Having spent some time strolling through childhood memories over the last couple of days thanks to Laura’s Front Porch, I thought I’d write about a few more favorites.
My Dad is a very creative man, along with being quite bright. After graduating high school he started taking night classes at college but needed to drop out at age 18 when his father died so that he might provide for his mother and sister. He was studying mechanical engineering. He ended up with a job as a draftsman, which he did quite well at, eventually starting his own business designing overhead monorail systems for large laundry facilities and such like that. We even had a blue-print machine in the garage where he made his own blue-prints for his customers. Man did that thing stink of ammonia! WHEW!
He had quite an artistic flair. I remember one summer day I was playing school in the living room with my chalk board. He took the chalk and quickly sketched my 6 year old profile, ponytail and all. It stayed on the board for weeks because I didn’t want to erase it! I can still picture it in my mind’s eye. One year for Christmas he made my brother and I a huge wooden rocking horse. It had to have been 4 or 5 feet high because we couldn’t climb up on it at first because we were so small. The rails were perfectly bent for maximum rocking without tipping. We would rock it so hard it would “crawl” across the living room floor! We spent many an hour, my brother and I, riding our horse across the blazing Sahara Desert or chasing the bad-guys across the western plane! Recently my Dad told me how he had “sweated” the wood to bend it just right rather than cut a piece of wood in an arch. The time and love that went into that horse continues to amaze me. I wish we had saved it.
The other special item my Dad made for me when I was 6 or 7 was a nine room dollhouse. He drew up the plans himself and constructed it in the basement; a place I was afraid to go down to! Mother outfitted the house with all sorts of furniture, dolls and accessories. It even had electric lights that Dad had wired in. Believe it or not, 39 years later I still have that dollhouse. I repainted it, papered the walls and furnished it for my daughter when she was 6. It needs a good coat of paint now and the wallpaper needs to come off but it stills provides hours of entertainment when one of my nieces comes to visit!
The amount of love and attention that went into the things my father made for us, his children, is so wonderful to remember. I appreciate those toys now more as an adult because, being a parent myself, I understand how you will do anything for your child to see that smile light up their little (or big) face that will carry your heart to the heavens.
How much more does our Heavenly Father love us and provides for us the beauty of a sunset on a hot summer night or the palette of colors on a mountain side in the fall. Those things He has created just for us. To see His children’s faces light up with joy and a big smile when we open our eyes and see Him in the creation of this, His world. Look out your window today, whether it be rain or shine, and see how much God loves you. What gift has He made for you today?