Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 4: My Parents

Yes, I realize I'm a week-ish late in posting keep up, I'm going to be playing catch-up with the blog posts now! :D

Day 4's assignment was to blog about my parents. Here they are:


My parents’ names are Robert (Bob) and Joyce. Only people that really don’t know my dad actually call him Robert. He’s always been Bob.  They were both born, raised, and have lived their entire lives in the same small town where I grew up. (I’m hearing “small town” by John Mellancamp in my head right now). They’ll be married for 48 years this June.

Dad grew up on a farm, the middle child of 3. He was 7 when his father died of a heart attack at age 38. His mom raised him, his brother and his sister on welfare and what she could earn as a waitress, seamstress, housekeeper/cook, etc. In the mid 40’s, options weren’t all the abundant for a single mom with 3 kids, living out in the country, kwim? But she struggled through and that’s probably what made my dad the man he is now. My dad is a very proud, caring, stubborn dude. I see a lot of him in myself (and in my kids).

My mom also grew up on a farm, and her dad also died when she was very young (I think she was 7 as well). She was the youngest of 5 sisters. After her dad died, her mom sold their farm and they “moved to town”. She was the first in her family to go to high school. Back then, it was completely common for a girl to finish her formal education at 8th grade. So she got to do what her sisters and mother couldn’t.

My parents met at a funeral. Classy! But hey, in a small town….if you think about it….where else is there going to be that large of a gathering of people all in one place? :D One of my dad’s best friends had been killed in a car accident, and this person was also known to my mom’s family. So they met there, but were both dating other people at the time. They ended up on a double-date at some point after that and somehow ended up basically switching dates during the evening and the rest is history.

Their relationship survived my dad’s years in the Air Force (he got sent to there any place more remote than that?) and the raising of 4 kids. When they were first married, my dad worked at the lumber yard in town, and my mom was a bank teller. When she became preggers with my oldest brother, she had to quit….since back in those days, you didn’t work “out” (that’s what she always says……she means “outside the home”) once you had kids. So from that point, she was basically a SAHM…..until the times changed and she went back to work part time after my little brother was in school.

I have 2 older brothers, I’m the 3rd child, and then I have a younger brother… I’m sure we kept my parents plenty busy when we were all home. We were kinda spaced-out in ages (my oldest brother is 14 years older than my younger brother), so it took awhile to get us all out of the house! Actually, my younger brother still lives at home, but that’s a whole other story! :P

Here’s me and my brothers….not only did I get the brains, but I obviously got the looks in the family too, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!


For most of my childhood, I remember my dad as being a salesman for Sears. Pocket protector and all. I still have a soft spot in my heart for pocket protectors, nerdy as they are, because my dad always wore one, full of pens, to use to write up a sale for a customer…..seeing one of those things reminds me of my childhood. My dad was a good salesman….he’s the type of guy that could sell a fridge to an Eskimo. :D

My mom was always room mom at school functions…..she was my brownie leader…..all that kind of stuff. When my younger brother started kindergarten, she started doing some part-time work. She cooked for a daycare center. She was a receptionist for a doctor’s office….

My mom is a great cook. That has always been her talent. She loves nothing more than to cook a big meal for a big gathering of people. Potlucks and bake sales at church were always her time to shine. She also likes to crochet. She tried to teach me……I wasn’t very good at it. But I have a drawer-full of crocheted potholders in my kitchen thanks to her! She used to sew too, but doesn’t do that much anymore. Me? I can’t even sew patches on the kids’ scout uniforms. It’s pathetic.

My dad loves cars. Specifically Ford cars. :P Nothing would make him happier on any given day than to be dropped off at a Ford car lot so he could just walk up and down the rows of new cars….sticking his head under the hood and dreaming away a few hours. We’ve actually done this on more than one occasion (if we were going shopping or something that didn’t interest him…..he’d ask to just be dropped off to look at cars!) Just don’t tell him you like Chevys. He’ll go ballistic. :P Seriously. He will. Not sure where the fierce loyalty comes from, but you do NOT even THINK of driving a Chevrolet in our family. I accept this. So what do Karl and I drive? A Ford Fusion and a Ford Flex. Obviously! LOL……. My dad’s other great love: St. Louis Cardinals baseball. OMG……..don’t even attempt to talk to the guy if the Cards are playing. You will get no response. He’s fiercely loyal to his cars and his baseball. It’s so funny. My brothers will play devil’s advocate with him and start an argument just for the fun of it. I’ll admit, it is pretty entertaining to watch him fly off the handle defending his cars and his Cards. :P

Money was always tight, us being a family of 6, mostly guys……they eat a lot! Plus, with my dad being paid on commission, they never knew if this week we were going to have a Sunday roast, or if we were going to just be eating the potatoes! Gosh I like the stability of a known paycheck….it makes life so much easier! I sometimes wonder how they got by all those years, but they always did. I admire that in them.
When I was in 7th grade, my mom went back to school to be a cosmetologist. She still does hair for her friends on the weekends and for special occasions, but nothing like she used to. It’s more for the social aspect now. (my mother is a serious gossip! Actually, I’ve decided most hairdressers are!)

Dad’s heart problems and general bad health forced him into semi-retirement about 10 years ago…..and thanks to even more health problems (lung, knee, gall-bladder....) he’s been fully retired for the last couple of years. Both of my parents are basically retired now, living in the same small town.

The last few years have been especially hard on my parents, especially financially. I’m sure you’ve seen stories on CNN about senior citizens who were financially ruined because of medical bills and such. My parents fall into that category. They have very little to live on now, but are so darned proud they refuse to ask for help. I’m thankful that Karl and I have been able to help them as much as we have…..I just wish we could do more. My parents are good people, and they deserve better than the hand they’ve been dealt….but the same could be said for lots of other people, couldn’t it?

So anyways, that’s the cliff’s notes version of my parents’ story………

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