Monday, October 28, 2013

Look Whoooo's Having a Little Pumpkin.....

Baby Ian's shower was a success! the cake toppled but was delicious, and had plenty of guests.....Great Great Aunt Mary, Great Grandma Janet, Great Aunt Brenda, honorary Aunt Vivian, Aunt Katie, Aunt Jessica and Cousin Anniston, Grandma Deb, Grandpa Kevin, Grandma Norma, Great Aunt Lisa, Aunt Katie's significant other Chase, Great Grandpa Lije, Great Great Grandma Marie, Great Uncle John.
there were homemade blankets, a homemade afghan, and the most adorable crocheted giraffe and giraffe hat!

Lisa's memories for Dad's Celebration of Life....

It would be very difficult to describe my father with just one word. But if I had to I would chose "character".
Dad definitely had character. Many people have commented since his passing that they thought a lot of Dad. He was kind and just a good all around person. He would give the shirt off his back to help someone else and was a friendly guy. I have many fond memories of visiting with neighbors growing up, eating dinner together, having watermelon seed spitting contests, etc. And for years he was a member of a neighborhood CB club. The guys would sit for hours in the evenings chatting away and cracking each other up on their CB radios.
Dad had an incredible work ethic, continuing to work up until nine days before he lost his battle with cancer. Even with his bad back and other aches and pains, often self-inflicted such as cut or bruised fingeres, he spent most of his life working two full-time jobs-running his farm and working off the farm. His past jobs included being part owner of a filling station, working at Muff's Bakery, Trenton Foods, Mid-American Dairymen, and the past twenty-some years Coon Manufacturing. Dad taught all us kids that any job worth doing was worth doing right...and that you needed a darn good excuse to get out of work.
Of course, working with Dad wasn't always fun. When things didn't go just exactly right the first time things tended to fly. Both tools and curse words. And he didn't always do everything the way it should be done, but he would rig something that worked no matter how long it took. For example, filling the back of the truck full of wood didn't mean you were "done." Dad would just shove limbs upright in the sides of the truck bed and tell you to keep filling it. He could happily cut wood all day, for hours after us girls were ready to call it a day. And then we would all head to the milk barn after unloading the wood. But Dad and Donnie Burkeybile, his wood cutting buddy, provided free entertainment to break up the monotony with their wood splitting "kemosabe" contest. John, who was born when us girls were all teenagers, was a little luckier. By that time Donnie and Dad had formed the "Junior Woodchuck Society", which would use the proceeds from selling wood to go out to the steakhouse for dinner.
Dad didn't just have character he WAS a character. Just about anyone who knew Dad has some funny story to tell about him. A few of them have become family classics.
Dad loved to joke around. Most of us have seen him with his cap on sideways and a goofy look on his face, whether he's just joking around or riding a horse around the shop at work. He was a cut-up and loved to laugh and to make other people laugh. And he had no problem laughing at himself.
All three of us girls would cringe when we started dating a new guy. The young gentleman would have to meet Dad before we could take off on our first date. And you never knew what Dad would do or say to try to embarrass you. More than once he was known to push his upper false teeth out with his tongue, until they were hanging an inch or more from his mouth, and say, "So, you want to date my daughter?"
A neighbor relayed a story last week that cracked her and her husband up. Dad had found a calf that was in a deep ditch. He slid down into the ditch and rescued the calf. He told the neighbor that as he threw the calf up on his shoulders and started to climb up out of the ditch with it that he felt like "a real cowboy." And then he felt...Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle!
Dad didn't like it quite as much, however, when the joke was on him. So anytime we could "get his goat", us kids would!
One year our cows had been especially bad at getting out and wandering into the alfalfa. It seemed like we were constantly running the cows back in and doing one of us kids least favorite things to do, fixing fence. So, that year, us girls got up before Dad and ran into the bedroom, yelling at him that the cows were out. He jumped out of bed, threw his boots on, and went running out of the house, yelling at us girls to "come on". I can't remember how far he ran before he noticed that there were no cows out. I do remember the dirty looks we got anytime we would say "the cows are out" and smirk at him after that!
Another time my younger sister decided that it was fun to ride on calves. The calves would congregate by the grain bin, where we dropped grain while feeding. She would climb up on the auger and jump on the back of a yearling and take a ride. Mom and Dad told her many times not to do that but, like all of us, she had quite a stubborn streak from Dad and refused to listen. Well, one day she hopped on a two year old. It was bigger than her normal rides and not all used to having someone on its back. So it dumped her off. She got up and ran into the milk barn, crying her eyes out. Mom took one look at her and burst out laughing. Dad was mortified and gtave mom a horrible look, asking her why she was laughing when Brenda was bleeding to death. Mom, through her laughter, reminded dad that he was color blind. Specifically red-green color blind. What he thought was blood was actually mud and some nasty green stuff you find on farms when the cows start eating fresh grass after a long winter. Brenda wasn't hurt-she was just made that she was covered in nasty, stinky stuff!
Another memory of Dad is him challenging us girls to run races in the yard, the driveway, the barn lot-practically anywhere-when we were young. And no matter how bad his back hurt or how stiff and sore he might be, he would win. He sure could run like the wind. Of course, us girls would get double punishment. First we would lose to "the old man" and then we eould have to sit for what seemed like hours giving him back rubs and neck massages so he could recover and challenge us yet again.
