Friday, February 18, 2011
I don't remember who worked for me. I do remember going back to work and essentially firing the afternoon cook...one who demanded his pay, when the paymaster was at death's door. The only worker who did this, he threatened to quit and I told him it might be a good idea! He did. Then, alone, I cried. My older brothers, Bill, a postal worker who took on the morning cooking and Jack, a worker at IBM who took over the books for Daddy both said it was ok ... that it was probably a good thing since all the others had agreed to a late pay envelope. His type was not needed in our diner family.
When I was 18, I had saved enough money for a down payment on a car. I was looking in the paper for a used one and thought I found it: a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle. It took the paper into the diner kitchen to show Daddy. I never saw him look like this before, his face was red, his eyes were, too .. and then he sobbed. He choked out the word, "No!" Recovered enough to speak he said, in a controlled but somewhat angry voice: "Don't you remember? I'm supposed to buy you your first car!" Instantly I remembered my childhood scrapbook picture, his promise to me, and blurted out before my own tears took over, "Daddy, I don't want a pink convertible!" I hadn't thought about that pink convertible in years! We hugged each other at that counter in the diner kitchen and I told him I understood. Things were different; times had changed and everything was really ok. He then told me that he did NOT want me driving a "death trap" beetle but we could go car shopping.
Daddy was now closing the diner on Mondays so on that very next Monday, we answered an ad for a 1969 Opel Kadette Station Wagon; such a cute little car and only a year old. Traded in by it's owner because it was a little too small for his liking, it was just right for a college bound girl with lots of church youth group responsibilities. I could also reach the gas pedal! It had a standard transmission! Daddy didn't have time nor patience to teach me how to shift, but thankfully we lived in the country and the back roads soon recognized the sound of me grinding gears! The same back roads that just a few years earlier found my sister, Barb, teaching me how to drive! Though Daddy could not buy me my car, he took over the payments after I made the down payment. It was more than I had hoped for! Daddy gave me his best and I was so very thankful!
Daddy took pride in his family and especially enjoyed the company of his granddaughter and her guitar, though she had no idea he was listening! He had the undivided attention of Mommy perhaps too much so, becoming cranky and demanding at times and with his health beginning to deteriorate, needed to have oxygen on a daily basis. For respite, Mommy took great delight in going shopping with her daughters and grandchildren! Daddy took great pride in my sister's ability to cook and manage restaurants. He taught her well and she enjoyed serving the public as he had done.
In 1974, Daddy gruffly told my then, boyfriend, Billy we were too young to get married all the while stifling a smile that soon spread across his face. He loved Billy. He loved that Billy loved me and loved his own family. He knew that our marriage was one made in heaven and Daddy was not about to argue with God! He gave me away to my handsome groom on a grand June day and danced at our reception. I had never seen him dance before. There is a first for everything!
It wasn't long before Daddy was able to take great delight in reading stories to his little grandson and watching him play and grow. He enjoyed the letters from Cary and Carole, even traveling to Arkansas to visit them. Their family was growing and he enjoyed reading of the events of their life that revolved at that time around their growing, little boy, Ethan. He enjoyed visits from Bill and Jack, now with grown families of their own, eager to hear stories of their successes and of the things he missed while being too busy during their growing up years.
Daddy went home to be with his Savior the next evening; leaving a legacy of hard work, pride and love behind. Thank you Lord for my daddy...remembering him on the 108th day of his birth, February 16, 1903.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
He felt school was extremely important and talked often of my going to college. I would have to work hard and save my money. My brother, with the help of a friend went to college in the 60's and Daddy really wanted that same opportunity for me. His plan was to buy me a car for my 16th birthday, with the understanding that I would continue with my education. When I was little I decided it was going to be a pink convertible and even cut out a picture of one for my scrapbook.
I got to keep my daddy all morning, something I had never done before! Usually, He skipped breakfast but he couldn't resist having pancakes with Cary, Mommy and me! He went to work in the early afternoon after the plows and sanders had taken care of the roads. Funny thing is I don't remember what we did all morning. I guess it was enough for me just to have him home!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
He grew up the youngest of seven children of Albert Andrew-Alverson and Alice Elsie (Bunting) Lester in Accord, NY. His parents, hardworking, urged their children to be the same. Leaving school after 8th grade, he worked several jobs always being drawn to diners. He married much too young, tried an unsuccessful stint in the Army, then returned to face his responsibilities. He had a wife and two young sons and was always looking for his place in this world. I have gleaned information from old newspaper articles and know that as difficult as life was for Daddy, God was there the whole time, protecting him from others and from himself. He had a plan for him and nothing stands in God's way. Daddy, successfully this time, joined the US Army and served overseas during WWII as a cook, saying "No one in my unit ever got sick when I was cooking!" My brothers, Bill and Jack also joined the US Army, serving in different capacities during the same war. Though difficult at times, they all grew to love him, even working with him. My brother Bill also found himself leaning towards cooking in diners and owned one for a short time with the help of Daddy. In the late 40's Daddy co-owned the Rockface Diner in Cairo, NY with the Rose brothers whom he knew from his Army days. By the early 60's, Daddy had become the sole owner of the diner.
