If you follow the Gentog Facebook page, you know that we’ve been having a great time this week on a special project. We have been interviewing each Gentog senior, asking the question “What was your favorite job?” and we’ve asked each child “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We write the answers on a chalk board, and snap a picture of each person. It’s been so fun capturing these “Dreams and Memories”!
You may not know that my Daddy attends Gentog. He was a Civil Engineer that worked for the States of Oregon and Alaska and for the Forest Service. He worked in Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Virginia and California. He helped build the Astoria Bridge. He helped design the road at Cape Lookout. He fought forest fires. He did some really COOL jobs. So guess what he said in answer to the question? “Driving tractors on the farm.” What? He worked on his sister’s and brother-in-law’s farm as a teenager – 60 some years ago. And that was his favorite job? Didn’t make sense to me.
Talking to my mom last night, I got a little insight. When I mentioned it to her, she chuckled. She said, “Oh, I remember the day he tried to teach me to drive that tractor…I almost ran him over!” Suddenly I pictured a young man, probably driving his very first motorized vehicle, feeling very powerful and manly. Today Parkinson’s Disease has robbed him of most of the physical things he could do – including driving, and he misses that very much. And I pictured a young man in love, playfully teaching his girl how to drive. I pictured a handsome, tanned young man, feeling on top of the world out on that field. And I now have a new picture of my Daddy, and maybe I understand him just a little better.
The moral of the story? Ask the questions, and learn the stories. Our time with our parents is shorter than you think. Ask the questions and enjoy the ride! Oh, and check out our project if you have a minute…you’ll love it!