One time one of us girls mouthed off to dad in the barn lot. Dad immediately said "I'm going whip your bottom", to which the daughter in question responded "You can't catch me." Big mistake-you NEVER challenged Dad like that. Mom says she still remembers him running after his mouthy daughter, hurdling the gate, and then giving her quite a spanking. Then he could hardly walk for a week.
Dad loved to sing, although there were only a handful of songs in his repertoire. Us girls grew up hearing "When I was a little bitty baby, my mama used to rock me, in them old cotton fields back home." And he sang it with quite a twang! Another favorite was "The Tennessee Stud." Us girls were convinced it was some silly song he had made up until we heard it on the radio! And when "It's Hard to Be Humble" was popular, he would go around singing it all the time. One favorite that seemed ironic was "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." Dad couldn't stand Willie Nelson, calling him a hippy. He would always say that if Willie Nelson was playing a concert in the front yard he wouldn't even bother to open the drapes. Yet he loved that song.
Lastly, I'll never forget all of dad's silly sayings. If you gave him an unsolicited opinion or contradicted him he would often respond with "if I want any (bleep) out of you I will scrape it off your teeth" or "I'll unscrew your head and dip it out." Other times it would be a short and simple "Bite my bony (bleep)." And in my younger years, before dad got him much longed for son and lived with four women who would drive him nuts, he would also often use a "pet name" for mom when he got frustrated with all of us. I won't repeat it now, but let's just say us girls though Janet was mom's middle name and a rhyming expletive was her first name for many years. To counteract that "pet name", he had another "pte name"-Lovey. But he would generally say it with a silly look on his face, saying" come here, Lovey!" in a comical voice with his arms spread out like he was ready to either tackle her or tickle her.
Whenever you hadn't been around for a while and asked Dad, "Did you miss me?" he always responded with a sarcastic, "Were you gone?" Well, Dad, we're sorry you are gone and we will definitely miss you. But one thing is for sure-we will never forget you!
she attached lyrics to his favorite songs.. .
When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In those old cotton fields back home
When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In those old cotton fields back home.
Oh, when those cotton ball get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home
It was back in Louisiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home.
When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In those old cotton fields back home
When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In those old cotton fields back home.
Oh, when those cotton ball get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home
It was back in Louisiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home.
In those old cotton fields back home...
Along about eighteen twenty-five, I left Tennessee very much alive.
I never would have got through the Arkansas mud if I hadn't bee a-ridin' on the Tennessee Stud.
I had somem trouble with my sweetheart's pa, and one of her brothers was a bad outlaw.
I sent her a letter by my Uncle Bud, and I rode away on the Tennessee Stud.
The Tennessee Stud was long and lean,
The color of the sun, and his eyes were green.
He had the nerve and he had the blood,
And there never was a horse like the Tennessee Stud.
One day I was riding in a beautiful land-I ran smack into an Indian band
They jumped their nags with a whoop and a yell and away we rode like a bat out of hell.
I circled their camp for a time or two, just to show what a Tennessee horse can do.
The redskin boys couldn't get my blood, 'cause I was a ridin' on the Tennessee Stud.
We drifted on down into no man's land, we crossed that river called the Rio Grande.
I raced my horse with the Spaniard's foal 'til I got me a skin full of silver and gold.
I got just as lonesome as a man can be, dreamin' of my girl in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Stud's green eyes turned blue 'cause he was a-dreamin' of a sweetheart, too.
We loped right back across Arkansas; I whupped her brother and I whupped her pa.
I found that girl with the golden hair, and she was a-ridin' on the Tennessee Mare.
Stirrup to stirrup and side by side, we crossed the mountains and the valleys wide.
We came to Big Muddy, then we forded the flood on the Tennessee Mare and the Tennessee Stud.
A pretty little baby on the cabin floor, a little horse colt playing 'round the door,
I love that girl with the golden hair, and the Tennessee Stud loves the Tennessee Mare.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way.
I can't wait to look in the mirror
Cause I get better looking each day.
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
But I'm doing the best that I can.
I used to have a girlfriend
But she just couldn't compete
With all these love starved women
Who keep clamoring at my feet.
Well I pob'ly could find me another
But I guess they're all in awe of me.
Who cares, I never get lonesome.
Cause I treasure my own company.
I guess you could say I'm a loner.
A cowboy outlaw tough and proud.
I could have lots of friends if I want to
But then I wouldn't stand out from the crowd.
Some folks say I'm egotistical.
Hell, I don't even know what that means.
I guess it has something to do with the way
That I fill out my skin tight bluejeans.
Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold.
They'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold.
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded levis,
And each night begins a new day.
If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young,
He'll prob'ly just ride away.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone
Even with someone they love.
Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.
Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do
Sometimes won't know how to take him
He ain't wrong, he's just different but his pride won't let him
Do things to make you think he's right.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone
Even with someone they love.

