By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels
Reach-out to Gerry Vance’s father’s words on this Fathers’ Day as I write this early. Gerry, a former teaching colleague at Alfred State College used to tell me that his Dad would say: If you wake up, get up, and if you get up, do something productive. I awoke at 4:30 AM Father’s Day morning with wrandom thoughts wregarding future topics wrambling through my head so decided to get up and write words to recall them later.
I have to give thanks to a fellow Father today as he is allowing me the opportunity to share my Words a second day having devoted my normal day to a heartfelt eulogy article about my recently departed friend and “musical mentor” Dave Dunbar.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there and RIP to all those passed from us in body, but still very real within our hearts.
First, I had to put the Oriole and Grosbeak feeders out as by 5 AM, as they were already waiting. Given the “extra” visitors feeding on the feeders I had to re-fill all of the small dishes. Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing from an “aviarian” standpoint but the jelly feeders have attracted other species as well, especially with them feeding young. In addition to the Orioles and an occasional Grosbeak visit there are two Robins that have made frequent visits. I haven’t investigated closely enough to determine gender so I’m not sure if it’s a pair. Yesterday we decided to hang the large suet cake holder further away so the Red Bellied woodpecker pair either became disoriented and lost, or just decided to join the food line at the jelly feeders. That’s right, they started eating the jelly.
First, or I guess it’s second now, I’ll mention a couple of Grammar Grievances or Groans. Every year about this time, and as also happens on Mother’s Day, discussion regarding the proper “punctuation” pops up. The question is: “Which is correct; Fathers’ Day or Father’s Day, or just simply Fathers Day ?” Word processor auto correct doesn’t like the latter one and suggests putting the apostrophe before the “S” so as to imply “possessive as if the day belongs to all fathers”. My answer is “either” depending on which way you consider appropriate. Fathers’ would imply plurality and that it is all inclusive. It is! Father’s Day would imply that it is a day that is owned by Fathers. It is!
2nd grammar grabber is the use of the word choice Farther vs Further. I tend to follow my “what sounds best for that situation”, but my instinctual hearing is getting as old as my physical hearing. Technically according to “multiple expert sources” the distinction is; Farther is for “physical distances” and Further is for “figurative distances”. Oddly enough, many suggest using my method of whatever “sounds best.” My Father’s Day example of correctness would be: “Your father can walk farther down the road than I can but that could be further from reality than you expect.”
Several columns ago a reader suggested that I use way too many quote marks. I commented in reply to him, thanking him for the observation. I use quote marks as in verbal air quotes that you see speakers use. The English language lacks in its ability to cue the reader as to when sarcasm or irony is being used. It also includes the rule that if the quote mark is at the end of a statement or question it should come after the punctuation. I take exception to that, or at least invoke “writers prerogative”. Notice that I placed it before the end of the sentence to imply that the quote marks aren’t including a spoken statement but rather are “air quotes”.
Might as well stay on the grammar thing for one more comment. I use a common (for me) terminology like “so as to”. Auto-correct flags it and suggests just saying “to” instead. Similar to that, if I embellish or preface a comment with the word “Actually”, Autocorrect flags that as well. I have gotten into the habit of usually accepting their suggestion. It actually does, usually, make the reading a little easier. (Autodefect suggests removing the “actually” before “does” at the beginning of this statement).
Father’s Day is a special day paling only in comparison to Mother’s Day. All Father’s Day’s are special to most fathers but some more so than others. Any day or particular event in a family’s existence can be tainted by something that is done or said. An especially meaningful Father’s Day will occur when that life’s cloud passes and the sun once again shines brightly from the horizon and then fills that and each day thereafter with renewed hope and love.
My Father’s Days began with the birth of our 1st son on September 25th, 1971. October 18th, 1975 and July 26th, 1977 rounded out our family development. As my poem to follow picks generalities to express these feelings, it has been my honor to have been a father to our three children.
My greatest regret over all of these years are the many days and nights I had abandoned them during my attendance at night school for 8 years to get my degrees, and the subsequent years spent in absentee parenting as I literally traveled the country-side while teaching night school classes and or Industrial Training classes to supplement my income and to be able to provide for them as best I could. I truly regret that time away and often wonder if some of our life’s events might have been different had I been more of a dad to them. My love for teaching sometimes conflicted with my love for them.
I owe the greatest degree of gratitude to my wife for fulfilling both Mother and Father roles all too often over the years of their growth. As the poem about my Mother being my father mentions I guess the same would apply to our situation but at least I was, and remain to be, a dedicated father to them and love them more today than all of those yesterdays combined.
I will leave you with the words that express my feelings better than all of my Wramblings.
Thank to Todd, Kristin and Shawn, and especially to their part time acting “father” Cheryl.