Friday, April 17, 2009

The Priceless Coin....

I have a coin. It is priceless to me! It was from a special man in my life. It is a dollar coin. Your wondering, what's so special about a dollar coin? This amazing man carried around this coin everywhere, every day. It was a part of his daily life. His big hands touched it many times...his hands touched me. My life.

Today I am taking another walk down memory lane. Have you ever had someone in your life that was your hero? Have you ever had someone who knew would protect and love you? Someone you respected and looked up to? Let me introduce you:

Ronnie Edward Lane

He walks into a room and everyone notices. He is tall...6'4", handsome, and strong. With wavy, sandy-blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes, shirt always tucked in, and a smile that shined like a star.
He was a hard worker, and he had several jobs that he enjoyed. He wanted to be a great provider for his family. He was a rock mason, hauled hay with Clarence in the summer, and then he planted pine trees for about three to four months out of a year. He also had a farm. He loved his family, and he loved his kids.

Laying his beautiful rock work.

Planting pine trees.

Even though he was a hard worker, he also enjoyed life. He loved to fish, camp, and be outdoors. He also loved baseball. I'll never forget the time he took me to War Eagle Mill to catch some some night crawlers. We had our lanterns and was walking along the creek bank late at night. Then I saw it...a night crawler coming out of the earth! It was so cool and so fun to catch them. They are so long! For years I could not be around Parmesan cheese. It reminded me of the smell of the night crawlers. Soon we took the bucket full of worms and went fishing, cat fishing. We sat on a big rock and fished the day away. I don't remember if we caught anything that day. I just remember I loved fishing with him, and spending time with him.

You know he was proud of this fish. What a catch!

Another time he was my rescue hero. I was playing in my sandbox, and before I realize it a rooster is after me. I try to climb up the porch, but I was flogged. To this day roosters make me a little skittish, but he came to the rescue. He took care of the rooster. Nobody was going to get hurt by a rooster, especially me.

I also loved spending time with this man. He was a family man. We would get our buckets and hike up to the upper field and spend the morning picking blackberries. We had HUGE blackberry bushes with a tunnel. We could go in the tunnel and pick even more. Then we would bring them back and soon enjoy a delicious homemade blackberry cobbler...yummmy! We also use to go pick blueberries at a nearby blueberry farm. To this day I love berries!

Who is this great man?

He is my Daddy!

I loved sitting on my daddy's lap.
He was a wonderful man! Today, it will be twenty-three years since I have seen him. Twenty-three years since I got to tell him how much I admire him, love him, and miss him. Twenty-three years of not having him in my life...but in my heart. My dad passed away in a tragic auto accident on his way home from his 3 month of planting trees. The first person on the scene of the accident found $100.00 bills all over the road, but NO pulse. He was bringing home his hard earned money to his family whom he loved. What harsh reality for a 14 year old girl. I'm sad I don't have many pictures of my dad. There are so few. The house in the picture above is the house I grew up in. My dad built that house! Notice the beautiful rock work! Yes...he did that too! I love seeing homes that were touched by his hands.

I remember my mom playing a song on the piano after he was gone. It was also played at his funeral. I remember singing this song with my mom: "A little girl was waiting for her daddy one day. When she heard her momma say, come to mama darling, please do not cry. Daddy's up in heaven, way up in the sky. How far is heaven? When can I go? To see my daddy. I love him so. How far is heaven? Let's go tonight. To see my daddy and hold him tight."

Remember the priceless coin? It was my Dad's. His hands touched this coin many times. It reminds me of his hard work. I reminds me that he always paid with cash. It reminds me how determined he was. It was my Dad's.

Notice just the silhouette of the President remains.

You can barley see the outline of part of the eagle.

As the impression on the coin has faded...the memory and love for my Dad will live on forever! I can't wait to see you again in heaven someday!

I love you Dad!


Anonymous said...

I have a faint memory of your dad from when your mom ran the daycare. My brother couldn't say his "tr" sounds, they came out as "fr" and he said fire truck and your dad looked at me and went "What'd he say?" It's funny how that has stuck with me...I remember him being very nice and very tall. I just lost my dad the 5th of the month and it was good to see your happy memories, they help me bring mine to the front and push back some of the grief. Thank you for sharing.

Lela said...

Oh Rhonda, what a beautiful entry. Thanks for sharing.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Rhonda, thank you for sharing, such a beautiful story. Your Dad sounded like a great man, to me a great man doesn't have to drive a big fancy car or live in a mansion or have a big title, he simply has to provide his family a home full of love and memories. And one day you will be with him again.

Becca @ The Texas Darlings said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father. How neat that you have a coin passed down to you- one that was around for many decades.

Thanks for sharing!


Miller Racing Family said...

