DON BOVAIRD THE TREE MAN My Father’s Childhood As I began to seek focus for Dad’s book, “Don Bovaird: The Tree Man,” my aunt shared my grandmother’s diary with me so I could learn more about his early life. While the book
Where in the World Wednesday Fairview, PA Rustic Furniture with Don Today I decided to combine a fairly new blog column and Small Business Saturday. Normally, I would write about my international travels but today, I’ll feature my brother, who has been
I had one more year before I finished my third teaching contract in the United Arab Emirates when I felt God directing me home. My parents were getting older and my marriage hadn’t worked out. During the summer holidays, I talked to my dad about buying a house. I’d saved quite a bit of money working overseas and I was so excited to be able to afford my own house at last in the States.
I think that back garden with its weeds symbolized my confusion of life without dad more than anything else I could think of that first year. He wasn’t supposed to die leaving me so many unanswered questions. I was finishing my teaching contract abroad. In just a few months I would be returning home. Then we’d make up for all the years I spent abroad.
But then he died
Don slipped on his faded blue jean jacket but made no effort to button it. Then he fished his cap off the hook and slapped it on his head, adjusting it against the thick shock of white hair underneath. He made his way up from the cellar to the garage where Elmo stood waiting in the back of the truck. With clumsy, arthritic fingers, he pulled the pin and lowered the tailgate so the dog could jump down. Thrusting himself at Don, Elmo, whose body weight exceeded that of his master, got pushed back. Years of hard work had given Don muscles that even old age and a bum knee could not weaken. He cursed his knee—doctors swore the operation would help—but that just made it worse. Now it always ached like the dickens.
I picked up my father’s old work gloves to tend to the firewood. I always use Dad’s old leather gloves, though they now have small holes in two of the fingers. Though my mom misses my father every day, she isn’t sentimental about his things. Earlier this year, she bought a new pair of work gloves. She was ready to toss out Dad’s gloves when I stopped her.
“Hey, I use those for the wood stove!”