Sunday, May 23, 2021

100 Years Old

 If my daddy were still alive, we would have celebrated his 100th birthday this past week. I would love to be able to sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with him. There are so many things I would ask him. In our family, there are three "girls" - my oldest sister, Glenine, who is 13 years older than I; my middle sister, Becky, who is 8 years older; and then me -- the baby. I asked my sisters to tell me a few things they remember about daddy because they got to be with him far longer than I did. I was in my mid-twenties when he died.

1. We all three remember his pocket knife. Now this pocket knife could do magical things - it could peel a peach from the tree in our backyard or an apple from the grocery store. He could peel the apple in one long piece - that ALWAYS fascinated me! Now here is the weirdly gross part - he always cut our toenails with that pocket knife. We sat on our back steps where the light was good and we had the prettiest toenails every. Yes - same pocket knife. Yes - I am a germaphobe. Yes - I can't think about the fact that maybe he didn't wash it between those things. Glenine said he wiped it on his pants leg! I'm glad I was just a kid and didn't realize this! Becky said that she didn't realize when she was young that he was using the time he sat with us on the back steps as "teaching us with his talks." She is right. He tried to teach us to be good and kind people.

2. He was an honest man and he valued honesty in others. This honesty ties in with the fact that he was a man of integrity and he valued a good reputation.

3. Our daddy had a sense of humor and we loved to hear him laugh.

4. He could grow the most amazing big boy tomatoes - in hind sight, they were probably heirloom tomatoes because he and our grandpa saved the seeds from year to year. We grew up eating tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I married a man who doesn't like tomatoes and he thinks it is so weird when I eat a sliced tomato at breakfast! He always had a garden. Becky pointed out that daddy had a green thumb and it skipped a generation. Becky's son has the green thumb. He works with plants every day and knows all about them.

5. I asked my sisters to text me some things they remembered and Glenine remembers his white white feet. When I read that text, I laughed out loud because I do remember being at the beach and how he always had a farmer's tan! 

6. I had also forgotten his snores! They were LOUD!!

7. I remember being sick one time as a little girl and we had a freestanding heater in our kitchen. He pulled the rocking chair close to the heater and rocked me and sang "Get along home Cindy Cindy, Get along home" . . .or I think those were a few of the words from the song.

8. Our daddy was in the Navy and then he was a carpenter for Bryce Building Company and then he was an engineer for the L & N railroad. The phone would ring in the middle of the night and they would be calling him to come in to drive the train. There were some other jobs thrown in there but I don't know what they were. They lived in Illinois at one time and they lived in Linden at one time. He was a hard worker. 

9. Speaking of the train makes me remember when I was in the 6th grade. Our daddy was in a horrible train wreck and broke both of his legs. We had a hospital bed brought into our kitchen and we borrowed a wooden wheelchair from the church.

10. Our daddy built the house we lived in. It was small - a living room, an eat in kitchen and two bedrooms and one bath. When I was a kid, he added on a third bedroom to the back of the house for he and our mom. He also built a sandbox for me that was the best sandbox ever! By the way, I still like to play in the sand.

yep - that is what I looked like
as a little girl - proud of my
brand new sandbox!!

11. When I was a young adult, my daddy went to visit his friend AA Munsell (sp?). Double A had a condo at the beach and they invited me to come down for the weekend. Double A had a dune buggy and he took daddy and me for a ride that I will never forget. There were still undeveloped areas of beach back then and we rode and rode and rode. It was exhilarating and it is such a fun memory of something special I did with daddy.

12. We ALWAYS had a swing in our front yard and I remember sitting in the swing with daddy.

Daddy and Lisa swinging

13. Eastwood Mall was one of the first malls in the area and daddy would drive us to the mall and sit near one of the fountains. He loved to watch people!!

14. After our mom died, daddy bought an older Spanish style stucco house in our town and redid it. He made the door using pegs instead of nails. 

