What I learned from my Dad

JMJ108  *When someone travels halfway across the country, as in this case my father, they are the priority.  We set aside our normal expectations of how much schoolwork we should accomplish during his time here. These are, after all, “grandpa days”, and the time spent with him is precious.

Ring the School Bell 108/180 Days

Yay, my Dad is here!  He got bumped off a connector flight, and was on a later flight than expected, which we were not aware of, and so we waited and waited at baggage claim, before getting the information that he was on the next flight.  I had time to get a little nervous, but all was well when he finally greeted us at the Burbank airport.

Spending time with my Dad will be a priority while he is here, so I may not have much to report on the homefront.  Today, for instance, was all about getting ready for grandpa, with minimal academics.

We are ready since I, for once, followed my own advice from this previous post.

Planning Ahead for Long Distance Visitors

I believe that a person ought to prioritize the company, as much as possible, when someone travels halfway across the country to come visit.

Grandpa Claude, in the present day, (this journal was written a few years ago) is longer with us.  He passed away over a year ago, and there is hardly a day that I am not reminded of him, through a photo, when I am outdoors enjoying the friendly fence he built us, when it rains and I think of the leaky roof that he fixed on another visit, or when my mom calls.

I was too distraught to give a tribute to my dad at his funeral.  It had all happened so fast and so unexpectedly.

Now that I have had time to reflect on the beautiful life of my dad, I realize he has largely influenced who I am today.

My father gifted us with the following wisdom…


  • My father took the time to read scripture to ponder the meaning of life, and other holy books.  He loved to discuss what he thought about this life.  In fact, he built himself a little cabin on some property where he would escape to every couple of weeks, to read his philosophical books.
  • Although he worked very hard, he was not a workaholic.  Before starting on a project, he would tell my mom, “Suzanne, in 2 hours, we’ll have cup of coffee together.”  And he would do the same thing with us.  He always knew when to stop and take a break, usually for a walk, a glass of wine, or to read the paper.
  • Our family was not immune to conflicts by any means, but dad never held a grudge.  He taught us how to be forgiving.  Before he passed away, he reconciled with my brother Frank, who had been alienated from the family for years, and encouraged us to do the same.  He brought Frank back to us.
  • Wherever he lived, my father made it a priority to beautify his little piece of the great outdoors.  His landscaping skills were evident in the beautiful patios surrounded by plants of all sorts.  He even brought back several plants from California to take with him to Indiana to experiment with.  He was the only one in the neighborhood, I am sure, that had several Mexican palms that he would haul into the garage every winter for survival.
  • Grandpa Claude made time for the fine arts.  He appreciated music of all genres, and would have certain times when he would listen to different types of music.  When I was growing up, it was classical music every Saturday mornings.  He loved to play tunes on the piano. He loved to watercolor, especially sailboats, snow scenes, and lighthouses.
  • I can not put a number on the times he crossed the Rockies or southern interstate to come see us.  He showed us that me mattered to him, time and again, by coming to visit, usually along with my mother.
  • My father never gave up on family members, even when the going was rough.

I miss you Dad.

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.  Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year.  It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar.  Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?”

Start here to get the story from the very beginning:


Follow along with us day-by-day through the school year.  Hope you will join us!

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette






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