Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1-7-14


When I was a kid (and now for that matter)... we never had great furniture.
Now, it was not bad stuff... it was actually pretty average furniture I suppose.
Nothing fancy, nothing special. Most of it; if it was "new" was from Sears.
Second hand (or third or fourth hand) items were everywhere... but they were in solid shape.
Things were generally "made nice" with the addition of a handmade afghan (made by my mother) or a doily (made by my grandmother.... and it was fine.

So when my dad passed away in 2010... I asked my mother if I could have his old desk.
It is nothing special... just a wood desk from the late 30s or early 40s that has definitely seen better days... but it was my dad's... and I love it because it was his.
When we moved back to PA a year ago, I fully intended to get it... but it just kept getting put on the back-burner. Too many other things seemed to take precedence... work to do, running here... running there... volunteer work... the list goes on.

I always have a hard time around the holidays... and this year was no exception.
But this weekend; it occurred to me that there was really no reason not to bring it up to the house.
So... space was cleared in the kitchen... and the husband and the daughter went down and got it for me while I was busy at work.
The truly fun part however, was discovering all the things INSIDE the drawers that (for whatever reason) had never been cleaned out...
Cards from when he had back surgery in the mid 70s. Every American Legion membership card he ever had. A certificate my sister received back in High school for having perfect grades. An ashtray my brother made in cub scouts. A drawing I did ... with a POEM!!! ... when I was in 1st grade. My early childhood dog Scamper's pet ID tag (made me cry). Books from a correspondence school he had thought about attending; but never did. Pipe cleaners (he always smoked a pipe when I a kid). A flag from the funeral of a family member who died during WWII.
Precious things... all.

And in the way back... among some odd papers... was a strip of 3 photos.
Apparently, my dad had his photo taken by the local newspaper photographer back in 1976 ... showing the buck my dad had gotten during hunting season. That was the year I went with him... having just passed my "hunter's safety" class so I could go... carrying my trusty 22 bolt-action shotgun and trudging through the snow alongside him. I won't go into detail about how he had me "gut" the deer... or how I helped carry the buck down to the car. But I do remember how happy he was... and how happy I was that I had gone along. Attached to the photos was a little postcard detailing how my dad could get a nice 8x10 glossy of the shot for only $2... which he apparently never did.

I had never seen this photo. Never even knew it existed.
But there he was... my dad... staring back at me at a time when I was feeling ever so discouraged about ... well... everything.
And it was good.