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Remembering Dad

Knowing Dad, he wouldn't want to be praised. He wouldn't pat himself on the back. However, there are just so many memories too precious to leave unshared.

Dad was a good man; he was a good father. He did the best he could with what he had and taught what he believed.

In a winter like this, I'm reminded of those winters as a child. We never went to bed cold or hungry. We always had boots and coats to wear out in the cold. The homemade ice cream times were special - he'd help us layer the ice and salt then crank it 'til it was "just right", but the best part was when he'd dish up quite generous servings always adding one "extra" spoonful.

So many years he'd use the horses and bobsled to haul hay or to take us kids to the county road to meet the school bus. Around the yard, we'd tie our small sleds behind for a "free" ride. What fun! And when we'd fall off or our rope would break, he'd have a good chuckle then wait for us to run and catch up.

I don't recall hearing him complain except maybe about the volume of the barn radio on KDWB. And sometimes we'd tease him with a song he couldn't stand - "The Bird is the Word.", but he appreciated the help in the barn and would tolerate the noise.

He enjoyed the weddings of his nieces and nephews. The midweek ones left the biggest challenge the next day when he was cultivating, fell asleep and OOPS! took out a bit of corn.

I loved to listen to him whistle, and smell an occasional cigar, and he taught us to braid palms on Palm Sundays. Then there was his little "cue" gesture - that we could start our meal prayer, - I can imitate, but never duplicate.

He was a good card player. He was one to remember the cards that had been played; it was fun to be his partner, he'd usually keep score and we all know that the "scorekeeper" wins!

Disciplining the kids had to be one of the most unpleasant tasks of parenting. It seems that one of the younger ones earned a meeting with the razor strap. Dad was getting older and couldn't run so fast, the kid was getting older and could run faster. After a bit of chasing, the kid felt sorry for Dad, so he ran into the corn crib where Dad caught up to him, gave him one swat and that was it. It was then that this method of disciplining was retired.

On an occasional Sunday afternoon, Dad would bat the ball for us to catch. To this day I'm in awe at how far that sucker sometimes flew.

Dad had a special gift to remember his cattle. He'd stand by the pen and tell which one was the mother of so and so and which ones were sisters. He had a unique way of describing the calves, too, "that yellow one over there" or "the blue one up here." It took a bit to understand; but that was Dad!

And today when we walked into church, wouldn't you know, there in the entryway, on top of the cupboard is Dad's hat. He is certainly here with us today.

Marilynn (Rooney) Lysen