The man in this photo has never had a manicure, so his hands tell many stories. The wrinkles, the scars, the dirt under his nails. Each of these a contributor to one man’s life story. This man, my father-in-law.
As a child he lived in a house along with five other children on the farmstead that was surrounded by a beautiful archway of trees. That house he was born in, he still closes his eyes each night to rest for the next day of work in. This house is where he and his wife raised four sons, hosted large family holiday gatherings, listened to the whining of calves delivered in the night and the squeals of pigs in their pens. Memories were made and if only we could play them back for all the world to see.
They cared for not only their four sons but the land surrounding it, some for 50 plus years. A large garden to the east supplied their family with fresh goodness those boys still prefer to this day. Teaching the boys good work ethic and to worship the Lord. This farmstead includes a house, trees, buildings, and memories for this man.
Although the day may begin with more aches than they once did for him, in his 87th year, he still continues to put one dirty boot in front of the other. That says something for his character I think.
I watched him this week as he assisted his son with grinding corn. His desire to still get his hands filthy and work the ground lies within his heart. I know this even though the words are never spoken. Farming isn’t something that is easily let go of, if it ever is. I know he loves to farm.
Just as the large oak tree that sits in his yard now has grown to be a beautiful sight, so has this man. His frame may be thinner, hearing a little less, and his walk a slower pace, he is still a man that reflects something beautiful. The reflection that only years of sun-kissed skin, a graceful heart, and dirt under one’s nails can give.
I’m honored to call this man my father-in-law.
Grace is a gift,
2 thoughts on “Dirt Under His Nails”
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Thank you so very much.