My father-in-law had this painting attached to the front of the basket on his walker when we went to pick him up from the nursing home where he is a resident. “Dad who painted this picture?” I asked. “I did,” he told me. “It’s our tobacco barn on Pelee Island.”
I hadn’t realized Dad was artistic but I guess you learn new things about people even when they are 92. Dad must have painted the picture in one of the activity times organized for the seniors at the home. From 1930-1938 Dad’s family lived and worked as sharecroppers on Pelee Island along with about 40 other Mennonite families. It was a memory from that time he chose to paint.
My husband Dave and I are in Leamington, Ontario visiting Dave’s family. Yesterday we took Dad to Tim Hortons for coffee and a bagel. We met a couple of people who knew him and he couldn’t always remember their full names but he always knew something about them. Dad was a vegetable farmer and the pastor of a large local church for many years. He also worked as a chaplain in the Leamington Mennonite Home where he is now a resident. So he knows lots of people in the community and they know him. After coffee we took Dad for a long drive. We went past his two younger brothers’ farms and the farms where his two sisters and their families used to live.
We drove by Dad’s old church and the private Mennonite school where all of his sons were students. Later when I was helping Dad take off his jacket in his room he said, “We went on quite a journey.”
Thursday night my sister-in-law Shirley had arranged for us to be part of the weekly worship service at the nursing home. Dave and I, Shirley, and Dave’s brother Paul together with our Aunt Aggie and Uncle Abe formed a choir and sang three hymns for the residents. Dad seemed pleased his family was helping lead worship and I noticed he was singing along when we did Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.
Dad has a very nice voice and sang in a community men’s choir for many years. Just another one of his artistic talents.
Other posts about Dad