I never heard who it was that loaned their team of horses to my Dad. But I distinctly recall them being big and intimidating with all their pawing and snorting. As memory floods my soul, the delight washes over me now as it did then. My Dad wanted ME to ride with him as he plowed our garden spot. I have no earthly idea what kind of contraption he was using to turn the soil that day, I just know he asked me along as he engaged in the mysteries of planting a garden. I suspect he simply needed more weight over the plow so it would bite deeper into the dirt. But, be that as it may, to the little boy bumping along under the blazing hot central Florida sun nothing could have been more wonderful than to have some special time with Daddy on such an important mission.
But as the morning wore on, nausea began to ripple through my young torso. Dizziness threatened to send me spinning into the dirt as heat exhaustion slipped up on me. My Dad realized something was wrong and let me off in the shade the next time around. With my head pillowed on Mama's ample lap, I sipped my cold drink and enjoyed the attention while she bathed my fevered brow with a cool wet rag. These days, a hurried trip to the emergency room might well result from such dehydration and obvious distress from the over exposure to the sun. But back then, rehydration was accomplished with liberal applications of cool well water and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Times and methods may have changed, but the essence of healthy family life continues. Parents include children in family activities. Close attention is paid to the special needs and challenges of the young. Appropriate action is taken the moment difficulties are noticed. Disciplne and control are lovingly provided by the parents until the young learn self discipline and self control.
This Father's Day, let's remember those who provided the foundations upon which we continue to build our lives.