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.

‘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.

Continue reading “‘Sup? oh my….SUP”

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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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”

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.

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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”

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.”

Let go of my Legos

Fifteen years ago I became a grandmother.

About eleven years ago, I bought my first ever Lego set for the boy who made me a grandma.

About eleven years and one minute ago, I became just a little obsessed with the delightfulness of Legos. So did said grandboy. We spent many hours building one thing after another, as the coins rapidly left our bank account.

Continue reading “Let go of my Legos”

Ebay lessons and Cabbage.

(Originally posted back in 2017….needed the recipe contained in this so I republished it. )

It’s been a week of education for Simply B in the fine art of using Ebay to purchase stuff.  I’m a relative newby, just mainly buying stuff outright and not bidding on it.  But this week I decided to bid on Castillian plates to add to the 2 that were given to me from my mom’s kitchen.   And I learned a vital lesson.   Once you place a bid on an Ebay item, you may well win that bid.  And once you win that bid….well….you pay for the item and it’s yours.  It’s a contract of sorts.  I guess I thought I’d win the bid then be able to decide if I really wanted them.  So far I have 10 Castillian plates.  There may be more on the way, who knows.  I kind of got carried away once the bidding started.  Wow.  No biggie.  I guess.  Haven’t checked our bank account balance.  Perhaps I should.  😅 Continue reading “Ebay lessons and Cabbage.”

Pep And Petrol

Small town America loves their school activities. That was certainly the case in my very small hometown high school during the 60’s and 70’s. Friday night football and Tues/Friday basketball would bring every loyal citizen who could still breathe and walk out to watch “their kids” play.

And for students, even if you weren’t part of the team, you were still part of the team. Some were in marching band. Some were cheerleaders. Some took turns working the concession stands. Some dressed up as the Lion Mascot. And the rest of us? Well we were part of the team too. Thanks to Pep Club.

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The rest of the story….

Percival and Augusta**.    Long ago they lived across the street from my family in a small super-modest old home with peeling paint and many many many cats.  And one little dog.   There was a front porch.  There was a back porch.  There’s no trace left of where Percival and Augusta spent their sad life.  But my mind will never lose the image of that home and the couple who lived there. Continue reading “The rest of the story….”

Through

I was the last chance.

My folks were the parents of three teenage daughters when, out of the blue (or pink?) I came along. Another stinking girl. I have mental pictures of my dad, age 47, going from the hope of hearing “it’s a boy!!” to “oh, well”.

I was the last chance for him to have a boy to hang out with and enjoy time together. A son, a kindred spirit, a little Benton. He had three teenage girls. Just wrap your brain around that fact for one moment. At least once a month you KNOW my dad wished he had sons.

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Rising numbers. Rrrrrrip.

My collection of numbers has become pretty large. Too many birthdays has added a ton of numbers to my age. And I seem to have an uncanny ability to add numbers to my weight. Though it’s tempting to blame COVID19 and the whole stay-at-home scene on the weight dealio, that would be a lie.

All these numbers have resulted in gravitational effects and odd changes to my already unfortunate configuration of body parts.

Continue reading “Rising numbers. Rrrrrrip.”

Dear Younger Me

My breath was taken away and tears came to my eyes. Not gonna lie, they even rolled down my cheeks.

A friend of mine shared a photo with me. She’d found it in an old yearbook of her mom’s.

Me. Age fifteen. The one school picture that never made it to a frame on the top of the piano with the other pictures of me and my sisters. I had totally forgotten about this particular photograph. I doubt there are prints of it anywhere, except of course the old yearbook.

Continue reading “Dear Younger Me”