A son to his father

POSTED BY: Sidney the Third, in respsonse to A father to his son


As long as I have lived, there have always been three,

The great old father, his son, and then me.

And now that the father has moved along

we are apart,

You there, me here,

both a bit confused, both searching


I have learned from you what you learned from him,

My two greatest examples to follow – to become a greater man

To care for others over oneself,

To serve, rather than be served,


I have watched and learned practical skills –

Beware that innocent-looking capacitor,  or

Don’t bend the pipe too much, it will break

And make sure you weight your hay bales with children

So they don’t roll


You are a Protector – teaching, but sheltering

To make sure I did not fall too hard, too far,

Always ready to lift, to help,

To share the burden

To lift what I could not


You have prepared me for all that you could,

Yet we feel lost – who could have prepared for this?

What skills could you teach?

What weight could you lift?


I know the words you long to speak,

“It’s OK, son.  Don’t worry.  I’ve got this one.”

But you cannot.


I have the shovel, and you cannot reach it,

But its OK, Dad.  Don’t worry.  I’ve got this one.

Your part in this battle is done.


I can wield the shovel because you showed me how,

You made me work,

Made my hands and arms strong.


I can lift this weight that you cannot,

And climb this mountain that you must go around.

But only because of you.


You have done your job.


I am ready.  I can do it.


I love you, Dad.

Happy Anniversary Love

From Memphis with love . . .

You are in one state.

I am in another.

But look, in this picture we are together.



My sister-in-law, Laura, tells me she took this picture 5 years ago.  We were so young, only married 21 years then, mere babies, what did we know?

It looks like we are sitting on the bank in our garden, the garden I’ve nagged you about for 8 years, the garden in which you bent your back to lay a brick wall, the garden from which you removed a lot of dirt at my request.  Then I changed my mind and asked you to bring the dirt back.  I don’t think you finished bringing dirt back.  Not that I’m nagging – oh, look at all those hearts – they signify your great love for me.

Though my love has been a bit rough around the edges, a sharp that bled you, sweated you, carved and scarred you, you stuck with me.  You have left me with cuts and bruises too, but you have been more gentle with me than I with you.

I know, I know, it isn’t about keeping a score card.  It is about how you try to be better than you are.  It pushes me to be better than I am, precisely because you love me as I am, never nagging me to change this or that.

Unheard of.



But you luuuv me___

wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, you’ve walked in the lion’s den

Twenty-six years together, Honey — together but untouchable today.  That is sad, I guess, but it is hard to feel too sad with years upon years of memories crowding my mind.

Happy Anniversary, Sid.



A tub for Mama

It’s better than chocolate.

And Ben & Jerry’s.

But it can enhanced with a book or three.

Sid surprised me with a combined Mother’s Day – Birthday gift.  Our master bathroom was plumbed for a bathtub 8 years ago, but we never had one installed.  Oh, the luxury of not sharing one bathtub with 5 other people — positively decadent.




When Sid suggested taking the tub in through the bathroom window —  our second story bathroom window —I suggested yard-bathing was the latest thing.  He reasoned our local bear and deer population couldn’t handle the latest thing.

I have my suspicions about that argument.




Pausing in midair to text.   Because he is still running a business.  My admiration wars with my anxiety about this ability to multi-task.


Here we are whistling while we work.  Yes, we are our Daddy’s sons — carrying a cast iron bathtub in through a second-story window is a perfectly normal thing for us to do.


Putting weight on the tub to make sure the tractor doesn’t tip forward.  Really now, I am glad the man is cautious, but that was one worry that had NOT occurred to me.  *shudder*


The critical point at which I try to focus on the mechanics of picture-taking and not about someone losing their balance while holding a cast iron tub on a hot day on a slanted roof.  And I wonder, did our contractor build our porch roof strong enough to withstand a cast iron tub and 3 men?


My ears strain to hear the cracking of wood.  Sidney says there is a dip in the roof under the tub.



Brilliant!  The man may scare me, but he is brilliant.


He is also a cast-iron-lifting, roof-balancing contortionist — the things you don’t know about a person when you marry him.



And he is good at teetering on rickety, wooden pallets while lifting a cast iron tub on a roof.


A brief rest and a moment of brotherly communion . . .humor me while I imagine their dialogue . . .

“So, bro . . .is marriage really this much work?”

“I don’t know, man.  Maybe it’s just that our Dad is a little crazy on his love of hard labor.”

“Yeah, right, I mean surely there are easier ways.  Don’t women like flowers?”

“Might want to throw in some chocolate with the flowers to cover all our bases.”


A perfect fit through our window.


The Hair-Hating Gene

“WHY?”  he grumbles.  “Why does my hair always do this on Sunday morning?”  My 13-year-old Sidney stands in front of the mirror, pressing down on his hair.

Hmmmm, he is starting to pay attention to how he looks, I think.  I wonder if this is the teenager self-conscious thing that I hear about and vaguely remember, when young people become overly preoccupied with how they look.

He combs his hair straight down.  It springs up.  He combs it to the left.  It springs up.  He combs it to the right.  It springs up.

“Maybe if I comb it left, right, left, right, left, right, it will lay down,” he says to himself as his arms moves back and forth, back and forth.

I bite down on the giggle and refrain from offering advice, a truly heroic endeavor on my part.

“Hair is so impractical,” he declares, reaching for the faucet.  He runs water over his comb.

“What is the purpose of hair anyway?  And why do we have so much of it?”  He runs the wet comb through his hair, pressing down.

“The whole world would be a better place if we were all bald.”

I guess I can stop wondering about teenage vanity.  It appears Sidney is infected with the same hair-hating gene as his father.  I specifically remember when I cautiously informed Sid that his hair was thinning on top.  I thought it might bother him, but he appeared completely unruffled.  All my concerns were completely laid to rest weeks later, when I discovered Sid in the bathroom with a hand mirror trying to get a look at his bald spot, and mumbling to himself, “Fall out, baby. Fall baby.”

I don’t think women can inherit the the hair-hating gene.  I cried when mine started thinning and falling out a couple of years ago.  Thankfully, it stopped and seems to have stabilized, though I keep an anxious eye on it.