Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Lines

Well, I painted our powder room.  I was already in paint mode from our bedroom project when I realized that bathroom hadn't been repainted yet.  While I had all the pans, rollers, and vast array of painting tools out, I decided to go ahead and get it done.  After all, the powder room is really small so I knew it wouldn't take very long. 

Of course, the first thing I did was take everything off the walls including the huge mirror hanging over the sink.  Behind the mirror, I found some pencil lines. They were the lines used to find the perfect placement for the big bolt holding the heavy mirror in place.  I recognized those lines right away.

I always called Daddy to hang heavy things that needed to be stable or hang pairs of things that needed to be precise and symmetrical.  Not that Davis couldn't handle the job but, well, in his occupation, Daddy dealt in precision and stability, every single day, so it was definitely known as his specialty.  Even if I needed a large prop for a wedding, I'd call him because I knew if he built it, there would be no way that it would fall over, take out the whole wedding party, and consequently land me in court. 

He was a steel detailer.  I don't know if you know what that is.  I always had a hard time explaining it when I was a kid whenever people would ask what my dad did for a living and still probably don't do it very accurately.  But, he drew the detailed plans and drawings used to guide the manufacturing and assembly of steel beams, braces, trusses, stairs, etc......those things used in the construction of buildings, bridges, etc....usually for commercial, municipal, or industrial projects.  For long hours each day, he stooped over a drawing board with numbers and decimals and equations swirling all around.  He dealt in fractions of an inch. So, needless to say, he was all about precision.  When you're drawing the steel plans for bridges and platforms and stuff, that's kind of important, I'd guess.

So, when a heavy mirror needed to be hung or if I needed a pair of pictures centered on a wall, he was obviously the one I'd always call and he'd never disappoint.  Always right on the money.  Perfection. 

We'd painted over all his little pencil lines through the years.  One room at a time.  But, when I took that mirror off the wall, there his pencil lead was.  A horizontal line intersecting a vertical line.  The mirror was perfectly centered over the sink.  At the precise height I'd wanted.  And its weight had hung securely through all these years. 

I have to admit that it was hard to paint over those lines of his.  I'm pretty sure they were the last ones left around here and, even though the lines are gone, we still have those nails and bolts in their perfect placements all over our house.

I couldn't help but think that, one day, all of our lines will be covered up.  Life will go on long after we're gone and most of our marks will eventually be removed by the natural course of things.  Time will erase a lot of the projects, efforts, and toil into which we poured our time and energy.  In 100 years, there will be little evidence that we were ever here besides maybe some old records and a tombstone.    

But, the really important thing.  That mark where we chose to place our nail......well, that will stay in place long after we're gone for generations after us to use as a guide.  A reference for them.  Whether good or bad. 

Daddy measured carefully and figured accurately and used different tools effectively to make his mark on my walls.  He used God's word regularly and prayer fervently and his example consistently to make his mark on my life. 

I may paint over his lines or forget his efforts, but the mark that it all led to is still is at work. 

On my walls and in my heart. 

What kind of reference point will our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, or students be left with when we're gone?  Will our mark be off a bit or will it keep them centered in Jesus? 

The anchor bolt that will hold them securely all their days.

Have a happy and safe 4th! 

God bless America!              



  1. Happy Fourth!!
    I love your posts!! But this one...yes, my Daddy and my Grandfather, whose birthday was the Fourth, both left strong anchors for my life. Thanks for your words!!! Always a joy!!

    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Mary Lynn!! How wonderful that you have those anchors to stay with you even after they're gone! And that's pretty cool that they were both born on the Fourth. I really appreciate you for reading my little blog! :)

  2. Well, Joni, you just made me cry. Such a sweet tribute to your dad and such a good reminder to the rest of us about what's important. ❤--Jennifer Walsingham

    1. I appreciate that so much, Jennifer. Thanks for reading :)

  3. That's a beautiful way to honor your dad and his life, and to challenge us to be those good anchors for those in our lives.

    Happy Fourth!

    1. Thank you, Deanna. I was blessed to have him. So good to hear from you :)

  4. You have a way with words Joni and returning from my visit with my mom, her anchor was homemaking and working with her stout German heritage made of steel, she loves the movie Wonder Woman :). Did you keep the pencil mark? A beautiful tribute to your dad.
    Have a wonderful evening,
    Kathleen in Az

    1. Thank you, Kathleen.....I always love hearing from you! I hope you had a great visit with your sweet mom. She sounds precious :)