As best as I can recall, I can never remember our celebrating Father’s Day as a family while I was growing up. I grew up with the understanding that my Father was the corner stone of the household. It was his responsibility to take care of the fields and the animals from which the family derived its living. It was his job to be attuned to the seasons and to the weather as he determined when it was time to plant and harvest the crops.
My father was a very time conscious person. His life was driven by the seasons and by the old clock that stood on the mantel in the kitchen. He carefully guarded that old clock and wound it faithfully on Sunday morning. Without fail, he would rise at 4:00 am in the morning while the family was still sleeping and go down to the basement and listen to the local weather forecast. While he was doing that, he washed and packed the eggs that my mother had gathered the day before. At 5:00 am he would head to the barn to call the cows in from the night pasture for milking at 5:30 am. It was very important to have the milk cold before the daily milk truck arrived to pick up the milk cans and take them to the dairy.
Have you ever noticed that there are some people who just seem to be habitually late for everything? Not my father as he always set the kitchen clock 10 minutes ahead so that he or the family would never be late! On most days of the week, my father would retire for the day at 9:00 pm. It was known by all in the family that after 9:00 pm, all noise should be kept to a minimum so that my father could rest for another day. And that is how my father conducted his life. I can remember him saying to me one day while we were loading corn bundles into the wagon; “There are many men who can load corn bundles onto the wagon faster than I, but very few who will still be in the field with me at the end of the day!” And so he paced himself not only for one day of farming activities, but for 7 days of weekly activities which repeated over and over for 30 years.
Fathers don’t really expect much for Father’s Day. But do take a few minutes to recognize all that your Father has done for you.