Good Times with Dad

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Happy Fathers’ Day to all you dads and all of you who have a dad. I hope if your father is still living you were able to give him a hug this weekend either in person or via telephone or some electronic means. And those of you like me who don’t have your father here with you anymore, I hope you thought about some fun times you had with your dad and that you’re still smiling in your heart from knowing how loved you were by that first most important man in your life.

I had a good dad. He wasn’t a take you fishing (thank goodness since I never wanted to go fishing) or play catch with you kind of dad. He did like making ice cream on hot summer Sundays. Banana was his flavor of choice. And once the grandkids came along they all had fun helping him churn the old White Mountain freezer.

But mostly when I was a kid, quality time with dad was time spent working in the fields in tobacco or hay. When you’re a kid that’s not exactly what you want to do, but I don’t remember resenting it too much. That’s just what we had to do since we were part of a family and all of us had to work to keep the family farm going. My kids had to work on the farm when they were growing up too, but they were into a lot more extracurricular activities at school. That’s not something I did. I spent my spare time writing and reading and walking in the woods and playing with dogs. Just like now. Except I’ve added in playing with grandkids now.

And there are still chores to do. With July coming, I’m going to have to look some of those chores I’ve been putting off in the face and just do them. Window washing and painting and closet cleaning. I haven’t named a favorite chore yet. What is my favorite chore? Can you have a favorite chore? If you like doing it, then it isn’t a chore, is it? I suppose my least unfavorite chore is laundry. It’s so easy now with the washers and dryers. Just throw the clothes in and the machines do all the work. Lots easier than that wringer washer I had when I got married and tons easier than the scrub board my mom had when she got married.

You know the Shakers were one of the first to come up with a washing machine. The Shakers were industrious and hard working, but they always wanted to figure out a quicker and more efficient way to do all their work. That’s why they came up with so many innovative ideas. They wanted to get their work done as fast as possible so they could do more work. They made what they called “fancy goods” to sell to the “world.” They liked making money to expand their holdings and take care of their land. They are an interesting people to learn more about, and I learned something new this week. I mistakenly thought all the Shakers had died out, but there are still a few (four?) at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine. They are actually still recruiting but from what I read on the internet, they have a lot of curious nibbles but few serious inquiries.

Not long now until my new book, The Believer, will be out. Remember you can send me an e-mail from my website, to be entered in the drawings in July and August. One entry gets you five chances to win an autographed copy of The Believer. Also, I’m going to be sending out a newsletter this week. If you’d like to be on my newsletter list, you can go to the website and click on the newsletter link and I’ll sign you up.

Hope you have a great week. I’m sending that new book, The Seeker, in this week so I can feel good for day or two. Then I’ll have to be on pins and needles until I hear my editor’s reaction.