Thursday, June 27, 2013

Joe Cramer and his dad

My dad would have some wisdom at the ready when needed. Exactly where he got this wisdom, for better or for worse remains a mystery. I figure he talked to a bunch of old guys when he was young. Guys in general and older guys in particular somehow feel they have to have an answer for any dilemma that comes along. I guess that's Ok though, it makes for a good story from time to time. Helps a person forget his troubles too.

One day the TV news was reporting so much bad news it was downright awful. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, burglaries, murders and no one in the government could agree on anything. (go figure the government thing eh?) Finally my dad turned off the TV and asked me to go for a walk with him around the block until wrestling came on. We walked and he talked. He told me some good stories about his younger years: growing stuff in the garden with his brothers and sisters, swimming in the river and saving his sister from drowning when he didn't even know he could swim, shooting peas out of straws, learning how to drive when he was ten, and how he met my mom. All good stuff. Then he did the wisdom thing, you know he had to. He said, "You know what? Sometimes the news just stinks and you are better off shutting it off and making your own." Hmmm! Probably not the most profound advice I've ever heard but I have found myself doing just that a lot lately. How about you?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Joe Cramer-My dad's humility was genuine

My dad was a hard worker, his work was physical, intense and as hard as it gets sometimes. He took it in stride though and expressed gratitude for the pay he received even though it was far less than he deserved most of the time. Far from well educated, as so many other guys were, he just couldn't get himself into the high paying factory jobs. No patience, couldn't stand the slow pace of assembly lines or being inside a building for so long. Low pay or not, he was a happy guy. He was a humble guy. If anyone gave him anything, it was difficult for him. You see, my dad remembered his mistakes and didn't feel he deserved gifts of any kind. He already had everything he dared dream of: His wife and his kids. Growing up I saw several times how he humbly accepted what was given to him. He did it with class. Thankful and always showing how he was delighted so as not too diminish the thoughtfulness of the giver. When I was older, around 19 I guess it was, my dad and I sat on the back steps and he pontificated a bit about being humble. "If we get all caught up in thinking that we deserve stuff, we never really fully appreciate the giver or the gift." "Same thing with wages too", he said. My dad the philosopher. I didn't deserve a dad as good as him.
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