Of Father’s Day and Birthdays

My dad

My dad, Roy Earl Christoph

June 21 – Today on Father’s Day, I’ve been thinking of my dad who was born on June 16, 1892. Had he lived as so many of the folks in the Bible, he would have celebrated birthday number 123 last Tuesday! At the age of 12, he had to quit school and go to work in a factory. Ma, just a year younger, couldn’t go past the sixth grade, but was farmed out to an elderly man whose wife had died. She cleaned the house, did the washing and cooking, and had very little time left to think of what she would like to be when she grew up. Married on June 29, 1914, they lived together for many years and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

We seven kids tried to succeed and excel in school, as that was the only way we could “pay them back” for their love for us, and their “doing without” so we could have some of the little things they could afford. Just three of us kids are still living today. Rich, with three kids, and living in California, is 91! I reach 88 today (on the first day of summer) and live near our son David. Pete, who will be 84 later this year, lives in Massachusetts near three of his children, with a fourth living in Florida. I hope and pray that we have all passed on to our children and grandchildren what it means to be a real family.

Yucca in bloom

Yucca in bloom

The humidity has been so high that even sitting out on the porch early this morning makes you just about wilt. But as I’ve mentioned several times already this year, the folks who live down in Texas and Oklahoma have suffered so much, with no end in sight. Our big bed of lolliop lilies have done their best to survive during the last week or so, but they lost out to the weather. I finally took the clippers and cut off all of the remaining flowers but four! When I asked Dale how many he thought I had cut, he guessed about 200, but he was way off. Instead the total cut was 325! The big white yucca plants in the front yard are just full of beautiful white blossoms.

While I worked among the lilies, Dale took care of the heavy wooden logs holding in the asparagus bed on all four sides. That was hard work since the wood was still wet, making it hard to pull out of the grass. After filling the wheelbarrow several times, he dumped the contents back in the barn area to dry out so he can use them somewhere else.

David's pie (top, and my pie (bottom)

David’s pie (top), and my pie (bottom)

I had planned to freeze the cherries we picked when David came out to help us last week, but when he so carefully planned each step of the process, from picking, to taking the pits out, and then to check on the Internet to find a good cherry pie recipe, I thought I might try my hand at a pie as well. Actually, since we have moved out here, I don’t think I have baked a pie! So different from our desserts back in PA. Cakes, cookies, and fruit cobblers, yes, but no pies.

If you check out the photos of David’s baking and the end result, you will have to agree that his looks better than mine! However, I doubt that it tasted any better. Dale mentioned several times after the pie came out of the oven that he could smell something that was going to be delicious. Just for old time’s sake, I made a cherry cobbler too, so he could have either (or both), with vanilla ice cream on top! – CHRIS

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1 Response to Of Father’s Day and Birthdays

  1. Richard Christoph says:

    What a fine photo of Grandpa Christoph, Aunt Sis. He looks a wee bit like Pablo Picasso. Terri and I spent a portion of this morning with Dad (BTW, he is 91), and will share this entry and photos with him tomorrow.
    Hope that you had an excellent 88th, and that Uncle Dale enjoyed a superb Father’s Day.
    Thanks for all the memories, sketches, tales of Africa, life on the farm, wildlife, and photos. The time and effort are very much appreciated.
    Richard of Redding


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