Especially at Christmas, we remember our father:

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Tuesday, December 19, 2000 11:46 AM

I think I have far too much time on my hands lately!! Each day I read my emails from my brothers and sisters (that arrive starting at 5 am) and have been thinking of dad. Don't you think he would be so proud of us!!! I so often wish he were here to see the beautiful children his own have raised. I guess He does know and is able to see us here. Can't you just see him emailing us at that time too? He would be pulling up the St Paul Dispatch online as his paper would be considered late at 5am!!!!! Don't even know why I'm sharing these thoughts with anyone' but I am. No,I haven't lost it; just miss him when I visit with my family at that early hr. When they study gene therapy they should look at us and would discover the early riser gene!!!! Merry Christmas to all of you. Love Ann



Tuesday, December 19, 2000 3:06 PM

Yep I agree whole heartedly (though I must have missed that early riser gene. 6AM is early enough for me)

To add my own thoughts to this lovely note from my Dear Sister:

I remember that the most important thing in Dad's world was Family...That's us Guys (youse guys to those of us who are still gramatically impaired (giggle) ). A year or so before he died I drove down to Farmington with him. We had a talk about family

He told me how important it was to him, that "stuff" (things) didn't matter. The he went into the jewlery store & bought Mom a ring, amythyst I believe. It was for no particular occasion. I asked him why & he answered "Because she's worth it"

Every time I begin to think about one of my brothers or sisters, neices, nephews or inlaws I for some reason remember that ride. It generally keeps me in line. Politics, things, life styles, relative states of sanity, or any of the things that I am tempted to condem any of you for become kind of stupid. I remember that there is a God & it ain't me (thanks for that little gem Steve) and that maybe I am not so smart afterall. Then I usually remember the big one: Dads favorite saying, a kind of cornball bromide from the 60s "Love Grows" Always gets me misty Guess I'm kind of cornball too

Here's hoping that we see you all at Mother's on New Years Day. I propose that the Men do the dishes this year

And I really hope that Susan brings that letter that she got from Aunt Loretta and that she shares it with all of us

Glad Jule!!!!!

Pass the Lefse

John Keep your fingers out of the frosting and don't put beans up your nose

Steve! Straighten out the Twin's Bibs

O No the baby's running into the road

.....what's that dangeling from Thor's butt Dad???

Mom Thor ate Auntie Rachaels Hat!!!!

Anyone remember where Dad burried the Lutefisk???

George sit up straight & quit picking on David

Anybody remember how good it felt when we got cured from the ringworm?

Anne you can't go out tonight until your bean row is weeded I don't care how handsome that Irishman is

Remember how good Great Grandmothers asparagus tasted in the spring

What's this stuff?? Your mom never used anything like this and it never stunk either

"I hate it when they say ...I'm a democrat 'cause all the bosses are republican" (Dad couldn't stand people who couldn't think for themselves).

Free as the wild goose flys Dip Dip and swing dip dip and swing (that song still makes me cry)

Remember when the sweet corn truck dumped???

When we had the great chicken slaughters???

Picking over and washing peas from Charley McCarthy's field on hot summer nights to get them frozen

The kitchen table piled so high with beans so that you could not see the people on the other side

That's Conrad Pooh Bear my short peckered friend

Remember Gooseberry Falls, Baptism River, and points North

Never forget the Wild Geese When they pass in spring and fall Dad rides on their backs to check up on us

Love Grows I remember it all

Merry Christmas




Tuesday, December 19, 2000 7:20 PM

My wife thinks I am an alien or something because I insist on getting up at 5:15 am (even on the weekends).

I have been thinking about Dad too, its been keeping my mind from focusing for the last few weeks. There are a million reasons why this could be

happening, but that's not the important thing. What is important is what he taught me in 12 short years.

Lesson #1 - Don't hit your sister, any other girl for that matter.

Lesson #2 - The Cannon River behind the shop is full of bullheads and carp.

Lesson #3 - The proper method of picking or weeding beans does not allow one to sit on their "dead ass."

Lesson #4 - Whisker rubs are a universal way for fathers to say I love you.

Lesson #5 - (What my daughter reminded me) Falling asleep in your dad's arms is the most beautiful thing ever conceived by God.

