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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Responsibility + No Sleep = ???


My Dad was big on responsibility.
Like lots of dads.
And he tried to teach it to his kids.
Like lots of dads.
With more or less success.
Like lots . . . you get the picture.
From my earliest memories, my Dad has been a finisher. Any task he was given or that he assigned himself was always completed with exactness.
It was a good example for us to follow.
Most of the time.
At one point, when I was little, Dad had been assigned to teach a class in our church congregation.
He took it very seriously.
Not only did it give him the opportunity to share his thoughts and beliefs with a group of young people, but it also provided a captive audience.
Something else he loved.
Moving on . . .
Every Sunday, one could find my Dad.
Perched on a too small folding chair, expounding to his group of enthusiastic eager excited resigned youngsters.
He was always well-prepared and ready.
Eager to share what he had learned.
But my Dad was also the county's only veterinarian.
At certain times of the year, he was the epitome (great word, right?) of busy.
Still, he would show up for his class on Sunday morning, ready to instruct.
It was spring.
Calving season.
Dad hadn't seen his bed for days.
Mom drove to church because he didn't trust his blurred vision and slow reflexes.
But he could still teach!
He collected his manual and scriptures and took his seat, facing his little congregation.
They were, more or less, his.
He began.
A few minutes later, he jumped.
And . . . woke himself up.
Not a good sign.
He peeked at his audience.
For the first time, ever, they were looking at him.
All of them.
And paying attention.
In fact, one could probably say they were riveted.
Dad felt his face grow hot.
He glanced down at his lesson.
What on earth had he been saying? He had no idea.
Dad taught us two things that day.
  1. Neither wind, snow, sleet, or lack of sleep should keep anyone from carrying through with their responsibilities.
  2. Lessons are much more interesting when the teacher is asleep.
Don't you dare fall asleep in my class! That's my job . . .
Hmm . . . you heard it here first, teachers.

4 comments:

  1. As someone who can fall asleep the minute back side touches chair I can sympathize with your dad. He must have been exhausted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Poor guy.

    I love that picture of him. Your dad looks like a good ole' cowboy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Funny story! It must have been so amusing to watch the teacher sleep :) Great story! Thanks for sharing and congrats on receiving the Star Blogger Award at NOBH for linking up the most posts! :)

    ReplyDelete

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