Today would have been my father’s birthday. He was one of those old-fashioned men. He wore a suit and tie to work every day. He wore his old “nice work shoes” in the yard as yard shoes. He had lots of formal education with degrees to back that up. However, he also had common sense and was a wonderful fisherman and I have never had better smoked salmon than the kind my dad smoked every single year of my life.
He earned the Golden Acorn award, way before he had children to even attend schools. He thought my sisters and I, at all times, should behave, be raised and always act like young ladies. He also made sure we all learned how to catch, clean & filet a fish, shoot and clean a gun. We all knew how to pilot a boat and were all taught to be excellent swimmers.
He always carried a briefcase. Actually, now, when I picture him, I can see him in a suit and tie and carrying a big, huge, heavy briefcase. He brought his work home. He always seemed to have “homework”. He was a state than a federal parole officer. He was appointed by different governors then was appointed by the President. Now that I think about it, he may have had a bit of stress in his life.
Back some 40-45 years ago and then some, no one really used the word stress. You worked, you worried, you fished, you just dealt with life.
Maybe not so fast. I remember having a huge, huge rose garden when I grew up. My mother did not tend the roses. She sometimes chose a new Jackson & Perkins color, but it was my Dad’s hobby. He would prune and fuse and mulch and read and dust and dead head. He would walk along the garden taking mental notes. He would make the decision to pull one and replant with something new. He talked to others about roses. He new when to put them to bed for the winter and when to gently nudge them awake in the spring. Every birthday, first day of school, prom, new dress, Easter dresses, cousins came to visit picture was taken with the rose garden as the backdrop. When you flip through my childhood photo album, you can see me in a leg cast, wearing a prom dress, wearing my first Vogue dress, band uniform, Rainbow girl dress…..yep, all in front of the rose garden.
I guess, sometime in the 60’s or 70’s, my dad figured out a way to handle his “stress”. On the weekends or during the early evening hours in the summer, he would fuss and tend his roses.
Today, I will remember him and will think of roses. He may have figured out the secret everyone seems to be searching for. Outdoors a little each day, practice your passion. You will have time to figure out life’s problems and you might enjoy yourself a little while you are doing just that.