I love the Hawaiian tradition of “Talk Story". It keeps memories of our time on earth alive, passing them on to future generations. Today, on these pages I want to Talk Story about Mr. Wonderful’s Dad, Larry.
My sweet Husband lost his Father on Tuesday of this week, and while I did not know him all that well, I know the stories that are told at family gatherings. These stories have made us laugh and I never grow tired of hearing them…
There's the story of the year that Larry worked construction in the bitter Chicago winter of 1967, returning home one day and announcing to his wife that this would be their LAST winter in Illinois! “We’re moving to Florida!” The rest is history, the history of a family who bought the two story house on Ardmore, over in Flamingo Park.
I love the stories of the years that my husband and his Dad built the cabins in Franklin, North Carolina. They are the tales of two guys who venture off to the livestock auction and come back with a calf tucked neatly in the family van. They hadn't thought about how they would feed “BIG MAC” (Yep! That is what they would later name it) this leads to another story about their adventures in caring for the new family pet. On another trip to the auction, they brought home a pony for sweet Lois, my husbands younger step sister. Again, they packed up the pony in the van and off they went back to the property. That property, according to family legend, had the steepest driveway in the county. The driveway where a young Lois later learned to drive a stick shift.
Each of us inherit traits from our parents. Mr.Wonderful inherited his Fathers ability for cyphering (as he likes to call it). He can look at scraps of wood and figure out how he would make something out of it. (and does it beautifully)
A love for motorcycles, and the curiosity for how things work.
He inherited his Fathers love of adventure, road trips and especially exploring the western states.
And, his love of a good crossword puzzle.
We each take with us the memories of our family dynamics, our stories good and bad. They form us into who we will become later in life. We use the bad to guard ourselves from repeating our parents mistakes. We hold on to the good and recreate a new version of our childhood in our own children's lives. Those golden memories of how things used to be, when fireflies lit up the evening sky in the woods of Franklin North Carolina.
Last night we sat around a dinner table and talked story about my Father in law. The stories told there are his legacy left to those seated around that table. While I don’t foresee his grands taking the family van to the livestock auction to pick up free chickens (Well, Lindsay might!) I know they will each carry on a part of their Grand Dad to their children, and the story of our dinner by the ocean, where we told his stories and talked of fireflies in our midst.
Larry Pender September 19, 1930- November 24, 2015.