15. Our daddy and momma saved enough for us to take a vacation almost every year to the beach. We went to Laguna Beach (near Panama City) and we stayed in several different cabins. We ate most of our meals in the cabin but we would usually go out to eat seafood one night and it was a big treat.

daddy and the three of us

16. By the time I came along, I guess finances were a little better because we went to Walker's restaurant almost every Friday night for dinner. Daddy would let me drink the creamer from the little tiny glass holder. Remember - I was the baby!

17. Daddy loved his coffee. He always had a big thermos and momma would make a pot of coffee and pour it up for him to take to work. He also always carried his lunch - probably a bologna sandwich. He could make a great fried bologna sandwich.

18. Daddy built a one car garage in our back yard and he had a workbench out there. At one time, he also grew mealy worms. He loved to fish but I think we were probably pretty whiney when he tried to go fishing. I remember crawling around on the rocks at Lake Guntersville one time while daddy tried to fish. I'm pretty sure either Becky or I had to go to the bathroom and he had to cut his fishing short.

19. Our mom died of cancer. I was probably a freshman in high school when she was diagnosed. She never learned to drive so daddy had to take her to UAB for her appointments and for her chemo treatments. He took care of her when she was so sick from chemo. Her iron would be low and he got the butcher at the grocery store to save a steak back for him. The butcher would then charge daddy the "day old" price - the mark down price. I don't think I realized what good care he took of her until just recently. I was a self-absorbed teenager.

20. Our daddy didn't have a middle name. He wrote "none" on one of his forms -- maybe for the military -- and that middle name of "none" followed him for years!

21. Daddy was so proud of us -- all three of us. He was proud when we made good grades. He was proud when we got good jobs. He was proud of me because I worked hard and took classes at UAB at night after working all day. He was proud of us and just typing those words makes me remember how I felt when he would say those words.

22. Daddy was not a big church goer. Our mom was but daddy saw some dishonesty and disingenuous behavior (see above about honesty and integrity - he valued both) in some church member at some time and he stopped going to church. He always believed in God. After our mom was diagnosed with cancer, I think she was afraid to die because daddy had never been baptized and she wanted to be reunited with him some day. We were in a Baptist church and daddy asked our pastor to baptize him. It meant so much to our mom. I'm so glad that God is God and his grace is truly amazing.

I could probably think of more things to write but the important thing is that even though our daddy could "cuss" like a sailor, had a temper, was grumpy when we had to wake him in the night, he LOVED us. Oh my goodness - he truly loved us.


  1. What a wonderful post about your dad and the legacy he left with his 3 girls! I'm sure he will always be missed by those who loved him.

    My mom would have turned 100 back on May 3. She left us on December 13, 2006. She was a fantastic mom in that she raised 3 of us, 5 years and younger, as a widow, my dad having died July 1, 1959. They were married in 1953.

    I'm just thankful because of all of our faiths we will see each other again and spend eternity with each other (however that works :)


    1. yes - I'm so glad we will "see each other again," too! Wow - your mom must have been truly amazing.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, they are! Hope y'all are doing well!

  3. What a beautiful post and such wonderful memories! I have a photo of my dad in that same Navy uniform. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. I imagine your daddy looks as handsome as mine in his uniform :-).

  4. Your sweet tribute to your dad brought tears to my eyes. You were so blessed, as was your mom, but he was so blessed by his girls. I love your memories and thank your sisters for sharing also! Beautiful.

  5. Oh Lisa, I love this so much! That sandbox picture!
    I wouldn't be surprised if your daddy's not up there chuckling and bustin' his buttons.

    1. Your comment made me smile from ear to ear!!

  6. The 9th anniversary of my father's death was this weekend. I wish I had thought to do a post like this about him. Maybe on his birthday in September, like you did. Your father sounds like a very good man. I appreciate that he was a very hard worker and loved and cared for your mom so well when she was sick. I can say the same thing for my father. We are just realizing how much our dad did to hold things together when all along we thought it was our mom.

    1. Please write about your father. I would love to read your memories. It is amazing how we realize things years later about our parents!