George was properly honored on Saturday when our nearby offspring
gathered to feast on his grilled bison burgers. Techie called Friday to let his
dad know he was taking his family out of cell phone and computer range for a
week and to wish him a Happy Fathers’ Day. Our other out-of-state kids called
Wort, who spent Sunday afternoon at his in-laws called to
say their dinner table talk included sharing lessons learned from their fathers.
(Have I mentioned that his father-in-law is a pastor? Who else would think of
programming uplifting dinner conversation at a family gathering?) Wort reached
back to early adolescence to share a time when a neighbor hired him to dig out
the thistles in his pasture. Like most kids, Wort went after the small ones.
George directed him to the tall ones going to seed and said, “Take care of the
big stuff first and the small stuff later.” Wort said he’s used this advice to
set priorities ever since. A gratifying tribute. The phone calls should have
ceased at that point.
When Lolly called, she told her dad how much she appreciated
the religious values he taught her. Then she dropped her bomb. The deal for
allowing her 11-year-old to spend a week with us and attend a summer school program
at the University includes promising to take him to church on Sunday—the whole
three-hour block. I feel kind of like we’re being asked to inflict child abuse
on this beloved grandchild—not to mention ourselves. At least now I know who to
blame for Lolly’s zeal.