Friday, May 7, 2010

Pa Burnette...

(another entry from my wife's blog...this one is about my great grandfather, Emma and Macy's great great grandfather)

This year Pa Burnette will turn 95, and lately he hasn't been doing too well. We are coming to the sad realization that there won't be many more Christmas lunches at Pa's house, or pictures of the five generations every year. So my family took some time to go visit with Pa Burnette this week.

Even short visits with Pa are rich with wisdom. Here are few things about Pa you might be interested to know: This year is the first year he has not tended a garden (of over 100 tomato plants, mind you!). And though his name is Elbert, they call him "Tobe". He got the nickname from the family mule years ago. Why? Because he worked as hard as a mule and was just about as stubborn. Pa has been married and widowed twice and loved them both more than life itself. I only met Jenny, his latter wife, who was as much a gem as he. And of all the times I have visited Pa he never fails to mention her name....and how much he misses her. Another interesting thing about Pa...he's never owed a man anything. When visiting with him the other day, he told me that he gave Jenny $500 back in '65 to get a new TV. She came home with an $800 TV and told Pa she hard charged the other $300. He immediately gave her $300 and told her to go pay it off, he never intended to be in debt for anything, especially not a TV! Another fond memory of Pa....his dog, Holly. She's a deaf cocker spaniel who walks with a limp and can't see a thing. And she's fat as mud because Pa feeds her candy.....her favorite...Werther's Originals. And despite her deaf ears, Pa still issues the old commands, "Get up in your chair" (Jenny's chair) and "Shut up!"

Such fond memories, and you know what I love.....No matter when you go see Pa and no matter who is there, it will always be the same memories. Emma will eat all his peppermint candies, she'll feed Holly all of the Werther's, Macy will sit in his lap the whole hour and just pat his belly, we'll talk about gardens and good old fashioned hard work, he'll share fond stories of Jenny, and before we leave he will give us bean seed and rhubarb.

Maybe it sounds boring to most, but to me its precious. Oh the blessing of gleaning wisdom from older generations! And what a testimony a 95 year old man has when he can say he has seen the work of God throughout five generations!

Joel 1:3-4
"Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation."

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