Dads

Yes….I realize Father’s Day is over and that I missed it by one day. But I kind of feel like we should maybe celebrate dads more than just one day…at least the good ones.

I decided I would give a quick shout out to the dads in my life. My dad was a great example of what a dad and husband should be like. Once he became a grandpa he excelled at that job also. His grandkids love him dearly. He taught me what men should act like and how men should treat others…with respect and integrity. It never mattered to my dad (and still doesn’t) what someone possesed or what someone looked like….you treated them all with respect.

Because of my dad; I knew what to look for in husband material. My farmer husband was and is a great dad. He attended his son’s events…from cross country races, to band and music concerts, to programs at school and church and everything in between. He taught our sons how to hunt, how to treat others fairly and how to generally grow up to be men of character.

This man I call husband, might not be perfect (okay….he isn’t, but neither am I so it works out well) but he is perfect for me and perfect for our family. He also has jumped into the role of Grandpa and has excelled at it.

We have three sons who have become dads. Our middle son just celebrated his first Father’s Day this year. It has been a blessing watching these three men with their children. They are dads who are “hands on”….They change diapers, take their kids to parks, take them to taekwando lessons, attend programs, take time off work to tend sick kids and so many other “dad” tasks.

They are men who climb 14ers in Colorado, run marathons, fix motorcycles, love fishing and boating and build legos but still have time for those who are important in their lives.

It has been a joy to watch those three boys in the photo turn into men of integrity and men who love their families. I can only hope they realize what they mean to me. I can only hope all those dads in my life know what they mean to me. My life has been richer for knowing these dads. I am thinking I should probably tell them to make sure they know this fact!

My hope is that you have all been blessed knowing at least one good “dad” in your life. If you haven’t…rest assured there are good dads out there…..and if you have sons….you get the chance to raise them to be good dads.

“I believe that what we become
depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments,
when they aren’t trying to teach us.
We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
― Umberto Eco

So Many Changes in a Week

IMG_5525 2What a difference a week can make!  Last week at this time we were watching flood waters rise, snow melt at an alarming rate and pumping water away from the house. This morning we sat on the deck in the sunshine and enjoyed the warmth immensely.

Our river is making it’s way back into the banks where it should be, ice bergs are turning dirty and look lonely in the middle of fields. The ice jam on the river has made it’s way downstream and I have a tulip blooming in a pot.

I am reminded of the fact that downstream all is not well and won’t be for a very long time. Nebraska is suffering greatly. Ranchers have lost herds, ground and are overwhelmed. Entire towns have been submerged with ice floes inside buildings where people used to gather. Wells have been compromised so water restrictions are in place in many locations.

Someone was questioning on Facebook how come there were no stories of looting going on in these locations. I have done some thinking about that question; because it is a good one.

I think one of the biggest reasons is that these are real communities. People know who lives next door. They know the guy they buy their groceries from and more than likely know the family of the checker in the grocery line.

People in rural communities are neighbors. They worship together…maybe not at the same church or in the same denomination but they worship together. These people sit side by side and watch their children play at sporting events…many times against each other at these sporting events.

These people in the heartland have worked hard for their place in life and they respect each other and hold each other accountable. It would be hard to steal from someone you have prayed with, laughed with, cried with and know.

These people have that old-fashioned sense of community with a strong emphasis on unity. They don’t always agree….often don’t agree….. but get along anyway. It is family and family has your back.

These Nebraska towns are what American used to be all over this country. They are the best of us and don’t let you off the hook when you have acted your worst. They say it like it is and you know they tell you things because they care. It is honesty….it is integrity….it is unity.

I am in awe of these Midwesterners and hope I can be counted among them. They are a lot to live up to. My mind wanders to how can we help people who are used to giving instead of taking? I am going to try post some links below of places that can be contacted.

HOW TO HELP

Orphan Grain Train, Inc

In NW IA there will be a trailer parked at Livestock Manufacturing and Equipment at the corner of Hwy 18 & 75, (west of Hull, IA) starting Saturday where you can bring supplies such as: Milk Replace, Fencing needs, bottled water, cleaning supplies and so on.

Fremont, NE has been putting out lists of places to go to volunteer and list of supplies needed by communities and individuals.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are also great places to find out what is needed by way of supplies and/or volunteers. I have a feeling they will be needing things for a long while.

I am trying to also post a video someone made of the damage in Nebraska this past week. I hope it works!  I am not confident in that but we will see.

The lesson I am learning from this past week is that it is good to have neighbors you know. It is good to be that neighbor. It is a blessing to have someone’s back and they have yours.

I have learned quiet people are often underrated. Their courage isn’t noisy…it isn’t loud. Their integrity is the kind that often needs a second look….but when you really see that person…you see someone you want for your neighbor.

Our prayers are with you Nebraska. Our help is on the way and your courage in this devastation will be the quiet roar that shows a nation what America was and still is.

Courage doesn’t always roar,
sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering
I will try again tomorrow.

Mary Anne Radmacher