until you wrote about it. My dad liked puns and silly jokes too.


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