Wednesday, December 1, 2010

There's One In Every Family - 100th Edition of COG

Every family has that someone who is "special." We all define special in slightly different ways. In my case the special someone was my dad. He played many roles including that of teacher, the one who always made time for those he loved, a maker of memories, a recorder of memories, and a keeper of memories.

We are all teachers. We teach by just doing what we do every day. Someone is always watching and learning, especially children. Dad had this concept dialed in. When I was about nine, Dad was building a deck on our place. I was hanging around watching him lay the boards and nail them down. So he showed me how to hammer nails and straighten out the ones that were a little bent so they could still be used. I spent quite a bit of time straightening out my bent nails so occasionally he had me straighten out the ones he had bent a little too.

Not only did Dad teach me a skill and how to solve a problem, he did it in such a way that he was able to continue with his project and actually make some progress while keeping a little kid busy at the same time! Looking back, I think he knew exactly what he was doing. The deck got built and I helped.

Dad was the same way with his grandkids too. Dad loved to garden and when it was time to weed, he would take the grandkids kids along to "help".

He would give them their own can to put weeds in. Then he would go along, pull weeds and leave them for the kids to pick up. The grandkids would even pull a few weeds themselves, until they got bored...

When it was time to pull carrots, he taught them how to break the tops off and rinse them. Then it would be snack time. I'm sure there were  a lot of carrots that never made it into the house.

To this day my children have fond memories of gardening with Grandpa. I even recently found out that one day he decided to take a nap under his tomato plants!

Dad would also make time for just about anything. On one visit, Husband and I decided to take the kids to Port Townsend for a picnic. I was looking for a place called Chetzamoka Park. It was one of those spur of the moment "just because" types of adventures. We asked Dad if he wanted to come along even though he had mentioned earlier he was going to fix something around the house. Being one not to miss out on something potentially fun, he jumped at the chance. We found the park and had a lovely picnic. At one point he asked what the point was in coming all the way to Port Townsend for a picnic so I reminded him of the ferry we used to ride when we were little kids named the Chetzamoka. I just wanted to find the park with the same name.

Being an avid photographer, Dad was also a recorder of memories. Unfortunately, that meant he was behind the camera way more often than he was in front of it. Now it's hard to find him in any pictures.

As it turns out, Dad wasn't just the maker and recorder of memories; he was also the keeper of memories. I mostly have him to thank for all of the family history we have right at our fingertips. I suspect there are a number of our family lines that essentially would have turned out to be dead ends if it wasn't for the various letters, postcard, photos, and other documents that he saved.

Thank you Jasia for this opportunity to share my someone special in the 100th Carnival of Genealogy and congratulations on making it to 100! I’m looking forward to many more.

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Michelle, It was nice learning about your dad and you were fortunate to have him. Thanks for this lovely tribute to him. I love the shot of him with the camera.

  2. Thanks Barbara. I miss him terribly, even after so many years. That shot of him with the camera was so very typical!

  3. Love this, and, I agree, that is such a special photo. Adore it~

  4. What a lovely, warm post! I bet your dad has always been proud of you and still is. Like Barbara, I love the shot of him with the camera. Great photo, enjoyable read!

  5. You are making great use of the gifts you Dad passed to you. I especially love your account of how he could keep kids entertained and still get work done - that is a real skill!

  6. Your post makes me want him as my Dad, too. Your love and admiration of him warms my heart.

  7. Aren't Daddy's wonderful! I too am grateful for the short amount of time that I had mine. He died in 1988 at the age of 52. I am now almost 52 and I can tell you that 52 is not old.

    Thanks for sharing a part of you with all of us.

  8. Your dad was cool, Michelle!

  9. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I must admit, they brough a tear or two to my eyes.

  10. Beautiful, Michelle. I loved the detail of how you "both" built the deck. That gentle detail said it all.

  11. He sounds like he was a very special man. I have to say the photo of him with the camera looks so much like my own grandfather that I had to look twice at it. If I didn't know better I'd think they were the same person. Thanks for sharing.