Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy 90th Birthday Dad!

We are celebrating my dad's 90th birthday tonight in my hometown, Earling, IA. His birthday was Wednesday, so he celebrated with the family that lives near that night, but we are having the official PaRtY tonight. Four of my five siblings will be there, as well as many nieces and nephews.  For some it's too far to travel for a weekend. 

My First Communion
 As I went through some old pictures to post for the occasion, I spent some time thinking about the "old days"...growing up on a farm in SW Iowa with four sisters and one brother. I'm the oldest, so I remember lots of funny stories about the others (which they really can't argue with since they might have been too young to remember). My dad farmed the land and raised cattle, hogs and chickens, so it was a busy life. We spent many hours playing outside under the trees in our small orchard. No AC in the summer, so that was the coolest place to be! I loved helping dad with chores and I remember walking around  with him, feeding the animals and talking. We had some awesome talks doing chores. He washed out 2 paint cans so I could carry feed too and really help.
Easter, complete with fancy hats
We also worked with Mom, gardening, canning, cleaning,  helping with my younger siblings so she could work on the many things that had to be done on a busy farm. Sometimes we were given the choice of taking the "little kids" outside to play or stay inside and work...well, we weren't stupid, you know what we chose!

As I grew older, I started helping around the farm with bigger buckets, learning responsibility along the way. I didn't realize at the time that that was what was happening, but I do now. Dad always says that I liked helping outside more than being inside, learning to drive the tractor (which I loved!) to help with the field work. One of my best memories is of going down to the hog house late at night to check the sows to see if they were farrowing. Dad could tell if one of them was close to delivering, so liked to check them to make sure everything was going ok.  It was warm and peaceful at night and sometimes we would witness the miracle of birth.
Dad with my daughter, Wendy
 We had trees to climb, a timber nearby to explore, and many adventures growing up on the farm. I wouldn't trade that childhood with anyone, even though sometimes we thought it was boring. I remember one summer day Dad came in from working in the fields for lunch and my sisters and I were complaining about having nothing to was so boring living on the farm, why didn't we live in town (we thought that would be much more exciting!) so Dad said he had  something for us to do. He took us to a nearby field to cut out thistles. (I know if you are a parent, you are laughing right now. We've all been that route, right?) I don't think we complained as much about being bored after that.
Since his birthday is in April, we have celebrated it many years along with Easter. Here he is a few years ago with his bunny cake! He's had several bunny cakes...

Mom and Dad's 60th Anniversary Party in 2010
I am so lucky to be able to celebrate his 90th birthday with him. Happy Birthday, Dad...see ya later!
Summer 2012


ga447 said...

Wish him a wonderful birthday. Lovely pictures, I worked on a farm when I was little and loved it. My family lived in Germany and I would go for the whole summer.

Lori said...

That is wonderful! Love your photo collage. I was lucky enough to celebrate 89 with my dad 2 weeks before he died.
He looks like he is in great health! Happy birthday!

Quilter Kathy said...

What a wonderful life to have as a child! I love the photo with the easter outfits and hats!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Enjoy your father as long as you can. I lost my father when he was only 69, to Alzheimer's. So glad I have lots of memories.

Kerstin said...

wishing your dad a happy Birthday!
How wonderful to reach such great age and still able to enjoy life.
Great for you to have so many great memories.

Maggi said...

What a wonderful collection of memories. I hope he had a very happy birthday, with many more to come.

Sharon said...

Happy birthday to your dad! Wow, 90 is great! I loved your photo collage too. How wonderful to have such good memories and to still have your parents.