For Father’s Day I wanted something with a dad connection. I remember (hopefully accurately) driving through Lake City on a family road trip that included his oldest sister who was a nurse, after touring the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester.
He pointed out a sign that said, “The birthplace of water skiing.” I recall thinking, “On a river?” This was perhaps before my brothers and I started going to our aunt’s place on the lake every summer after finishing walking the beans (up and down the 1/2 mile rows pulling the cockleburs, hoeing the thistles and other weeds) to learn to water ski.
Pastor David’s reflection for June 14 at United Church of Christ in Lake City was about cleaning and cleanliness — inside and out.
We referred to the big square sink outside the bathroom in the farmhouse as “Dad’s sink.” It had a white enamel washbasin, with black on the edge of the rim. There was sometimes a bar of Lava soap out of its red wrapper, so gritty like sand to roughly twirl around in your hands a time or two to make the softest lather. A roller towel hung by the narrow window with a distinctive friendly squeak when you spun it a few inches to find a fresh spot.
Dad always wore a suit and tie to church, complete with a tie-clip. He’d leave his hat on the coat rack just inside the front door. (The stately black one with a little red feather was worn by his eldest granddaughter for her graduation pictures.)
The baptismal font in front of the church by the organ was given in memory of Dad’s father.
UCC in Lake City is currently letting 45 people into the building at once on Sunday’s to worship: Every other pew, masks until seated, no singing or handshaking. I won’t be going; I wouldn’t want to take someone else’s seat.
Dad was big on both singing and handshaking, but he would’ve understood and cooperated. Perhaps there’d be a real toe-tapper tune — even get his well scrubbed, blue-collar hands, loosely fisted, bouncing up and down just enough to relax and rejoice.