One Thousand Words

Recently my mother moved to an assisted living place and had to downsize. My siblings and I sorted out her things and among those was a variety of pictures.

My brother has been great about making sure we all have copies of my parents’ wedding pictures, high school pictures, and a variety of other rare family pictures.

One of the pictures I got from the sorting is of my dad. He passed away in 2000 at 81 years old. Our neighbor took this picture and my mom kept it on the dining room table until she moved from the farm where they lived.


In the picture, my dad is sitting on a Massey-Ferguson tractor in bib top overalls carrying a bouquet of gladiolas.

My dad lived on a farm his entire life except for his years in the army during WWII. Every day that he was doing farm work, either working fields or milking cows, he work bib top overalls. He called them his barn yard tuxedo. My mom saved EVERYTHING and I found several pair of worn out overalls in her sewing things as well as zippers she rescued from just about every single pair he owned. I have those too. It’s hard to imagine my dad wearing anything besides those overalls. In his pocket, he always had a wrench and a pocket knife.

My dad probably drove that Massey Ferguson tractor for thousands of hours tilling and harvesting fields. It pulled mowers, planters, and spayers. He drove the tractor while baling hay and my brothers stacked the bales on the wagon. It was one of several Massey Ferguson tractors that we had.

The last detail of the picture is the flowers. I’m sure it took some convincing from my mom to plant them in the vegetable garden. They spread from one row to many and popped up among vegetables from bulbs that were missed. Each year they dug them out and stored the bulbs in the root cellar. In the spring the bulbs went out to the garden to await their glory in late July. When those flowers were blooming, I don’t think anyone left our house without a bouquet. Reds, yellows, pinks, and purples graced our table well into September. The flowers had to be shared and my dad made sure they brightened the lives of many people. It shows that while he understood the need for food and providing for his family, he also saw the joy in romance.

In the background, you can see our house and driveway. The farm that my family worked for many years through thick and thin. And is no longer there.

In this particular picture, he’s bringing one of those bouquets to our neighbor in the middle of the workday when the easiest means of transportation was the tractor, probably as he was on his way out to the field.

I don’t think this is quite a thousand words, but one picture can hold so many memories.


About Joselyn

SAHM writing romance with at a case of the giggles. Former librarian. Avid reader. Runner.
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13 Responses to One Thousand Words

  1. kathleenbee says:

    What lovely memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. J.Q. Rose says:

    What a tribute to your dad. Love this picture of the hard working farmer carrying those beautiful glads to a friend. I’m glad you have the photos and wonderful memories attached to them to pass along to your children.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    What a delightful photo. I love the fact that he’s holding the gladiolas like a precious bundle. While it can’t make up for losing your dad, it’s wonderful that you have his pictures, as well as parts of his overalls! Have you used some of the pieces in your fidget quilts? I have my dad’s matchbook collection. He collected them from all over the world. Someday I’m going to arrange them in a shadow box.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lucy Kubash says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words and this one certainly is.


  5. jeff7salter says:

    beautiful memory.
    He sounds like quite a man — truly one of the “greatest generation” which helped save western civilization from dark-purposed empires.
    I love the juxtaposition of hardworking overalls and beautiful flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fascinating story and a great picture! So many times we remember things but have no record of them. This is great.
    Your mother is a woman after my own heart! I have buckles,buttons, etc, that I have rescued from now useless items and clothing.Heaven knows if I will ever use them for anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. trishafaye says:

    I loved seeing this picture and reading the memories you shared with us. One of my favorite quotes is by Carl LaChapelle, in Finding your Voice, Telling your Stories.
    “…people die twice: when they physically die, and when we stop telling stories about them.”
    I love this tribute to your father as you keep him alive with your stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: One Thousand Words | Joselyn Vaughn

  9. Tess Grant says:

    I love this picture and I love the image you’ve painted of your father and your life on the farm!!

    Liked by 1 person

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