One Best Thing

1958-ish

Today is Father’s Day. This is my daddy, whom I have written about often. We had 17 years together. I’ve had 50 years of life beyond those 17 years. Without him. Do I miss him, even 50 years later? Well, yes.

Here is a summary of the things I recall doing with my dad, and what he taught me:

  1. Fishing. A lot. River fishing, pond fishing.
  2. Woodworking in his shop and in various homes where he and I installed cabinets he had built. Uh, the “I” part of that sentence involved mainly holding the other end of stuff while he used tools, etc., to finish the installation. But he made me feel like a significant part of the project.
  3. Playing catch with a softball. He taught me how to turn the ball glove in the right position to catch any ball. He taught me how to throw the ball accurately enough that he didn’t need to dive to catch it. He was close to 60 years old, for crying out loud. AND he was a below-the-knee amputee with a prosthesis on one leg. Diving to catch a ball was not a real good idea. Amputee or not, he gave me his all when it came to physical activity, whether playing catch or climbing up/down a muddy river bank.
  4. How to play double six dominoes at a very young age. And 7-point pitch card game. This was the staple of entertainment in the Krisher home. TV reception was hit or miss on the 3 available stations. Playing games was the deal.
  5. How to drive. I learned on his prize possession, 1948 Chevrolet pickup. 3-speed on the column. And then later the powder blue 1963 Chevrolet Belair (or was it an Impala?) car with AUTOMATIC transmission.
  6. He taught me that he loved my mom. When she took a pay job outside the home, he taught me to do laundry because Mom worked long hours helping him provide financially for our family. He also encouraged me to cook for the same reason. The cooking thing for me was just trial and error self-taught. Though I could tell a few humorous stories about his failed cooking attempts. And mine.
  7. He loved to hear me play the piano. And he loved to force unsuspecting visitors at our home to listen to me play.

Things my dad didn’t do: teach me about Jesus.

But this brings me to the reason for the title of this blog post. The one best thing.

Daddy was diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia when I was 15 and he was 62. Mom, and my sister Wilma, had always been the spiritual influence in our home although we never attended church as a family. But after dad’s diagnosis one of his co-workers visited him at our home, along with that co-worker’s pastor, Ed Bateman, from the Community Bible Church. Dad made a decision to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation during that visit. Dad told us about his decision, and around that same time he started attending the Nazarene Church with me from time to time. My brother-in-law was the pastor. Of everything on the list of “things I recall” about my dad, this was the one thing that meant the most to me. It was an answer to a prayer I’d been praying since age 8 when I accepted Christ and was baptized.

This period of time was so very brief, though. He only lived two years after his diagnosis and much of that time he was weak and ill. In retrospect, I treasure the memories of sitting by my dad in the old church pew. Seriously, what a sweet experience, what a gift for me and my dad, even if so very brief!

Dad never taught me about Jesus. He didn’t read the Bible to me. He didn’t take me to Sunday School or VBS. He didn’t really even speak much about his experience of accepting Jesus as his savior. But it was real, I have no doubt. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe with your heart that Jesus died and rose from the grave to everlasting life, and you will be saved, according to Romans 10:9. Just. That. Simple.

That “one best thing” led to eternity in Heaven for my dad. Healing in Jesus’ arms, no more pain or illness.

And it made possible a reunion one day that will most definitely be THE best thing forever.

Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Daddy.

You’re wrong

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times. Words like “mind-numbing terrain”. “It’s so boring”. “There’s nothing to see”. “Longest drive ever”. Any guesses what these words are describing? Well I’ll go ahead and give the answer: Western Kansas. I-70 in particular.

And I have to be very honest, I’ve uttered those words myself over the years. Shame on me.

Continue reading “You’re wrong”

‘Sup? oh my….SUP

My oldest daughter has an SUP. Stand up paddleboard, in case you need to know. Her mother-in-law also has one. They rave about how fun they are, how easy they are to use, how great the muscular work-out they provide.

So I sure enough wanted to try and see for myself last November in the bay water of Palacios, Texas. Perhaps I should have received warning signals from the opposing phrases “easy to use” and “great work-out”. But, of course, I didn’t. Read on.

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A moment in time

I had a “moment” the other day. It all started when I saw my hairbrush while getting ready for the day. It was full of gray hair. FULL of gray hair. And in that moment, I “saw” my mom. Of course when my eyes lifted to look in the mirror, there she was again.

The day was Sunday. As we were in church right before the service was to begin, a young woman and her very young daughter walked down the aisle next to where we were seated. She took a seat in the pew in front of us and to the left a bit. It was the front row of our section in the very large church we attend. No one else was sitting near them, giving us a close up view of the two of them.

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Need to Know Basis

The new year, 2022, came right on in the door and sat down. Looking suspiciously similar to the past two years. I feel certain that I’m not the only person on the planet who is done with the pandemic. Every news clip on COVID, vaccines, deaths, hospitalizations? I just can’t anymore. Not that I don’t care. That’s not it at all. I do care. The numbers, the news, the pictures, the personal stories really break my heart.

This morning when I woke up my mind was filled with an intensely awful memory from when I was around 5 years old. Involving a life altering event to my parents and sisters and myself. You won’t get details, but the effects of that event were permanent and sad. Anyway, as this flash of memory hit my brain waves I sensed God asking me “Can you be thankful even though….?” What a difficult thing to ponder. Especially at 5 in the morning. I couldn’t answer right away.

