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Tomorrow is Father’s Day. What more can I say about my dad than what I’ve already written here?

He had big dreams. Unrealistic as some of them seemed he still plunged ahead as he focused on making them come true. 

The Alaska adventure – his biggest dream – lasted for five years,and who knows where we would be now if it had continued longer. 

Daddy was always moving from one project to another in the blink of an eye. As long as he was happy Mother usually went along with his next endeavor as he plunged full steam ahead. 

His skillful gardening efforts fed us heartily with potatoes one year. If you aren’t selling them for profit, why plant row after row after row of spuds and have your children labor in the hot sun? Because he could I guess, and he was able to say, “I grew those!” I have no idea where Mother stored all those potatoes. I’m sure a lot were given away to friends and family who were grateful for his green thumb. 

One year he planted peppers. Lots and lots of peppers. Bell pepper, banana peppers, chili peppers, and jalapeño peppers, with many vararities of each in hotness, colors, and shapes. There were bushels of peppers picked and sorted. His idea was to recruit his children to string them for him – and we did. Where those many strings of peppers landed, I’m not sure. 

His projects did not end with food though. When the old elementary school in town was torn down and the old bricks were free for the taking, he pulled his truck up (several times) to the lot to fill up and then proceeded to dump load after load in our back yard. Then he bribed his children to clean all the old cement from each one by paying them one penny per brick. 

We did not all take him up on this money-making scheme. I did and sadly, I didn’t become rich because of it, but every Friday afternoon I had some pocket money to spend as I wished with most of that money spent on candy at the newsstand. 

Years later he laid all those bricks in a pattern outside the back door and our bricked patio was born. I remember him leveling the surface a few square feet at a time, leveling each brick, and then sweeping combined sand and cement mix into the crevices between each one. He would wash it down with the hose later so when it dried they were cemented together. That patio isn’t going anywhere! 

He also glassed in a small back porch with glass brick he had picked up from the same site as the bricks. I know Mother figured Daddy had finally found a place to lite when he began using these items. They had moved with us twice already and would be hard to move if he ever had the urge to switch houses again! 

One thing Daddy taught me was to be resouceful with what I had. He could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. 



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

4 responses »

  1. One of my favourite sayings …. I have never done it. It always ends up being the sow’s ear. … hehe Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My dad really wanted to be handy but just couldn’t pull it off. When I was a little girl he decided to make me a bookcase. It is the leaning tower of bookcase, trust me. Still, to this day I keep it in my garage because I can’t bear to part with something he made just for me. Missing our daddies on father’s day…

    Liked by 1 person


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