Daddy and the Mi$tletoe

While I was out in the cold searching for something green in January,

I spied clumps of mistletoe high up in several trees.


I have always found this hemiparasite fascinating.

The American type is named Phoradendron which means tree thief.

That’s because it steals nutrients and water from its host tree.

It uses these supplies to carry out photosynthesis.

How did the mistletoe get way up there?

A bird ate the berries and pooped the seeds onto a branch.

The name mistletoe means dung on a twig.


Seeing it hanging up there reminded me of one of daddy’s stories.

Daddy was a young entrepreneur. He tried many clever ways to make a buck back then.

He and a buddy found a tree full of balls of mistletoe. They got the idea of selling it.

The two went around town taking orders for bundles of mistletoe to hang in doorways for the Christmas holidays.

An old custom is to kiss under the mistletoe for luck, love, fertility…

So the boys got enough orders to make their effort worthwhile

so they chopped down the old tree, laden with mistletoe.

Gravity played a mean trick on our boys ,the crash down knocked all the berries off.

When the boys delivered their bundles of mistletoe, no one wanted mistletoe with no berries.

No berries, no money.

I feel sorry for poor little daddy and his buddy,

but my real sympathy goes to the poor tree.


P.S. The European form of mistletoe (Viscum album) is used to treat epilepsy and colon cancer. Oh the irony!

Daddy is in rehab getting stronger every day.  Now may be a good time to collect more “Daddy Stories.”

Stay warm folks.


Daddy and the Big Planes

It’s been a big week for my daddy.

You have seen posts of him with his little model planes.

This week he went to see some real World War II planes.

He looked rather tiny rolling around under these giant aircraft.


The Collins Foundation brought their ‘Wings of Freedom Tour ‘ to Statesville’s  Airport.


There was a B-25 Mitchell named the TonDeLayo.



Also a B-17 Flying Fortress, the Nine-O-Nine.



Daddy’s favorite was the B-24J -Liberator called Witchcraft.



We got to see some lucky folks take rides in a P-51 Mustang.


Daddy enjoyed talking with one of the pilots about the different motors used in the P-51.


He also met a Vietnam veteran whose dad, Roy E. Guy,  was shot down in Germany.



Mama was a good sport  during the event, as usual, despite being cold.

My sister was Daddy’s wingman,  rolling him wherever he pointed.

I, of course, was the reporter, photographer and spy.


He claims that last year’s Liberator is his last model plane.

I hope this is not true. My daddy just loves planes. He was like a kid in a toy store.


I must include this cute little dog, who waited patiently while his daddy got up in a plane for a photo.



My Daddy’s Little Airport

I have previously shared photos of my daddy making one of his model planes.

Now, you get to see the results of years of work.

He has a tiny “airport” in his basement.

We have hung up most of his planes.

Mr. Flower and I did a photo shoot using a poster of a cloud as the backdrop.

Sometimes Mr. Flowers fingers appear in the sky. The flash from my camera adds a sunny touch.

We spent hours on a snowy day, positioning and repositioning the poster and the ladders.

It was a big production to get it all right without disturbing a plane.

We had to pen the bunnies up for this. As you can imagine, they were no help during the photo  shoot.

I did stop to take several dozen photos of them, too. I will share only one here.

Maybe two.

My daddy supplied the names of each plane.

The first one shown is one that he painted to be a replica of the plane he and his dad owned in the 1950’s.

Papaw’s Piper Supercub
P5I Mustang
Piper Super Cub
Super Marine Spitfire
TBF Avenger
P51 Mustang Redtails
Submarine Spitfire
Navy Attack Squadron VA-145 (?)
B17 Flying Fortress
F6F Hellcat Grumman
PT 17 Pilot Trainer
P47 Thunderbolt
Messerschmitt BF109
F4U-4 Corsair
P38 Lightning
Mitsubishi Zero
Super Sinbad Sail Plane

He wrote that this plane is his “favorite today.”

It was given to him by David Dunn in 1961.

P51 Mustang
Super Marine Spitfire
Super Sinbad Sail Plane

There are more here and there, but we will stop here.

Unless you’d like to see more bunny photos…


My Daddy’s Planes

My daddy gardens in the spring and summer.

In the winter, he builds planes.

This winter he is making the largest and most complex plane ever.

It is a model of the B-24 Liberator from World War II.

It has hundreds of tiny pieces

that must be precisely cut with an Exacto knife from balsa wood and glued into place.

He says that this is his last one. I hope this is not true.

If my eighty-six-year-old daddy can perform miracles with his crooked hands,

what excuse could I possibly use to not do amazing things myself?

I am his FLOWER.


Daddy in the Sky with Grandkids

I gave my daddy a plane ride for Christmas.  He didn’t get airborne until this Saturday.

He went up in a little plane from a small airport near our home.

It was not a Piper Cub like he and his dad had in the 1950’s.  No matter.

Daddy was the unofficial co-pilot.

My two adult children got to go along.  Lucky ducks!

I felt like I was lifting off with them as I watched them take off.   What a thrill!

I knew my daddy was being transported back to his teenage years.

My daddy and my children were up there in the sky making a memory.

The pilot knew this was no ordinary thrill ride.  This was a trip back in time.



My Daddy’s Garden

All little girls brag about their fathers, but mine really does have the best garden . Everybody says so.

He draws up a new plan every year on graph paper on the same old clipboard. He keeps all the plans in reverse order on it. There’s over 40 years of plans on that thing, with no two alike.

The garden plan clipboard.
The garden plan clipboard.
plans for past gardens
plans for past gardens

He gets the same neighbor to plow the garden plot with his tractor every spring. Daddy picks the date carefully.  He has all his plants ready to be put in as soon as the ground is broken.  He travels to the best sources to get his seedlings and seeds.  He buys extra plants to share with other gardeners.  I have too many of these, he says.  Do you need some?

From the moment those little plants are carefully placed in the ground, they are tended  numerous times each day. The tomatoes are suckered, the beans are tied up, the okra is thinned, the soaker-hose is turned on and off, on and off , like the timed feedings of  infants.

Tomatoes staked and tagged.
Tomatoes staked and tagged.
The best garden ever, again.
The best garden ever, again.
Daddy's amazing hands
Daddy’s amazing hands

People from all around come to help with the garden.  They know there will be baskets of produce delivered to their doors later in the season.  Daddy has to supervise the help.  Things must be done a certain way, you see.

Daddy supervising the help.
Daddy supervising the help.

Mama and daddy even take produce to church and pass it out after the service from their trunk.  Once when they were taking vegetables to their mountain friends, daddy shared some tomatoes with a person in the parking lot. A line formed behind the truck. They thought he was selling those perfect tomatoes. He gave some out to the hungry strangers.

Daddy complained this morning that the squirrels were chewing on the picnic table.  This was the “Lunch Bunch” table,  where all the neighborhood men gathered each Wednesday in July for tomato sandwiches.  Most of these men are in the ground now, but my daddy is still in his garden. That table sits empty , except for the squirrels.  I told him that they were just gnawing on the greasy, salty drippings from all those tomato sandwiches. Who can blame them?

Lunch Bunch Table
Lunch Bunch Table

Not just the squirrels are busy out back.  Mama and daddy buzz around that plot parenting those plants like they are newborn babies.  Those things don’t have any choice but to stand up, grow strong and produce.  With all that love, how can you not?   Right sister?

Sisters, two peas
Sisters, two peas

Follow the Flower!