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Yaks and Origami

For most of the month of November we’ve been volunteering at a faith-based camp on the Texas gulf. Palacios by the Sea is a lovely little spot in the universe. So low-key and friendly. About 4600 folks call Palacios home. It’s bordered by a lovely bay that connects to the Gulf of Mexico. By the way, for those of you word nerds who need to know how Palacios is pronounced: Puh-lash-us

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While you wait on the Doorkeeper

Do you like to wait?  When we go to restaurants and see more than 10 people in line generally we turn right back around and leave.  That’s how much we like to wait.  Once in south Wichita I was stuck in my car waiting on a train, and it turned into a 45 minute wait.  Then I learned this was the norm for that particular area! I just can’t think of anything I really enjoy waiting for.  Not food, not trains, not telephone calls on hold.  I could go on and on.

But some of the very best things in life require waiting. Continue reading “While you wait on the Doorkeeper”

Is there really no place like home?

We were driving through the Flint Hills of Kansas yesterday. Isn’t it beautiful?

Maybe you do this too……read on.

There are homes in this picture. You can’t see them well from this view but I assure you they are there. We drove down several lovely country roads while driving to and from this location. The views were just stunning, I’m not exaggerating. And as usual, I love seeing the homes on these acreages. On absolutely serene looking acreages that just scream “Perfect Life”. Do you know what I’m talking about? I look at these homes and think how awesome it would be to live there.

So….do you dream and imagine and envy a bit on drives like this? Like I do?

Continue reading “Is there really no place like home?”

There’s a Lighthouse….on a (really steep) hillside

After a long period of time with no volunteering trips with our RV, we finally finally are able to get back out there and go. As I mentioned in my blog post titled “Purpose and Plans”, everything kinda stopped in 2020 for us due to Rotten Rona. In 2019 we began the volunteering plan, in 2020 it screeched to a halt. Only two projects total for us and BAM, done.

Continue reading “There’s a Lighthouse….on a (really steep) hillside”

The Morels of Campgrounds

Against my better judgment I’m fixing to tell you a camping story. With details I’d prefer not to share. Go ahead and read, but I may need you to sign a waiver first promising you won’t share info. Reality check, Simply B, that can’t happen. They’re going to read it anyway. Well, okay, here goes.

Every single year the hubby and I take at least one camping trip to Colorado. Every year we are joined by at least one of our daughters and her family, often there are three families involved. This year our trip included seven (7!!) families from my branch of the family tree. For a full week in the mountains.

** Spoiler alert** we all love each other. No dysfunctional family drama involved. That’s not the forbidden info.

Continue reading “The Morels of Campgrounds”

The Eyes Have It

Again, I have been given the opportunity to reminisce about my mother. Several days ago I had cataract surgery. Soon I will have cataract surgery on my other eye. Just a short appointment, quick recovery, and voila, good eyesight. Maybe even no prescription eye glasses needed once my other eye is done. Just that simple.

Mom’s eyes developed cataracts at a pretty young age. I was ten when she had surgery, which would have made her 50 years old. 1965 was the year. This surgery wasn’t simple and my mom wasn’t particularly enthused about the whole process.

Continue reading “The Eyes Have It”

Traveling south; Gene, Blake, and Olive Ann

Did you know there is a national park in south central Oklahoma? Well there is! Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

We decided to take a little four day camping trip to this park, sight unseen, no idea what to expect. Sense of adventure kicked in while googling Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Our trip was delayed one year because our initial reservation was in March of 2020. Need I say more? ‘Rona ruined that plan.

Fast forward to 2021 and life is kind of good-ish again. Things are opening up, so we rebooked some campsites and hit the road with my sister and brother-in-law.

Continue reading “Traveling south; Gene, Blake, and Olive Ann”

Shakedown Shakes

We camp in a fifth wheel. We winterize our 5th wheel late fall every stinking year. Always with a sad face. Because we love to camp and the winter feels like an eternity when we can’t go camping.

Our part of the world experienced record breaking cold temperatures this past winter. And they lasted for a record breaking fourteen day period. Why does this matter? Well, it can mean winterization fails. AKA, cracks and leaks. Ugh.

Thus, our annual spring shakedown camping trip was taken with trepidation. Actually, for more reasons than winterization fails.

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Significance

1963. If you were alive and above the age of 4 or so in 1963 you undoubtedly recall the day in November.

In February of last year we visited the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. Dallas is huge, 7 million people live in the metro area. There are many buildings with six floors. But only one building houses the location where a gunman shot and killed President John Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor.

While walking through the museum and listening to the audio headphones tell the story I was taken back to that day in November. My 3rd grade classroom in Minneapolis Grade School. We listened to the news over the loudspeaker while our teacher, Mrs. Warren, wept. The only sound was the voice on the speaker and the weeping of our teacher. While a room full of eight year olds tried to process what was happening.

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Embracing embraces. And the number 28.

Are you a hugger? I wasn’t as a child. It wasn’t our family’s “thing”. That’s okay, I suppose. Pretty sure all you non-huggers are tolerating the COVID-19 restriction policies better than us huggers. Though I’ve grown into being a hugger (with a few limits), during these pandemic days I truly treasure all the human interaction I can get. Smiles (that you can actually see on an unmasked face), hugs, elbow bumps, conversation. Anything, I tell ya. Growl at me even.

Continue reading “Embracing embraces. And the number 28.”