Have a great day, I will be thinking of you tomorrow morning over coffee and the paper.




Wednesday, December 20, 2000 6:20 AM

Good Morning to all! It is now 7:00AM Eastern time...i've got Steve off to work, Coley off for her last exam, Trevor has been walked (about 2 miles), and I've had 3 glasses of coke so I think I can response now... What a pleasure to hear from my sisters and brothers ....The Season sure can bring out the best in all of us...Dad sure taught us that family is the most important thing in the world....lets all remember that at this busy time of year....lets respect each others opinions and love each other as we are.... I sure wish I could spend time with each of you during this joyful will be in my thoughts...but i will be in sunny Myrtle Beach,SC... My love to all...Merry Christmas Jean PS Get to work....




Tuesday, December 19, 2000 12:52 PM

Dear Ann,

At 4 a.m. I awoke

loaded the dishwasher,ran it, tidied kitchen

unclogged the crapper

straightened the front porch tidied up the living room

shoveled the sidewalks

went to wal-mart

cuz Christa is 8 today, she wanted to hand out candy canes to her


i too think often of our dear Father

and Grannie Esther of course

because while doing my chores i tip toed and kept from clicking my teeth

Here's to let you know you are not alone in your thoughts it sometimes makes me sad not to have had him around to enjoy my daughters

but some how they talk of him like they do know him and tell me they love him

Thanks for making me cry

I quess I needed to

I love you so much dear sister,




Tuesday, December 19, 2000 7:38 PM

Dear Family,

This is just what I needed. Each note is like a present. I will treasure this exchange. I will burn up the printer at work and save all of this. Some of the things, I had really forgotten about. Thanks to you chronologically challenged elders for reminding me. Some day ask me about the 73 year old security guard at work here. Guess who he reminds me of? He just came in to have a cup of coffee with me,so I have to go listen to stories about Korea and how he worked on Art Franzmiers farm in Rosemount in the 40's. I feel blessed and happy that you are all in my life.

Love Susan



Wednesday, December 20, 2000 6:16 AM

I think the old man would say something like, "have some fun, but get off of you ass and get to work"




Memories of Dad

It was so touching to read the "Dad" postings, I felt in touch with all his
love that day. Later that day I thought about what I might contribute -
Contemplating what I would write about gave me so many happy memories.
With my computer being down I found myself evaluating "Would this make a
good enough memory/story to share," over and over again -- and then I
recognized one of the many faces of writers block that I have faced over
the years -- my own area of personal growth -- perfectionism rearing its
nasty little head again! This story is not perfect, but the memory warms
my heart and I hope it does yours too.

Christmas 1978

A few weeks before Christmas Day, Dad gave me something that he wanted me to set
out for Benjamin. Benjamin was so special to Dad -- I remember the way Dad
would hold Ben on his lap -- so tenderly and genuinely and authentically
present for Ben. Sometimes Dad would lay on the floor with Ben and you
could strongly sense the connection. Ben loved his Grandpa so.

I have the tin in front of me here at the computer -- It is a little wider
than the palm of my hand and about 4 inches high. With a background color
of blue, Santa studies his list of "Extra Good Boys and Girls" in the lid
and Santa in his sleigh ride throught the air all around the perimeter of
the tin itself.

Dad had filled the tin with candies and a blue plastic scissors. He seemed
so pleased with his idea about the tin -- "I thought that every year I
could give you something to put into it." Besides the memory, the treasure
for me is that every year when I take out the Christmas decorations, I hold
the tin in my hands and remember Dad. I then turn it over. Every year it
is the same -- through my tears I see his writing --

Ben Cassady
Christmas 1978

To see his distinctive penmenship puts me right there everytime. I
remember his tenderness, his sense of family, his sense of the divine and
sacred, his love.

I sometimes pine away that my sons, Jacob and Isaac were not privledged to
enjoy his love and then remind myself that they also are blessed with it,
but only in a different way. Dad would have held everyone of his grand and
great grandchildren in the same loving way -- just as he does Mom, and each
of his 12 children each and every day, but especially at Christmas.

Love to each of you.
-- Mary