Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Dads, Smuckers, Sickness, and Good Things Accumulating

I've never understood why dads are so maligned in our culture, from the inept Berenstain Bears dad to commercials and YouTube videos that portray Mom as all capable and efficient, and Dad as the bumbling burping guy who's kind of along for the ride.

If a girl has a good Protector Dad, she won't put up with any nonsense from other men--that's been my observation.  Our girls have had employment situations where there was opportunity to be preyed on by creepy men.  I never feared for our daughters, who are all tough and articulate and would have put such a person exactly in his place.  Unlike the young lady they knew who said, all bewildered, "Well, yes, I gave him my phone number.  I didn't want to hurt his feelings."

A single mom can teach her daughter to be wise and strong.  But I think there's something magic about a strong dad that imparts an invisible security and suppleness in his kids, without even consciously trying.

Paradoxically, a dad's message of "I am here and I will fight for you" also says, "You have what it takes to go do what you need to do."

So Happy Father's Day to Paul, who is the person we turn to when the oven door shatters, the electrical outlet buzzes, the headlight breaks, the scammer calls, confidence lags, and any sort of danger lurks.


Last weekend was the Smucker reunion at Drift Creek Camp, a Mennonite facility way back in the mountains of the Coast Range, east of Lincoln City.  You have to navigate miles of one-lane twisty roads to get there.

Four of the young ladies present were pregnant, which tells you how the population graph in this family is going.

If you want to see pictures of the weekend, click here.


Unfortunately, a number of people at the reunion had sore throats.  Thanks to a strict regimen of diet and supplements and flu shots, I hadn't had bronchitis in two years.  But the combination of late nights and cold rooms and being rundown ahead of time was too much, and since I can't be content with a simple sore throat, I've been fighting that miserable cough/fever/asthma crud ever since.

My dad is here again for part of the summer, and he also got sick which worried me seriously.  But he got better after two days, which means his constitution at age 98 is better than mine at 52.

I've tried to be productive with immobile things like organizing recipes while outside the windrowers are rushing by and the guys are prepping the warehouse and harvest is HERE, the earliest harvest since Paul's had the warehouse.

Once again we are relying on a supply of sons and nephews to sack seed, with my nephew Austin Koehn coming to replace Paul's nephew Austin Smucker later in the summer.


I have been thinking about things accumulating.  Not only things like papers in the office, but also things like choices and things you need and good health.

I wrote a guest post for a friend about this, which will be up in about a week, so I won't elaborate here.

Except to say, so few things in life are done in one fell swoop.

Relationships, the Tupperware in the cupboard replacing the Cool Whip containers I used in our poor days, sewing skills, discretion, the collection of quirky little chickens on the kitchen shelf.  All accumulated little by little, taking advantage of the moments, over a long time.

Quote of the Day:
I was sick in bed with bronchitis.  Emily was tagging bags at the warehouse and came home with a headful of dust.  She wondered if there was anything she could do about it.
Me: [croaking] Have you ever used a Yeti pot?
Emily: ???
Me: NETI !!!  A Neti pot!!
Emily: Well, I guess a Yeti needs a place to go too.
Me: [strangled laughter]


  1. Love hearing the flotsam and jetsam of normal Oregon life!

  2. I always thought the Berenstein Bear books were funny until started noticing this theme. Our home would seriously suffer if our level headed, wise, smart--not to mention, live-in handyman would be absent.