Monday, May 23, 2011

An Unsung Hero

Ed Rehder is my father-in-law. He's a man of few words, but many emotions. A man of few pounds, but much stature. Ed is a fighter, a poet, a laugher, a dreamer. He is an enigma to some, an inspiration to all.
Ed the Father
Having planted the seeds that grew into five beautiful, enthusiastic, and talkative children, Ed is the patriarch of the Rehder family, with children Regen, Darth, Vance (pictured lovingly above), Sloan, and Mikyn. Bravo, Ed! Oh...and Pam, too, I guess, helped a little bit or whatever.

Ed the Grandfather

See this adorable baby? Her name is Brisen. I'd like to tell you a story about her. When she was a newborn, she squirmed and squirmed. So squirmy! She didn't seem to like people holding her, so we'd just sit by her as she squirmed. Well, Ed Rehder would not stand for it. He'd take her outside, lay on the hammock, and whistle church hymns at her while she squirmed. He'd feed her (see photo above), sing boring songs to her, and tell her weird stories.

These days, baby Brisen is grade A prime cuteness who likes everyone to hold her. But truly, when it comes down to it, she only has eyes for Ed. Most babies don't get Ed's tough-love/dry humor/slight abuse (such as trapping a baby in a patio chair), but Brisen is all about it. You'll never see a bigger smile out of her as you do when Ed stomps into the room, kicks her in the back and yells at her to get out of the way. It's magical.

Ed the Road Warrior

Have I ever mentioned that this man, Ed Rehder III used to drive a truck up in Alaska? Yes, folks, he was an original ice road trucker. Ed loves to drive. Loves it. LUVS. One time, he drove me, Sloan, and Pam 24 hours straight from Utah to Tennessee. No biggie.

There is, however, a darker side to his favorite past time. Because Ed likes to drive, he likes to "take the scenic route" every time he goes anywhere, no matter if he's alone or has five protesting adults trapped in the car with him. "Big deal," you may be saying, "so he likes to take a different still get home!" Ah, dear reader, I can tell you've never been within five miles of your home after a three-hour car ride only to feel the sudden jerk of the car as Ed decides last minute to careen into a newly-developing neighborhood to "check out what's going on" whilst cruising at 8 miles an hour  past dumpsters and house frames. Or perhaps you're sitting in the middle of the backseat 8 months pregnant, having sweated through your church clothes (and those of the passengers on either side of you) and you CAN SEE THE CONDO FROM THE CAR as Ed turns the opposite way into an "interesting looking" cul-de-sac. Never trust a man like Ed Rehder to go as the crow flies. Never.

 Ed the Photogenic
Ed, like his sons, has the peculiar inability to pose and smile normally for a picture. Now, this is not so unusual in men, so perhaps it alone doesn't make him special. However, this trait is likely to be the one that his progeny will most readily note as they look at photos of their great-great-great-grandfather and ask each other, "What was wrong with that man?"

Ed the Coastal Native

You can take the man away from the ocean, but you can't take the ocean away from the man. Born and raised in Alaska, living in Seattle, vacationing in Hawaii. One look at his tan and swimmer's physique would tip anyone off.


  1. Love it. Especially the description of his driving. That is my dad (the "other" Ed) in a nutshell. No wonder they were best friends. It's horrible to want to be home, or somewhere and they want to stop and look at houses, or in my case, talk forEVER to some stranger while we would wait in the car.
    Looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Driving and looking at houses?!?!? I'd rather push straight pins through my flesh to see if I can count the layers of tissue that they poke through.

    I still remember Sundays, and Saturdays, and weekdays after school when Mom and Dad were looking at different houses when we still lived in Hickory Hill. Hours upon hours in the southern sun and humidity looking at house frames.

    My trick was to sit in the car with the windows rolled up. After ten minutes in the 120 degree car, I would hop back outside into the cool and refreshing 95 degree sun and 100% humidity.