That is such a wonderful tribute to your dad. So well written that I feel like I have known him for years. He sounds like a wonderful man that I would say it is an honor to call your dad. The coin is such a great item to have and something great that you will be able to give to your kids someday. Thanks again for sharing!

Carrie said...

What a beautiful post my daddy is my hero also, there is nothing like a good man!

Have a blessed weekend!


Marci @ All Things Wonderful said...

What a lovely post and a wonderful way to honor your Dad. I am so glad that you stopped by my blog. That is funny-we use the same dentist. Can't wait to read more of your blog. Have a good week-end. --Marci

Pam said...

That was a beautiful post! That is great that you have the coin that reminds you so much of him. He does sound like a Hero.
Thanks for sharing with us.

Jen said...

Beautiful. Thank you!

Shawn said...


I just put on my make up and now I have to go reapply.

Rhonda, that was absolutely beautiful. I will hug my Daddy extra tight the next time I see him that's for sure!

Have a great weekend

Ms Alma said...

Your dad was my childhood seetheart, my soulmate, my hero, my rock, my protector, my provider, the father of my children, my loving wonderful husband. He carried himself tall and proud with wonderful eyes the bluest I have ever seen, THEN HE WAS GONE. I will miss him forever and I appreciate your tribute to him. It was brilliant and your eyes are blue almost like his. He would be so very proud of you and your boys. I am too. Your Mom

heidi said...

*sniff sniff* That was awesome.

Ms. Ann said...

What wonderful memeries you have of your dad. Thank you for sharing. I remember him laying bricks with your uncle Clarence, and he worked so hard at it. Your Aunt Ann

Karen said...

That was a very special tribute for your dad. That is very special you have his coin. Uncle Ronnie was always one of my favorites. Your dad always made us laugh. He was fun to be around growing up. I remember him showing us his false teeth. Every child loved that one. I can't believe he's been gone that been years. What a great tribute for a great man!
Karen Scott

Joanna said...

I didn't know your dad very well but I do remember clearly what he looked like. He was very tall and always seemed quiet. And I remember how excited you and Tara were when he was home from tree planting. It is hard to believe it has been so long.
Thanks for sharing.

Malinda said...

Rhonda, Cindy doesn’t have access to Facebook or this blog, so I’m posting the following story for her:

C.G. Mason told us this story. I loved it!

The first time C.G. hired Dad (Clarence Miller) and Uncle Ronnie to haul hay, he was baling in the same field where they were hauling. (That happens to be the field were we recently built our house.) C.G. noticed that they loaded their truck very quickly, went to the barn to unload and were back in the field super fast. He wasn’t sure that he was going to be able to keep up with them, and he was a little worried about their stacking job. As a result, the next time Dad and Uncle Ronnie went to the barn, C.G. pulled the tractor up to the front corner of the field and timed them. They headed to the barn, and in six minutes flat they were headed back to the field with an empty truck. C.G. said he had thoughts like ‘Oh man, my barn is going to be a mess’; there is no way those guys are stacking that hay very tight’; ‘guess I won’t hire them again’; and so on. Finally, he couldn’t take it any more and went to the barn to check out their stacking abilities. He said it was so tight he couldn’t pull a bale out. He was impressed, and from then on, Dad and Uncle Ronnie were his hay haulers!

Pam said...

I remember your Dad mostly from him working with my Dad. During the summer they hauled a lot of hay together. Usually one of us kids got to go with them. Seeing them work and hearing the stories and compliments through the years gave me an unshakable belief that they were the best at what they did. One thing I remember is Dad talking about how Ronnie always bumped his head in the barns. Dad thought it wasn't his height so much as not keeping track of where his head was. I guess they did some masonry work together too but Dad always said that Ronnie was the rock man. He liked to piece all the odd shapes together to make something beautiful. His death was a shock to us all. I still can't go to St. Paul without thinking about his wreck. It's one of those things I'll never understand so I'll just save the questions for God. Your Mom planted in our backyard some of the pine trees your Dad brought back. They didn't all make it but the ones that did are big now. Your Mom also gave us money to move and attach Grandma's house to ours. I guess it was something your Dad wanted to help with. Your Dad was a great man. I am glad you are remembering him in this special way.

Malinda said...

• I remember Uncle Ronnie coming to our house in the summer time to go haul hay with Dad. He always parked his truck under the mimosa tree and patiently waited for Dad to finish up his chores. My siblings and I always went out to his truck to talk to him. He was always smiling and joking.

• Uncle Ronnie and Dad did quite a few brick, block and rock jobs together. One time, Randall and I got to tag along when they built Benjamin Todd a rock fireplace. We rode our orange pedal tractor around the jobsite all day. We may have had a tricycle there, too.