We started our working years there, eventually wandering off to other local establishments but we knew where our roots were. My brother, Cary and I knew no other way and had nothing to compare it to. We had no choice but to compete with the diner and make the best of it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em and in our teen years that's just what we did as our sister had already done.
But what was it like to have a daddy who worked 14 hours a day; 7 days a week? Growing up in Sandy Plains, we all woke together in the morning and Daddy tucked me in at night. We didn't get to play as afternoons were meant for naps; his, not mine! We joined him at work on Wednesday evenings, as that was shopping day for Mommy. The grocery store where my brother was now working was across the street from the diner. We would have our groceries delivered there and then enjoy a table reserved for us in the dining room and all the sights, sounds and smells a diner had to offer. The waitresses were called to pick up their orders by listening for the buzzer. One buzz was for the dining room waitress; two buzzes for the counter waitress; three buzzes was for me. Happily, I would hurry into the kitchen where Daddy would have prepared my supper and Mommy's, too! I was never allowed to eat it there by him, but I could have my dessert there ... most always home-made chocolate cream pie. Dad would take breaks at the counter where that very pie was made earlier in the day by our baker. It was also where Daddy read the paper, had his supper ... and I had my pie. I would also have the chance to watch Daddy make mashed potatoes in the big mixer, and I would be a big help to him by adding chunks of butter! Mommy and I would enjoy our supper and converse with those who wandered over to our table. Usually, I would hear 3 more buzzes a little later and would scurry to the kitchen to find Daddy smiling with some quarters in his hand for the jukebox. I could choose any songs I wanted as long as I gave at least once choice to Mommy!
To be continued...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
children skating on the pond;
sleds competing; saucers spinning
wildly down the hill and beyond.
Snow flakes falling; north wind blowing
winter down each un-scarved neck.
Friendly shoves with snow caked gloves, now
homeward they begin their trek.
Smiles beaming; cocoa steaming;
soothing to their snow stung smiles.
Shower warming; outside storming;
more snow gathering for awhile.
Now they sleep; dreaming deep of
kings and castles, mountains; then
awaken, hasten, breakfast chasing
to capture winter once again.
The week after this one coming, many children and educators will have a week off from school. It was meant for a "recuperation" time so that all the little sniffles, sneezes, coughs and wheezes would go away; all the stomach viruses would, too, hopefully.
I have many friends and acquaintances in the education field who feel the best place to recuperate is any place there is no snow or temps below 50 degrees! Y'all have fun down south, but I'm waiting and hoping for at least one BIG snow storm before spring begins to peak through the clouds. March will be here before you know it and THEN you will find me hastening spring's return by heading south.
Will you be going anywhere special? Praying safe journeys for all my traveling friends :-)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I mentioned pricker bushes a few posts back and said it was for a another story. Well, thanks to my friend Anne, I came across the picture to go with the story. LOL!!! There isn't much of a story and I don't have a poem to go with it but... Once upon a time there was a hill behind Anne's house and a bunch of kids from church who wanted a "winter weekend." So we complied. One of the featured activities was sledding on Morgan's Hill. It was an interesting hill, with bumps and a few little turns and a rocky drop off at the bottom that we never actually reached, but a nice long ride nonetheless. Well, after a few trips down which made the track nice and fast, it was my turn again, and for no good reason, other than it was going to be her turn next, Anne screams, "Peg! Look out!!" Since there was no danger in front of me, there had to be danger coming up behind me so I did the most sensible thing. I bailed from the sled as soon as I could, giving absolutley no thought to where I would land. Anne just happened to have her camera on hand and when she arrived, safely by sled .. she took my picture. She was laughing so hard, I can't believe this picture didn't blur; but it didn't so you can all see what I looked like climbing out of the pricker bushes :-) End of story! Well, not really; I got even with Anne when she was wearing her bunny slippers LOL!!!! but that's another story...
A different style of poetry ... I never know how the words are going to form.
Another giveaway on my blogging friend's site: http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/?spref=fb I really enjoy her blog!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Oh, what will he do
on the 2nd day
of the month with the fewest days?
Will he scurry right out
and give a big shout
to frighten his shaddow away?
Will he peek o'er the edge
of his hole in the ground
and look to see if it's clear?
Will he blink and look tired
or be bouncing and wired
and start running as fast as a deer? (I doubt it.)
but remember this June,
from my garden stay far away!