My dad

I play the hammered dulcimer. Well, I used to play it. It now sits silent in a corner of the house, packed away for some later time when I can teach Mercy the simple beauty of its music.

Growing up, I would often be asked to play for some church service or wedding or school function, and as a young girl, it was a chore to carry both the instrument and its stand. I can still picture my dad, at the conclusion of a performance, quietly making his way over to the dulcimer and packing it up into its case and carrying case and stand to the car or wherever we needed to go. He ALWAYS carried the dulcimer.

I remember sometime during college, or possibly after, being asked to play when I was home visiting, and by then I had grown accustomed to sherpa-ing my own instrument having been on my own in Chicago for some time. When the event was over, I was surrounded by people wanting to talk and visit, and when it was finally time to pack up and go I looked over toward the dulcimer and saw that it was not there. I scanned the room and, sure enough, there was my dad standing near the doorway talking to some friends; and he was carrying the dulcimer.

I love my dad. And when I thought about what best describes the way he moves through this life, that is the image that came to my mind. Someone whose default setting is to see an opportunity to serve and meet it, be it simple or costly. Someone who doesn’t think twice about quietly lifting the burden of another. Someone who sees service and sacrifice not as the exception but as the rule.

Dad, the dulcimer doesn’t make it to Seattle anymore, but three little ones and a weary mom often do, so it looks like you’re not off the hook anytime soon! I love you. Happy Father’s Day.

This pic was taken right before Mercy was born when my dad flew down for a weekend to help out and painted our bathroom for us.


  1. You have a Good Dad. As another dad, I hope I even approximate his approach. I will probably fail.

    Hammered dulicmer? Dudette! Have I told you one of my favorite concerts, which I forgot to mention in my list of concerts posts (what an ignoramous!) was Michael McCutcheon? Never give it up – pass it along to all your children.

    Happy Father’s Day to your dad and your husband. Mine was happy enough – a blessing.

  2. Jim,

    I have one of his CD’s! I totally look forward to sharing it with at least one of the Haub children. I think I even still have my first single bridge dulcimer that i learned on at my parents’ house somewhere. Perfect for Mercy!

  3. what a lovely post to honor your father. Beautiful.

    Hammered dulcimer?! Guess that makes you the Rich Mullins of South Central.

    Douglas married a Renaissance woman!

  4. I love Rich Mullins. One thing I really regret is never seeing him play while he was alive. Have you ever heard any of Doug’s songwriting? He sometimes reminds me of Rich.

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