• I remember going to your house when I was a little girl for a hog roast. I think your Dad raised the hog and as a child I thought the hog was at least 10 feet long! It was the most gigantic pig I had ever seen. (I just verified this story with my Mom and Dad and found that it was not a hog roast, but a hog butchering. The hog was about 300 pounds. I’m not sure how long the hog really was.)

Malinda said...

Comments from your Aunt Wanda:

• Our attic was unfinished and we needed more space. I decided to put up walls using cardboard and then I planned to cover the cardboard with wall paper. Ronnie found out about it and talked Clarence into putting up sheetrock and he helped do the work.

• When they were small, the four oldest girls all shared the same bedroom and we had very little storage space. Ronnie helped add shelves, different levels of racks and a built-in dresser in the closet. The built-in dresser had four drawers, one for each girl.

Malinda said...

Comments from your Uncle Clarence:

• Shortly after Ronnie died, Alma came and planted four pines trees that were in Ronnie’s truck during the accident. She planted them in our back yard. Two of the trees are still living.

• Ronnie was one of the best hay haulers I ever worked with. That’s not flattery. It is the truth.

• Ronnie liked to talk about the dog he had when he was still at home. Her name may have been Trixie. The dog would go out, catch squirrels and bring them home.

• Ronnie had a ’49 Ford that he rolled during a wreck. He cut the top off of it and drove it like that.

• Ronnie was really good at throwing rocks. He threw rocks left-handed and he was so good he could knock squirrels out of trees with them.

• Ronnie, Wanda and I pulled into Paul Smith’s 90 acre hay field. When we got there, Lendall Fort and his kids were there in the hay field. They had loaded their truck and were tying down the load. Wanda was driving that day and Ronnie and I were hauling. I told Wanda I’d buy her a milkshake if we got out of the field before the other truck did. Wanda drove fast. We almost wished we hadn’t told her that. We got the truck loaded in 7 minutes. I tied one side of the load while Ronnie tied the other side. We drove fast and beat the other truck out of the field. Wanda got her milkshake.

• Ronnie and I went to Nolan Parker’s hay field where he had 2,700 bales on the ground. Gene Shipley had bailed the hay. We hauled hay for Gene for many years. Nolan Parker felt sorry for us so he got some help (Lott Vaughn) and they started helping haul hay. They hauled 300 bales while Ronnie and I hauled 1,000 bales. They gave up and quit and never helped us again.

• Ronnie and I were supposed to haul hay for Lee Stansell one time. My belly hurt so badly I couldn’t stand it, so I got someone to help Ronnie. (It was the spring before I had appendicitis in the fall.) Ronnie said if he had to work with that guy again, he just going to quit hauling hay.

• Once we hauled hay for Horace Holland who had a really good back-in barn. We got three loads into the barn within an hour. That was about 20 minutes each. The last load wasn’t unloaded yet, but it was in the barn so we were able to get 300 bales in the barn before the hour was up. (Note: Each load was 100 bales and this was incredibly fast. Ronnie and Dad took great pride in not only doing superb work, but also doing it at lightning speeds. They had quite a reputation. I haven’t heard of anyone who has ever surpassed their abilities in the hay hauling business. – Malinda)

Anonymous said...

I know your Father would be very honored by your tribute. You can tell you miss him greatly and I know your Mom and siblings do too. I'm thankful you have wonderful memories of your Dad. I remember he was so very proud of his children and sometimes I thought he bragged too much until I looked at myself and found that I was just as guilty about my continuous praises of Micaeia. I also remember he had an announcement to give your mom when he returned from his job the night of the accident, I have no doubt that he wanted to share a new born faith with her first. There is no doubt we would still be hearing how proud he is of the Godly woman, wife, mother, sister and friend you have grown up to be. You are loved and prayed for, Aunt Dee

Anonymous said...

Your Dad was that special Uncle that you just could say nothing and you knew what he was thinking and the answer to the question.
Uncle Ronnie use to come outside and be with us (nieces & nephews) and was one of us. He would laugh, crack walnuts and he truly enjoyed children.
Your Aunt Betty was the closest sibling to him and they did all kinds of things together growing up.
It is hard to believe it has be 23 years since Grandpa & Uncle Ronnie have been in Heaven--I know they are smile on the Lane family and are proud of each of us.
I still remember the night Uncle Ronnie was in that auto accident as if it were yesterday. I was asleep when the phone rang (it was Uncle Anthony) and before he said a word--Mom was wide awake and scream oh no it is Ronnie. My Dad told us the sad news.
Yes, Cousin Rhonda your Dad was special and did have the bluest eye I have ever seen.

April 19, 2009 7:30 AM

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, your tribute was very moving.

My enduring memories of your dad have always been the fun-loving twinkle in his eye and how hard he always worked.


Leah said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I'm sure he is so proud of you! :)