Goodbye Dad

Hi Everyone,

My Dad, William Robert Dull, passed away on October 9th, 2019 at the age of 84.  The week before he passed was bittersweet.  Both my kids and grandson managed to get back from Charleston, SC and St. John USVI just in time to visit with him before he left us and be here for the funeral.  There are times when you know that you need to soak in every second because they are precious. October 3rd through October 13th were such days.  I don’t even think I took many, if any, pictures.  I just wanted to be very present for the time with my seven month old grandson, time with both kids, time with my Dad and time with my sister and Mom as we watched Dad slip away.

There are things that I wanted to say about my Dad that weren’t said at the funeral.  A funeral service is a collective snapshot of a life.  It certainly couldn’t convey 84 years of his life or even my 57 years of being the daughter of Bill Dull.  I would like to take the opportunity to tell about the man who taught me so much and even if no one else reads this, it will be here for me to revisit as needed in the years to come.

What I learned from Dad…

  1. The Practical.  In a time where it wasn’t so common for a girl to be taught such things, my Dad taught me very practical skills.  I learned the name and use of every tool in his toolbox as I helped him do repairs to the cars and maintenance around the house.  He taught me how to plant a garden, mow the yard, check the oil, jump the battery and change a tire on the car and clean a fish.   I have used these skills pretty much daily (except for fish cleaning, but I could probably still pull that out of the memory bank if necessary) since I was a teenager and especially as a single Mom.  I remember saying a silent “thank you Dad!” as I built shelves in my son’s closet many years ago.
  2. Real Friendship.  My Dad, except for his time in the Army, lived his entire life in the same community.  Most of his closest friends were the same ones he had a boy, but he loved people and had a wide circle of good friends.  My Dad’s family loved to argue politics.  It was a sport to them.  In contrast to today’s craziness, my Dad would have NEVER dreamed of dissolving a friendship over something as petty as politics. Several of his close friends were of the opposite party and yet after a good political “discussion” over coffee they would walk away as friends to repeat the conversation another day.  Having had at least one incident where I evidently offended a “friend” because of an opposing view and was dropped from their friend list, I will continue to follow my Dad’s example of putting friendship first.
  3. A Love of Nature, Animals and Small Children. Dad never would have guessed that it was his influence that began my “Hippie Mama” (my kids’ sometimes nickname for me) mind frame. He would walk through the woods and name every tree, plant, bird and animal sound.  In the 70’s we would be in the car and he would rant and rave about the trash on the side of the road.  We NEVER looked for pets because Dad brought home every unwanted, home needing creature.  Only he could love the infamous Killer Cat, aka “the meanest cat on earth” that lived to be 22 years old! I got it honest.  He also loved babies and small children like nobody’s business. I was waiting on the day that we needed bail money because he scared some young mother to death by stalking their baby or child in a store to make silly faces or baby talk to them. On a mission trip that took us to a border town in Mexico, he was so upset by the small children begging in the streets that I checked under the seats of the bus on our way back to make sure he hadn’t smuggled some of the children on with us.
  4. Perseverance. I learned this lesson by watching my Dad for six long years.  To be able to move up into management at his company Dad needed to have a college degree.  While working FULL TIME, RAISING A FAMILY and LOOKING AFTER A HOME, my Dad went to NIGHT SCHOOL for SIX YEARS! Three nights a week he came home from work, ate supper, got into his used VW Beetle (back when gas was in short supply) and drove to the nearest community college for classes.  The other two nights a week and on weekends he studied. We didn’t see him much during those years, but even though I was little I knew he was putting in some hard work.  I remember watching him walk across the stage to receive his Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and being very proud of my Dad…and happy that we would have more time with him again.  His example of putting in the time, effort and hard work to reach a goal has gotten me through some tough times.  Put one foot in front of the other and get it done no matter how hard something is.
  5. Love People and Do The Right Thing.  I can’t get through this one without sobbing. He loved his family, his friends, his community and his country even when all of them let him down or disappointed him at times.  He did the right thing for all of them even when I’m sure he didn’t want to or knew there would be no recognition or reward.  Kenny, his long time friend who spoke at his funeral, called my Dad “A Southern Gentleman”. That’s probably as true as it gets in the best sense of the title.  Not in the warped, contemporary political take of Southern men, but of the long standing sense of pride, gentlemanly behavior towards all people (he had friends of all ages, race and political persuasions). Dad would stand up for what he believed was right in a heart beat and scare you half to death, but turn right around and rescue a kitten from a drain pipe. You could count on him.  ALWAYS!

We are going to miss you Pop!

 

Tackle box therapy 

Hi Everyone,

How have you been? We have had one of those weeks where almost every day has been packed full. Monday and Tuesday seemed to have been winter’s last rally, complete with snow on Tuesday. Thankfully it looks like we have entered true Spring now. 

I’m going to keep this short today. Last night I picked my son up at the airport and he will be in for a few days visit as well as my daughter, son-in-law and that soon to be spoiled grandbaby. We keep getting more and more depressing news about my Dad’s health so the visits will be a bright spot this week. Needless to say, I’m going to spend every possible minute with family for the next few days. Tomorrow Miss L. has a color run and immediately after that my bonus daughter has a horse show. Sunday we all converge at my parents’ for food, fun and baby spoilage.

This week has been a continuation of the never ending cleaning, decluttering and packing up. We are reaching crunch time now that prime house selling season is upon us. The other day during my storage unit cleaning, I unearthed an old “friend”.  This fishing tackle box started holding my art supplies way back in high school. It was then a constant companion in college as I hauled drawing pencils and charcoal back and forth from art classes to dorm room. At some point I moved on to art supplies that no longer fit in this simple box. Airbrushes, tubes of paint, cameras, COMPUTERS were all too big. 


It’s funny how at this time of major downsizing in my life, my tackle box reappeared just when I needed it. In a couple of weeks I am going to have to find a place to hide my art supplies at a calls notice. My paints and canvas have been packed up and are soon heading to the same storage unit my tackle box lived in. I will be down to just pencils, pastels and paper that can easily be tucked away. It’s crazy to get excited over finding this simple, super efficient, portable box, but it solved a major problem of how to wrangle my supplies in a stressful situation. Divine intervention. Therapy in a tackle box…that does not include cleaning fish! 

Here is this week’s work in progress. I’m trying to draw fog. It’s a challenge. 


I’m off to make coffee for the “boy”. Have an awesome week! 

He’s here! 

Hi Everyone,

Baby Brayden arrived on Tuesday, March 5 at 12:57 pm. He decided to arrive much faster than anyone expected so all the grandparents were in route when we got the call he had arrived. Of course I have to show pictures or my grandparent card will be revoked. 


He looks like a mini version of my son-in-law, but I suspect his personality may be more like his momma. On day two he was already raising that head trying to look around. His mom would scream at the top of her lungs if she had to look at a ceiling. She spent her entire infant hood in a bouncy chair so she could see what was going on around her. 

I am enjoying my quiet, snuggling time with the little guy and quality time with my daughter and SIL, but have to leave this sweet time and warm weather and head back to the hills tomorrow to the other people who need me. For that reason, I’m just popping in with the baby arrival announcement and go back to squeeze out as much baby time as I can in the time I have left. 

Have a great weekend!