In honor of Father’s Day, I list ten things about my father, Donald John Lafferty.  First a short biography: he was born on October 7, 1922 in New Hudson Township, New York. He grew up on a maple and dairy farm as the oldest of three children. He married Eloise Briggs in 1946 and had five children. (I was the fourth child, the only girl.) He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp for three years during World War II, stationed in Germany and England. He died on June 10, 2004.

  1. He built a four bedroom house, in Cuba, NY, which our family lived in for several years before moving to Arizona. I have very limited memories of the house because I was so young when we lived there, but I know my bedroom was adjacent to the kitchen dining area and we had a wooded area behind our back yard.
  2. He was a great mechanic, keeping all of our household appliances and vehicles in excellent working condition. It was a momentous day whenever we bought a new appliance, because it was certain the previous one had lasted far beyond the typical warranty period due to Dad’s ability to keep it in running condition.
  3. He built the “world’s first motor home” when he converted a small school bus into a traveling camp vehicle for our family to live in while moving across the country from New York state to Arizona. We stopped at many sights along the way, picnicking, exploring, relaxing and learning firsthand about the country beyond snowy upstate New York.
  4. He was a great proponent of seat belts, installing them in our vehicles long before most people even knew about them. I remember we had one long seat belt for the entire bench seat in the back, but that was at least more effective than no seat belt at all.
  5. He smoked cigarettes for several years, but quit shortly after evidence was publicized that it caused cancer.
  6. He loved camping and took our family on a camp trip nearly every summer. We visited dozens of state and national parks and monuments, learning the history and geography of our country on an economical budget.
  7. He loved country music (we called it hillbilly back then), and would occasionally play the radio in the car while he was driving. Mom hated it and it was a frequent source of arguments between them. He played the guitar and would sing for hours (especially in his later years after he retired) the songs made popular by such country stars as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Glen Campbell.
  8. He developed dementia in the final years of his life and lost much of his judgment capabilities, but he never forgot who each and every member of his family were. Every time I visited him in the nursing home, I took him an ice cream sundae. He loved it and looked forward to it and would ask me for specific flavors (usually butterscotch or hot fudge).
  9. I have no doubt that he would have been a great technology wizard if he had been born 50 years later. He was that progressive and loved new inventions, as well as learning and studying new things. He would have been thrilled at the power of the internet to instantly communicate and access information on any subject in the world.
  10. He loved his family and we loved him. I frequently think of him, sometimes when a memory hits, but oftentimes when something new comes along that I think how much he would have enjoyed experiencing it. He left a legacy of family values that is passing from one generation to the next through the Lafferty clan.

I made another trip to Boise in May. I happened to time it perfectly for seeing Megan perform in their church spring children’s musical program. Capital Christian Center is blessed to have Frank Hernandez as their children’s musical director. Frank and his wife, Betsy, are professional songwriters and have produced and published several children’s musical programs, including “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” and the well known “Music Machine“, which my kids performed at Northside Christian Church when they were little.  Frank and Betsy wrote the musical “The Amazing Book” a few years ago, and that’s what CCC’s kids performed the weekend I was there.

Megan auditioned for and won the part of  Dot, one of two nerdy experts who helped explain what the bible is all about to an energetic and inquisitive boy in the library.

Megan had a two line solo in one of the songs, but it was her acting and dancing that really stood out. Here are a couple of video clips from the show that I took with my iPhone.  The quality is not very good, but Megan is the one on the “right”. You can see them better on the screen above the choir.

In this clip, Megan’s two solo lines start at “First and Second Peter”. Listen quick!

Megan has started on pointe in her ballet classes this year. I will miss her spring recital this year, but I did ask her to put on her shoes and give me a demo of some of her dance positions. I think she has the beauty and grace of a beautiful dancer.

Steven is just finishing kindergarten, and he is going to a private school. He was all dressed in his school uniform the morning before I left, so I snapped a picture of this little handsome.

Robin and Ken are getting a makeover on their house, painting walls and cabinets, staining the wood floors, and building an outdoor barbecue kitchen. The workers started on the paint prep the morning before I left. I snapped a quick picture of the kitchen so we could all say good bye to the old and anticipate the new.

Robin texted me this picture of the progress part way. The workers still have things torn up and the floors are not stained yet, but you can see how nice the cabinets are coming along and how much brighter the kitchen looks.

The only other thing we did while I was there was attend a baby shower for a couple in the church (the senior pastor’s son) who just adopted twin baby boys. When I heard the news of how they got them, I started to cry. I always get teary over sweet adoption stories since Andrew came into our family. The weather was beautiful, their first nice weekend since winter, so my timing was great. It was a wonderful visit!

I had surgery to remove my Morton’s Neuroma on May 5. I was prepared for up to three months recovery and full healing, but I’ve been very (pleasantly) surprised at how quickly I have gotten back to walking normally. I thought you would all love to see all the gory pictures of my progress.

Pre-surgery. You can see the “divot” between the third and fourth toes. That’s from all the cortisone and alcohol injections. My tissue was really atrophied. But that persistent neuroma would not give up and die. So it was off with its head!

This was taken right after surgery.

I had a visit from Lauren and Brian a couple days later while I was still spending all my time on the couch with my foot elevated. Lauren was in a great mood.

Here’s the fashionable footwear they gave me.

I went back to the doctor 5 days later to have the bandages changed, but not the stitches removed. You can see the doctor’s purple initials on my ankle. He signed before surgery to verify the correct side. As an extra precaution, I wrote on my left foot, “NOT THIS FOOT”.

My black toes peeping out of the fresh bandages.

Two weeks after surgery I went back to finally get the stitches out. That meant I could then get it wet.  Was I glad to finally be able to get all the way in the shower instead of hanging my foot over the edge.

I could finally wear regular shoes.

And the bruising and incision continued to heal. I polished my toenails! (I had to remove all polish for surgery.)

This was taken today. Thirty days. Feeling good. Looking good. Walking good.

There is permanent numbness between my two toes and a little soreness left, but I have confidence this was very successful and the right decision. I think I’ll go hiking!

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