Visit with my Dad – September 2013

My Dad moved to Arizona back in 1999. Over the years, he has made several trips back to Ohio, but we think it’s been about 3 years since he’s been here last. It was nice to spend time with him last week as he was in town for his 50th high school class reunion. πŸ™‚

Limo tour – farm style… πŸ™‚

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The boys have been creating shooting ranges throughout the farm with Uncle Ben this summer. They were excited to show Grandpa – and I enjoyed watching them all take a turn. Also learned that my Dad shoots “lefty”! Which led to a conversation that he also used to bat left-handed, as well… I never knew that. Perhaps that’s where some of my leftiness comes from? Though he did say the reason he batted lefty was because it was easier to see the ball since the vision in his left eye is so poor… Grandpa did well at hitting the different targets as well. πŸ™‚

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We had such beautiful weather! πŸ™‚

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My Dad spoiled us with treasures while he was here. He gave the boys his autograph book from when he was a boy. Got to hear the story about when his Little League team won their division (in the 50’s), they had a father/son banquet where the Indians’ announcer was their emcee. He held a raffle for the team for one boy to sit in the Indians dugout for a game, and my dad won that raffle! My Dad shared his memories of his experience & some of the names we were able to decipher right off-the-bat (pun intended, lol) in his book were Tris Speaker, Rocky Colavito, and Larry Doby. It will be fun to try to figure out who the other names are. He was also given a baseball signed by the team that day, but while he went away one summer to work on a farm as a teenager, he said his younger brothers used the ball to play with, lol… It was funny hearing him tell the story to my boys. πŸ™‚

The autograph book also contains signatures of Cleveland Browns players from when my Dad used to visit spring training camps. We aren’t football fans, so figuring out those names will be a little more of a challenge. πŸ™‚

My Dad also brought the boys a bunch of my brother, Mark’s, old baseball cards. (Mark lives in AZ, too.) So my boys have been enjoying reading/sorting/analyzing a lot of baseball stats lately!! I see it as a sneaky way to keep their minds workin’ – I am continually amazed at the data they can spit out about players’ stats/histories. And I love hearing them talk strategy based on stats. Makes reading & math more fun around here! πŸ™‚

A “must-stop” for my Dad is always the Minerva Dairy. Since he says cheese out in AZ is $9 a pound, he stocks up when he visits. He bought us some, too, which was an extra special treat. Unless it’s for homemade pizza, cheese is a luxury around here. We all LOVE IT, so we’ve chosen to not buy hard cheeses until we can make it ourselves or are out of debt – whichever comes first, lol… Until that day, you can catch us browsing through Heini’s in Amish Country once in awhile to get our cheese-fixes satisfied! πŸ™‚

And then came the biggest surprise… My Dad announced he wanted to buy us a four-wheeler for the farm!! Mike & my Dad spent time searching Craigslist & making phonecalls, but there really weren’t many used ones (close) for us to look at. Finally, right before bed one night, Mike decided to check Craig’s list for a neighboring county and low & behold there was ONE listed. We went to bed praying that it might be “the one”. The next day when Mike called the number listed, it ended up being someone WE KNEW!! πŸ™‚ Oh, what a comfort that was. And yes, it was “the one” for us. πŸ™‚

So now it will be understood why the rest of these pics are centered around an ATV. πŸ™‚

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ATV training 101… πŸ™‚

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Grandpa has his own ATV in Arizona that he enjoys exploring on with his friends. So when he had his turn to drive ours, he drove in a way that made us laugh… I think Paul’s comment was, “Grandpa looks like an old James Bond!” πŸ™‚

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Much time has been spent in discussions with our boys on the difference between “joy riding” and “enjoying while riding”. For the most part, this vehicle will serve as a very valuable “tool” on our farm (for hopefully a really long time). Which means, it should never go above 20 m.p.h., no stunts are to be practiced, & no trails will be blazed through the woods that aren’t created first. That being said, there is nothing wrong with “enjoying” oneself as it’s being used! πŸ™‚

It came with a snow plow, too, so it will have many functions. Mike and the boys are already scoping out our scraps to create various “toolboxes” they can easily add to the front or back racks, depending on what they are doing: fence work, transporting milk from the milkhouse to our place, moving calves next year, workin’ in firewood, etc. This will also be a huge timesaver/kneesaver for Mike, as much of his day is spent on-foot. πŸ™‚

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It was really nice to spend time with my Dad. The older I get, and the more I grow with the Lord, I see how important relationships are. Too often I’ve allowed disappointments from the past, to keep me from growing in the present. It was fun to see attributes our boys have inherited from my Dad…and I say “inherited” because they’ve only been with him a handful of times – not nearly long enough to have learned it from him by observation. Like the way they clear their throat or the expressions they use as they describe something or the way they stand or move their legs… And it was fun to all cook together in the kitchen, and watch my boys prepare creative dishes that he enjoyed both eating & watching them prepare. By far, though, the highlight of the visit for me, was the morning my Dad joined hands with Mike & I as we began our day in spoken prayer. I have never prayed like that before with my Dad. It was beautiful, and I am grateful. Thank You, Lord.

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