7:30 BELLS: Dads and Bells--Guest Post by Author Joan Holub

Just in time for Father's Day, JOAN HOLUB--the imaginative, humorous, and prolific author of over 100 books for kids--shares a cheering memory of dads and bells.

Bells remind me of my dad. Also of winter sleighs and cathedrals, but since it’s almost Father’s Day, I’m thinking of the bell my dad used to ring to call us kids to dinner from the far flung places we were playing in our neighborhood. The bell has been lost in time, but it looked sort of like this one, only with decoration carved on the bell part.

I don’t know when my parents decided to get that bell. After years of standing in our yard growing hoarse calling our names, I guess they got desperate for a different way to summon us home.

When we were kids, the front of our house faced suburbia. Out back, there was a swimming pool (the sole reason we kids voted to buy this particular house). And beyond that was a great expanse of undeveloped wilderness. It was a jungle of trees, tall grass, bugs, weird outdoorsy noises, and brisk air. In our wilderness, we built forts out of moss and sticks. We built a tree house. We had arguments and pretend wars, we put on plays, we made up scary stories about things that lurked around us, we told secrets, and we got minor injuries. I brought home bits of rock, sticks, feathers, and stuff like that and made all kinds of craft projects.

Our parents weren’t really worried about us out there. At least, I don’t remember them being nervous or cautioning us. However, they could never find us when it was time for dinner or when they simply wanted to check on us, or when it was growing dark. The sound of that bell could be heard everywhere. It meant “Dinnertime!” or “Come home!” or “What are you up to?”

My dad would wait out there till we showed up, then wave, and herd us all in the house. Bells and dads. A happy memory of my mighty dad.

Bells can call us home

Joan Holub is the author of Mighty Dads (Scholastic Press, 2014), illustrated by James Dean, creator of Pete the Cat. Mighty Dads is a picture book about various mighty dad trucks that pave the way for their little trucks and cheer them on at the construction site, just like mighty dads do in real life. Joan has written many other children’s books, including Little Red Writing (Chronicle Books), which Dia Calhoun helped critique!

7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.

7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month. 
Join me on July 8 for a guest post with Edgar winning author Dori Hillestad Butler.