One of the first things I remember about my father is the stories he told - true stories of his growing up years. My Dad was no choirboy - and not just because he can't carry a tune in the bucket. Made up stories just to make us laugh. My Dad came home and preached to us with stories of the people he met during the day - the ones who struggled against unbelievable odds and managed to smile - hint hint!!
Here is a story he told often to my younger brothers and sisters as Mom and Chris and Eric and I put supper on the table.
He was walking up to a house on the hill as the sun dropped blood red and bleeding in the western sky behind it - casting a black and eerie silhouette.
Broken toys and debris were scattered across the weedy overgrown yard.
The most dreadful screams and hollers echoed from the house.
Banging and pounding and scraping sounds - as if a huge battle waged - came from this creepy house. But my father was tired and he had worked a long hard day.
There was no other house in sight.
He needed a place to stay.
He trudged up and up the hill to the front door.
A false step almost sent him into a pit of vipers, coiled and hissing beside the front door.
The woman who answered the door looked crazy. Her hair sprung from her head in all directions. She carried a screaming imp in her arms and two others - with wild red eyes and black mouths, clung to her legs.
She looked at my father and screeched. "You're late for supper, Frank, and these kids are driving me crazy. Where have you been?" My Dad was home.
Here's hoping and praying that Dad has many more stories to tell.