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.

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.

Continue reading “A moment in time”

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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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”

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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Purpose and Plans.

We’re retired. It’s been two years now. Since we love to travel and have a fifth wheel, we looked into ways we could incorporate both of those into our life plan. Doors opened for us to volunteer at faith based camps while living part-time in our fifth wheel and in the fall of 2019 we had our first stint in eastern Oklahoma. After the first month we loved it so much that we quickly signed up for another month.

And it seemed we’d found our purpose.

Continue reading “Purpose and Plans.”

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.

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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….”

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.

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Talking to myself and feeling (fill in the blank)

If you’re my age, and if you’re a girl (well, OLD girl), you probably once loved listening to the smooth voice of Karen Carpenter. The Carpenters. One of their most popular songs was Rainy Days and Mondays. “Talking to myself and feeling old” “Sometimes I’d like to quit, nothing ever seems to fit”. Such upbeat lyrics. NOT. Sadly, the line about “nothing ever seems to fit, like to quit” ? Karen died from anorexia at a young age.

I talk to myself and you probably do, too. Please tell me you do. 🙂

Continue reading “Talking to myself and feeling (fill in the blank)”

Looking through windows

Recently I read a story that pulled the curtains back from a window into the life of a mom and her difficulties with her young son. His behavior is so poor that kids avoid him. Classmates say their parents forbid them from playing with him anymore. He comes home from school and says he was told he is “bad.” He has been removed from that kindergarten now. His mom and dad are struggling to help him.

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Volume off. Love loud.

His name was Charlie and his wife was Myrna. Charlie worked with my dad for the county road maintenance department.

Charlie and Myrna were deaf. Myrna was profoundly deaf and couldn’t verbalize much more than grunting type noises. Charlie was equally deaf but not totally mute. Plus he read lips fairly well. He gave serious attempts to communicate verbally and sometimes he was successful. If he became irritated enough the words “chicken shit” left his lips quite clearly. And without fail if you asked “How are you?”, he would say loudly “Old man 95” and start walking all bent over to fully answer the question.

Continue reading “Volume off. Love loud.”