Sometimes when you have a business, it's always hard to know if it's okay to blog about personal things, family etc. At times, you may want to keep your family completely separate from your business, but it's really hard to keep it all separated. So indulge me for a few minutes))
My dad is 96 and if you've followed my blog you know that I have mentioned him before. He's been really sick lately and right now he's in a nursing home. His short term memory just isn't there anymore, but he still remembers the old days.....and I mean OLD days.....way way back))) He still recognizes all the family, but he can't remember when he last ate or saw anyone, etc.
One of the things he's having problems with is finding his room at the nursing home. He's not really getting out on his own, but sometimes he wheels himself back to his room from the dining area when he can find it. The above pic was made a few years ago, but it's the same face and smile))
My first thought was....gosh, he needs something on his door to make it stand out from the others. Being in the wreathing business I thought, a pretty spring wreath. Then I realized, that would have no meaning to him. It might give me satisfaction to put something pretty on his door, and the staff and visitors might enjoy it and comment on it......but it would mean nothing to him or help him find his way.
So, I was out shopping the other day and I ran across this farmhouse style sign and immediately knew it was perfect!
Back in the day, he was known as "the egg man." He grew up as a farmer, and also had a chickens. Now, let me tell you, if you haven't worked on a chicken farm.....and I don't mean a few chickens.....I mean hundreds of chickens....big, long, chicken houses. It's a tough job. Chickens don't take holidays and weekends off. They lay eggs. They don't take vacations. They don't care if you are sick with the flu. The show must go on as they say!
Throughout the years we had chickens that laid eggs and chickens that were raised for consumption, etc.
Eggs had to be gathered twice a day, cleaned, sorted, and packed and placed in the cooler. The chicken farm staff was....you guessed it.....daddy, mother, me and my sisters. The lucky baby brother was too young to get in on the work side of farm life. The rest of us had to work in the chicken houses, cotton fields, truck patches and garden. He blithely got to play around in the shade or on that worn out old tricycle you see in the photo.
Oh, did I mention, we had a dairy barn too with cows that had to be fed and milked. Even I was a little too young to help out in the barn, but I knew my way the milkers and the milk room where the equipment was cleaned and milk stored. The milk cans of fresh milk were lowered into this huge deep cooler that held ice cold water. In the summertime, it held more than milk cans. Sometimes daddy would drop a big watermelon over into the cooler to get it chilled. I can remember raising the lid on that cooler and barely being able to balance over the icy edge, reaching arms length down into the cold water to try to reach the watermelon. Talk about child safety! It would have been so easy to have slipped off in the cold water and the lid come slamming down. God watches after the innocent, or stupid)))
Anyway, back to the egg man. Daddy had a route where he carried eggs for sale. He went to Memphis ever so many days with a pickup loaded down with fresh eggs and usually came back empty. He would sell the eggs to restaurants which is mainly what I remember. He also sold to an orphanage there. On a rare occasion one of us kids might be allowed to go on the trip to Memphis. One of my most memorable occasions was a trip to Memphis with daddy to sell eggs. When the selling was all done, we went by the Pink Palace Museum. It was my first time to see the shrunken head.....it's still there! But that's info for another blog post another day.
The metal Farm Fresh Eggs sign I thought would be perfect for his door. I made a small bow using some red white checkered ribbon, some denim and some burlap. These were all ribbon scraps from other projects, but perfect for a small bow.
We had just gotten in the new E-Z Bowmaker so I tried my had it it for this little bow and it worked just great. Here's a short video of the bow making.
When I took the door hanger to daddy and showed it to him, he just laughed and we talked about "the egg man."
We talked about the chickens and the trips to Memphis to sell eggs and getting a load of chicken feed at Wayne Feeds. I brought up the trip to the Pink Palace. He didn't remember it, but I did.
We talked about the Katz drug store which was a must stop on any trip to Memphis. Sorry but I don't know who to credit the image for, but there was a sign like this at the drugstore. It was an adventure! There was a downstairs, and in Memphis they had a talking Mynah bird along with a coin operated horse. You should read the history about Katz Drug Stores. Ike and Mike, seriously, Ike and Mike Katz were sons of Ukrainian immigrants. Katz Drug Stores eventually trickled on down to what is now known as CVS....go figure...who knew!
You never know what kind of memories will stick with your children or grandchildren. Something that you take for granted every day, may be the memory that stands out in their minds forever.
I'm glad the sign made him smile.