Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Dad's need to be remembered for all of the wonderful things they do in our lives. In most all cases,Dad,the other half of Mom gives us "gifts" in a different way. It was so in our home.
My mother sweet studious, quiet and our Dad ,sweet, rowdy and so full of laughter that he would drive our Mother wild with his nonsense. Yet, this was probably what she loved most about him.
This is my favorite Dad story.
It was May and my mother was anxious for Dad to help her with spring cleaning. Spring cleaning in those days was an event. Mother went through the house like a woman on a mission. The windows were washed the curtains cleaned and re-hung and the house was cleaned from top to bottom. No corner was sacred or could possibly escape a broom,vacuum, or dust cloth. There was odor of soap,wax and vinegar everywhere.

In our old farm home there was a more than ample stairwell closet that had a way of accumulating more items than it really needed. It was a giant "catch-all." Our Mother insisted that everything be pulled out and those things not needed were to be thrown out and burned. This was always my Dad and brother Bob's job. They both hated cleaning that closet.

Specific instructions from mother, " Take everything out of the closet ,check every bag and box and if hasn't been used since last year, take it out and throw it in the burn barrel."

Well, there was one metal bread box in the closet, it was a treasure box as far as my brother,Bob and uncle Pogue were concerned. They used to hoard fire crackers in it.
Money and fireworks were not easy to come by so if they thought we had shot off enough fireworks on the Fourth of July they would carefully wrap the balance in brown paper bags and put them in the metal box to save some for the following year. Probably a very dangerous practice,but they didn't think too much about it, except they always wanted to make sure we had plenty of fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Dad didn't know about. At least, he said he didn't.
He called my brother and they began cleaning. My Dad was supposedly looking in each bag and box and putting the throwaway stuff in another box for my brother to run to the burn barrel.

On one of his trips back to the closet he told Dad that he needed to go to the bathroom. He pitched the box in the door with , "I'll be right back."

This must have been when Dad dumped the contents from the metal bread box into the waiting trash box.
When my brother returned he took a now loaded trash box out to the burn barrel. He dumped the contents and ran toward the house when all of a sudden snap!,pop! boom!---rockets,firecrackers, paper caps were going off in every direction.
My dad and mother and the entire neighborhood ran from their houses all wondering what was going on. It was a great display.

My brother asked ,"Dad, did you dump that stuff out of the old green bread box?"
Our Dad grinned his best "rascal"grin
."Yes, there was nothing in there but a bunch of crumpled old brown bags."
"Dad, Poge and I were saving those for the Fourth of July! Those were all our fireworks. My brother was heartbroken.
Our Dad put his arm around my brothers shoulder and said, "Aw, don't feel bad. I'll buy you and Poge some new fireworks for The Fourth. You know they shouldn't be kept in that closet anyway. He winked, "Wasn't it fun to have fire works in May?"

As the ladies of the neighborhood "oohed and aahhed" about the dangerous way those fireworks shot out of the barrel, my dad walked quietly toward the house talking about taking a nap. Today's closet cleaning was at an end.

We will never know whether or not he knew about the "boys" hiding those fireworks but they never did it again.
Our dad always taught lessons with laughter and that "gift "has always been carried in our hearts.

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