At the age of seventy, my dad sat down at his desk with a yellow pad of
paper and began writing stories--stories of growing up on a farm and
attending a one-room schoolhouse (Dad graduated top in his class. The only
other eighth grader came in second ) He wrote of his life in the army, of
meeting and marrying my mom, and raising a family on a farm of his own.
He spent the next eleven years adding to his book of stories, sharing them
with anyone who would listen.
It was New Year's Day, 2014, when my folks, Sis, and I had our final lunch
together (We grew up calling the noon meal dinner and the evening meal
supper. Lunch was served when you had family over on Saturday night,
around 9:00 PM, but I digress.) Dad passed away suddenly later that day,
and the job of telling stories passed to me. Initially, writing these stories
down was a way to grieve him.
The project grew and the stories kept coming, especially on evenings Mom
and I spent at her new home "in town". Life on the farm without Dad wasn't
the same, and, anyway, she'd grown tired of mowing the grass. Then, on
New Year's Day, just six years after Dad, Sis and I lost Mom. Our folks had
done everything together for sixty years; I guess we shouldn't have been
In these pages you'll find stories that celebrate our family, memories of what
seem like more innocent years, and tales of growing up in rural Illinois.
They are a collection, some from those yellow pad pages of Dad's, some
from the quiet evenings reminiscing with Mom, most from the memories
still clear in my mind.