Folks are very much alike in one precise, confirmed way all human beings have a father. Wherever we may go in society from the very famous to the common folks at the local cafe, from professionals to laboring souls, regardless of the job they all started with a father. In a world that can sometimes seem so uneven in gifts, we find ourselves equivalent at our very beginning.
Where change begins for most of us is in how our fathers look at this gift that has been bestowed upon them. Each child that comes into this world arrives with many ribbons that will need to be untied to discover the gift within. When we have been blessed with a child, each day we get to open presents if we listen and become engaged with our children. Their early years are full of discovery as they see for the first time a full pumpkin harvest moon that turns to a glorious butter yellow. The drama continues to play out as the car goes by Lake Audubon and the moon is tossing silver as far as the eye can see. In days to come, the moon becomes sickle thin and the little voice asks how and why?
Nothing beats sincere as committed daily care when it comes to raising a child. Our lives are made of chapters, and without a doubt, the early ones are the most important to our children. It is during this time we help them develop their likes and sometimes dislikes with food, their awareness of nature, the beauty of art and song, their faith journey, manners, the joy of reading and host of numerous delights in our world. When enjoyed and respected, these will add to their success in life.
Charles Repnow is a freelance writer who lives in Rugby. His column appears on alternate Wednesdays in The Minot Daily News.
My dad had a clear understanding of this. When I wanted a rose bush more than bat and glove, he understood that all children have different tastes. My first American Beauty Rose came from my dad, and we planted it together. Each spring he made sure there was a metal fence around it so that the mower didn't interrupt its petals of triumph. His tone and manner when it came to understanding this not only brightened my day but my life. He knew that my interest was sincere. As a father, he could see the joy and the confidence this rose bush brought to me.
My dad taught me to be engaged in our world, our country, and our town by staying in touch with the news. Many an afternoon when he arrived home, we would sit out in front of our house in his green Ford pickup and read The Minot Daily News. For those of you who knew my dad, getting a seat in his pickup was not an easy task! For inside his cab was a crag of electrical wire, boxes of black electrical tape, circuit breakers, mountains of paper, and a glass milk bottle or two for his collection. He used his dashboard as if it were a sideboard in the dining room. Set upon it was the silverware of his trade cutters, pliers, screwdrivers, drill bits, and a host of medicine bottles filled with wire connectors raging in tones among bright yellow, red and copper. Yet when I appear at the passenger door, his lug of an arm reached over and in a mighty swoop he made room for me.
As a father myself I continue to be humbled daily by the ribbons of joy Lydia adds to my life. Just last week we had to go to the hardware store for some supplies. As we stepped outside she said, "Daddy it is so nice outside can we walk to the hardware store." The next thing I knew she and I, along with her doll stroller, were going down Fourth Avenue. As we walked she shared the following: "Daddy, aren't robins just the prettiest birds?" As we came to the front of Ely Elementary School she said, "Stop just a minute and look at the blue handicapped space." She then proceeded to tell me that it would only be fair that they have a pink handicapped space because, after all, girls may need one, too!
My wish to all men on this Father's Day is to let us be open to the daily gifts children present us. May we have the good sense to take hold of the many ribbons of excitement that they bring to us and may we join them in unwrapping another amazing discovery of our world!
This is an old favorite that is always tasty, always appropriate, and always welcome.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 can pineapple slices in syrup
Maraschino cherries (as many as pineapple slices used)
Use an 8-inch square or round pan. Drain can of pineapple, saving the syrup. Place butter in pan, melt in oven while preheating to 375 F.
Sprinkle brown sugar over the melted butter. Arrange whole pineapple slices and cherries (with cherries in centers of pineapple slices) over the brown sugar in the pan. You may select to cut some of the remaining pineapples slices into half circles, then line the sides of the pan with them (standing up).
In a bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, softened butter, milk, egg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup. Pour batter into the pan, being careful not to disturb the pineapples and cherries
Bake at 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake is golden and has pulled away from the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes to set and then turn it upside down onto an attractive serving dish which has also been garnished with rings of pineapple. You can serve this cold or warm. If you choose to serve this cold, a dollop of whipped cream complete with a cherry will impress your guests even more than you reciting pi past three decimal places! As always, we eat with our eyes first, so an added garnish is a necessary technique.