a poem I wrote about my dad in high school....

(the gist of it, anyway....)
A man is a man within himself
A man is not made from a mold
A man is an individual, unique to others around him.
A man may not be handsome, but what is inside counts far more.
A man can help a neighbor, in the field, through a tragedy
It really doesn't matter, as long as he is willing and able to contribute to mankind.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Celebration of the Life of Bernard Axsom

June 17 1944-October 18 2013
Services 2:00 p.m. Sunday October 27 2013 Resthaven Mortuary
Officiating Kenny Crawford
Special Music Sweet Adelines Grand River Harmony Chorus "Great Getting, Up Morning"
Special Recorded Music "Go Rest High On That Mountain", "I'll Fly Away", "I Can Only Imagine", "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."
Mom was very stoic during her reading. Brenda & Lisa both read their memories. John & I let Kenny read ours. I was touched by Donnie's. We laughed, we cried, we hugged. so good to see old friends and neighbors and relatives. They gave Mom the ashes today. That seems a bit strange, a whole lifetime summed up in a little white cardboard box with a name label on it...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lisa Facebook post

One of my favorite pictures of dad. This was his 65th birthday, four years ago. He hopped on one of his Amish co-worker's horses and rode it around one of the barns at Coons Manufacturing. Being dad he had to make a funny face. And being equally silly, his co-workers took a picture and framed it with "happy birthday, stupid" as a caption and gave it to him. It's nice to know he had a job where he could cut up and have fun!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013