In spite of the fact that “farming skipped a generation,” as my dad used to say with some relief, when, in the summer of 2009, my husband and I moved into our little farm-house in Cashtown and started fixing it up, my dad was the first one to lend a hand. And when I’d track chunks of fresh dirt onto the front porch after a few hours of work in the garden, my forehead covered in sweat, he’d smile at me with that special glimmer in his eye, offer me a sip of his coffee and say, “I just wish you could have met your grandfather.” I’d settle down next to him on the porch swing then. My father had a gift for bringing the past to life. The stories he told of his childhood were simple stories, but so warm and tender, sometimes funny, and always engaging. He wasn’t just telling you about something he remembered; he was inviting you to enter his past, to share in the experience all over again.