Monday, May 2, 2011

My sweet father-in-law turns 82. . .

In 1929 the stock market crashed and started the Great Depression.  The Museum of Modern Art, the Academy Awards, Popeye, and 7-up all made their debut.  Herbert Hoover was inaugurated U.S. president, succeeding Calvin Coolidge.  Skirts rose to just below the knee, allowing flashes of leg to be seen when young men were fortunate.  Anne Frank, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were born.  As was my father-in-law. . . Lee Taylor Cox, born May 1st, 1929, at 942 N. University Avenue in Provo, Utah.

I wouldn't meet him until many years later, to be precise it was in June 1988, when he was a spry 59 and I had recently turned 30.  His hair was a little darker then, and I was much shyer around him then than I am now.  I was nervous about meeting him.  There was a lot of pressure that day to make a good impression, as my dear sweetheart of only a few weeks would introduce me to him as his fiancee.

The meeting went well. . . Fred's parents were delighted, if not relieved, that he had finally found someone to marry.  (I do hope they were happy that it was me. . . but, after waiting 34
l-o-n-g years for their firstborn to find a wife I could have been a bag lady and I think they still would have rejoiced. . . . ) 

I asked Dad if he would please put
my name on this cabinet in the will.
His response. . . "It comes with
the house."  Thank goodness Fred
and I have our names on the house!
A bunch of years have gone by, our kids now range from 21 to 13, and I guess I must have passed muster 'cause he still smiles at me when I come to visit.  My own dear father passed away 15 years ago, and, though I miss him tremendously and no one could ever take his place, my husband's father has now become "Dad."  And I love that about him.  He watches over me and comforts me when I need a father's love. 

And. . . we have something very special in common.  We love junk.  And old stuff.  And old family stuff.  We rejoice over both family heirlooms and over piles of "stuff-that-might-be-useful-someday."  We see treasure where the rest of the family sees trash.   

These grave markers have decorated the outside of Dad's house
for years.  They belong to his great grandmother
and a few more Taylor ancestors. Aren't they great?
(Hopefully they come with the house too. . . .)


Dad's house is filled with second-hand treasure everywhere you look!  Some of it refined, but most of it on the "shabby," chippy, rusty side of things.  Just how I like it.  Old windows. . . chippy stools. . . industrial cabinets. . . "ancient" books. . . letters and cards from very long ago sent from his father to his mother, all carefully preserved but a little too private to include here. . . .

Have you ever heard of Cox Honey?  Dad's great-uncle Delaun Mills Cox started the bee business in Orderville, Utah in 1880.  According to, "he produced honey to supply about the only sweet obtainable for his family and that small community."  Later he took the family to Shelley, Idaho and Cox Honey Farms' honey became well known for their delicious Pure Clover Honey and Delicious Creamed Honey.  While not the same Cox Honey, Dad's dad, Orville Stanley Cox of Provo produced his own Cox Honey, distributed in the boxes shown below.  We have a few around our house, and Dad tells me there are scores - if not hundreds - more, all to become mine someday for me to sell something in! 

So, happy birthday my dear dad, my junkin' friend,
my second-hand stuff loving friend, 
my partner in harboring the rusty/chippy/shabby stuff
that none of the rest of the family seems to see much use for. 

It's ever so sweet to have a soul mate in the family.  Love you so much. . . .


  1. So sweet and sentimental, he is lucky to have such a daugter-in-law that he got for free, because she just 'comes with his son.' :-)

  2. Love your blog. You write beautifully. And so talented. I am so glad I got to know you, just a little, while at my Aunt Colleen's Furniture and yard sale. I hope to see you again. Looking forward to getting my buttons. I have you as a favorite, so I will be back. And I hope you will visit me often. Hugs, Karie