Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daddy's Corn

Father’s Day Memories…

It was lying on the floor half way under the closet door in our home office. When I picked up the yellow legal pad paper and opened it, I read:

June 19, 1993

Dear Daddy,

From my earliest years you have always “been there” for me...

The four, pencil scribed pages of 5x7 paper extolled my daddy’s virtues as I was a girl growing up and beyond. I have no idea how it came to be on the floor at this time of year in my closet. But it surely is appropriate for Father’s Day. My Daddy is not ‘there’ physically for me anymore, but he’ll always ‘be there’ for me in my heart. He went home to be with Jesus June 28, eleven years ago. Obviously I won’t forget my Daddy. He always called me his ‘baby Chile’. (I was the youngest of three) One of the lessons learned from Daddy:

Gardening….Mother (96) and I talked about some of our ‘daddy’ memories on the phone just a few minutes ago and the subject of Daddy’s corn came up. She related how Daddy would go out to the back yard corn patch, break the corn, shuck the corn in the field and track his dirty boots into the back of the kitchen. He picked out four of the nicest ears, bagged them and delivered them to the widows of Grace Baptist Church who had no access to fresh grown corn.

And I’m telling you, there was no corn like my Daddy’s corn! He grew Silver Queen and Seneca Chief. His corn was babied from the moment he put those kernels under that rich black dirt. I believe he probably measured it every day in his mind’s eye. Not only did he take corn to the widows from church but he shucked ears of corn by the dozen to hand deliver to friends all over Sumter County during the hot summer months in the low state.

What wasn’t given away was eaten and enjoyed by all of our family. Then, we froze corn. He tried to keep his corn crop coming in at different times so we’d have fresh corn most of the summer. Mother remembers, “Sitting by the back door, silking corn by the bushel. You know, so the silks wouldn’t get all over the kitchen and stop up the sink drain”.

 We froze a lot on the cob because that’s how Daddy liked it. Watching Daddy fix his corn put on quite the show at our table. He liked it dripping with melted butter. Little yellow corn holders stuck in the ends of the boiling hot ears. Then there were the green and yellow ceramic corn dishes that my husband, Dennis made him one year. He didn’t miss a single kernel of the corn on any cob. Daddy loved his corn. We loved it too!!

I could continue to extol my Daddy’s gardening skills by talking about his tomatoes, cukes, squash, green beans, butter peas, Crowder peas and other things but of course the fruit that he bore taught me more than that. The garden of knowledge that little girls need in order to relate to their heavenly Father helped me to feel like I could come into God’s presence and feel accepted.

Daddy was by no means a spiritual giant, nor a perfect man, but I choose to remember sitting on his lap, communicating comfortably, and of course, his corn. I still find myself seeing a little blond headed girl, sitting on the lap of my Father. Kinda ‘corny’, huh!?

Thank you, Daddy, for being there for your ‘baby Chile’...