The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Burnt Peanuts, a Mr. Goodbar, and...


I am not sure why it did not successfully post on Friday, but this post was one I actually wrote on Friday and I thought I HAD posted it.  But, apparently I did not do so successfully.  Therefore, I am now posting it as is (other than this inserted paragraph (and the small addendum below) helping folks to know this was not about TODAY (November 27th) but was instead about last FRIDAY (November 24th)).

There is really no adequate way to describe fully a person.  We all know this.  But, the best we can do is perhaps reflect some truths somewhat like how a mirror reflects a visual image.  

My Dad had many and varied different aspects to his life:

1.  My Dad's Mom (my grandmother, of course) died when my Dad was ~4 years old.  He was the youngest of seven siblings. 

2.  My Dad was in World War II.  He was a glider pilot in the 101st Airborne Division.  He earned two bronze stars, was also wounded in the invasion of Normandy, and received the Purple Heart.

3.  Upon return from WWII, he met my future Mom at a dance.  Less than a month after meeting, my future parents traveled with a pair of friends (one, a close buddy of my Dad and the other, a close friend of my Mom's).... in a rickety, old, pre-WWII car cobbled together..... down to Georgia (at least 1,000 miles (~1,600 km))... where both couples eloped.   

4.  My Mom only agreed to elope with my Dad if he promised two things..... a) he would become a strong and faithful Catholic (his family was Lutheran in origin, but did not really participate after my grandmother had died), and b) they would marry (remarry) in the Catholic Church after completing his study to become Catholic.  

5.  My Dad was 100% true and faithful to my Mom.  It was approximately 6 weeks after they had eloped that my Dad had become Catholic and he and my Mom were married in the church in the small chapel that following Saturday.  

6.  One of the many jobs my Dad had, was that of a welder.  It was ultimately the time he spent as a welder that caused his death due to mesothelioma, because he welded inside large room-sized pieces of boilers together that were all heavily lined with asbestos.    

7.  Today (addendum, actually I am writing about Friday the 24th)  was my Dad's 100th Birthday.  

My wife, her sister, and my oldest daughter decided to spend this "Black Friday" going to several craft shows and bazaars.  I wanted to visit the cemetery where my parents are buried, and to especially think about my Dad on his 100th Birthday.  

We had placed a grave blanket for Winter at my Parent's headstone a few weeks ago.  Symbolically, I wanted to leave a small token of my love and thoughts for my Dad at the grave.  So, I bought two of his favorite candies..... burnt peanuts, and a Mr. Goodbar.  I wrapped them in a small box and added a silver bow.  

It was very cold.  Even though it was already near noon, the temperature was a bit below freezing (~30 degrees Fahrenheit ; ~ -1 C) and there was a bit of wind.  So, I dressed quite warmly because I planned to be there a while.  I pinned the small, wrapped package containing the burnt peanuts and Mr. Goodbar to the edge of the grave blanket to hold it in position.

At the cemetery I pulled out a folding lawn chair, so I could more comfortably sit by the headstone. It was very cold, but it was nice being there.  At the cemetery, I feel I can talk more "fully" with my parents.  I talked and reminisced about a lot of different points in my life with them, but especially with my Dad.  It felt good to be there on his birthday.  Only one car meandered through the cemetery during the time I was there, so it felt peaceful and intimate.   I also smoked a pipe while I was there with my Dad.  It seemed a good and fine way to spend time with him on his 100th birthday.

I spent about one and a half hours there before I left and drove back across the county to home. 



Blogger Pat M. said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father, Professor! I'm glad you had the opportunity to be close to him and connect with your heritage.

Monday, 27 November, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I had a little chat at my parents graveside a few days before we left Sarnia in 2005. I hadn't visit before then. Dad died in 99 and mom in 03.

You just caused me to go back and reread the post. I think it was a good one if you want to have a look.

Monday, 27 November, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

What a lovely and special way to honor your dad on his 100th birthday!

Monday, 27 November, 2023  
Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

I forgot Burent Peanuts.
Coffee is on

Wednesday, 29 November, 2023  
Blogger GaP said...

What a beautiful post, Professor. Thank you for sharing it.

Thursday, 30 November, 2023  
Blogger Liz Hinds said...

What a wonderful story about your parents and especially your dad, and how lovely to spend time with him like that on his special birthday. Cold though!!

Friday, 01 December, 2023  
Blogger Pam J. said...

Congratulations on finding a way to smoke a pipe without (apparently) feeling terribly guilty about it. Maybe that's the solution to your longstanding pipe problem: have a smoke with dad on a regular basis.

Sunday, 03 December, 2023  

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