Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Waiting for the Stickles to Dry

As I'm waiting for the Stickles to dry on this weeks Crop Chocolate challenge, I'm also waiting for a phone call from my sister saying my Dad passed away. She called me earlier this afternoon, saying the nursing home - hospice unit had called and they didn't expect him to last too much longer. While I've been expecting this for the past couple of months, it still makes me cry. I thought I had prepared myself for all possibilities, but I guess we never do. My Dad has been suffering from Alzheimer's for the past 5 or 6 years, and has spent the last 3 years in a nursing home, since it got to hard for my wonderful stepmother to care for him on her own. I've been thinking today, and remembering the good times (and maybe some not so good).

I remember.......

Fishing for bullheads at School Grove Lake, I really dislike fishing, but I learned how to cast my line well. Many years later when Dad and Mirt bought a house on a lake in Glenwood, we went fishing for sunnies off the pontoon, I took a book as I don't fish, but wanted to be with the family on the lake....Zach was 3 or 4 and could not yet cast his line, so as he pulled his fish in, Grandma Mirt would take them off the line, Zach would put another worm on, and I would cast it out for him. One time when I was casting out the line, Dad looked at me and asked, where did you learn to do that, my answer....."You taught me", he was stunned I remembered.

When I was 4 or 5, my Grandpa Jemming bought a Shetland pony named Prince for us, that lived out on his farm. Prince had a pony cart and would let us ride him bareback. Not too many years later, when Grandma and Grandpa sold the farm, Prince came to live at our house on the edge of Milroy, my Dad fenced in part of the land we had, and weatherproofed an old shed, then he bought a second pony for us.....a Welsh pony we named Princess (of course). Dad and his friends converted an old farm wagon, into a horse drawn wagon, and would hitch Prince and Princess to this funny looking wagon and drive down the highway in their horse drawn wagon. I always liked to ride in the wagon, but preferred to drive the single pony cart. 

My favorite picture of my Dad is one of him doing the dishes with my uncle Mike Sauter.....it was Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Bergman's home many years ago. It seemed that every year, the ladies would always get stuck with the cooking and the dishes, this time Dad and Mike did them and I captured it on film. Funny, that's the only time they did the dishes after a family dinner.

As a family we tried to go on a vacation each summer.....most of the time it was just a camping trip, or renting a cabin at a lake, usually near Alexandria, MN.  Although, I remember one year, taking a tent and going to the Wisconsin Dells, what I remember most about that trip, is my Dad went all out for him, we went on a boat trip on the river and to the ski show (Tommy Barlett's I think). I also remember it rained hard, and the tent leaked, so we kids slept in the bed of the truck under the topper, where Dad and Mom would usually sleep, and my parents slept sitting up in the front seat of the pickup. 

Another year, my parents and their friends converted an old school bus into a RV, and we took it out to Lake Shetek for a month, Dad would work during the week and come out on the weekends. 

My Dad was a hard working man, he did a variety of jobs, just to make a life for his family, he farmed, ran a gas station and worked for Schwan's Dairy as a material handler and a long-haul trucker. After my Mom passed away in 1981, he had the added burden of raising my brother and sisters, who were still teenagers.  He retired from Schwan's back in the late 90's and married a wonderful lady "Mirt", they enjoyed going out dancing together, and visiting with family and friends. They fulfilled a dream that my Dad and Mom had, and lived on a lake near Glenwood, MN for several years. So, I'm glad he got that enjoyment, he loved living on the lake and fishing year round. I joked with Mirt one winter, we were talking about Dad being out in the fishhouse on the lake, he had everything out there (stove, recliner, TV), I told Mirt, if he decided to move the big screen and the VCR out there, she wouldn't see him until spring.


My Dad
William (Bill) Arthur Jemming

I have been very blessed to have my Dad and Mom....and also my stepmother who provided loving support for my Dad these past 20 years. I Love You All

Thanks for reading this week, I'll probably be in Minnesota next weekend, so until I get back, Keep Dreaming........


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