The Wisdom of my Father

by Karen Topakian

Nine years ago today my father died. The pain surely has subsided. His voice is a bit weaker in my memory but he remains with me always. I appreciate more of his wisdom with each passing day. For example….

My father, a life long early riser, believed that all problems could be solved if you just got up early enough. My mother liked to stay up late and sleep in the next morning, frequently making her late. Which irked my father for decades. Here’s one example of how he addressed this problem.

My parents lived in a modest ranch house in Cranston, RI. Like many homes of its ilk, it didn’t have a pantry. My mother asked my father repeatedly to build her some shelves along the wall of the cellar stairs, to store canned goods. After much cajoling and nudging, he agreed. With this caveat. “If you want the shelves, I’ll build them at 8 o’clock Saturday morning. And you need to be up to tell me where to put them.”

She got her shelves and he got her to get up early.


  1. carolyn roundey says:

    So, how many times did that work? Love the “irked for decades” Sweet.. thanks for sharing both the memory and the photo.

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