Friday, July 26, 2013

Ol' Tom Cat

Ol' Tom Cat ~ this is a post that has taken a few days to collect my words.  Seems that no words could ever do justice to this amazing man.  Just wanted to take a moment to capture some of the memories.

Growing up, we were neighbors with the Tommy Tompson family.  Ol' Tom Cat, as we often called Tommy, was ALWAYS getting a outfit running or fixing something that was broke down for our family.  It wasn't just our family either, the entire community had enjoyed the benefits of Tommy's skills at one point or another. 

A few years ago, I moved back to the area I was raised in. This would be a bigger blessing than I would ever realize.  Upon moving back, I would have the opportunity to not only be closer to family, but also to spend more time with some neighbors that as a kid, I hadn't made time to stop and visit much. Tommy was one of these neighbors that I would be blessed to spend some more time with.  The Tommy I knew was a "Fix Anything Man".  He was collector of parts, pieces, and could give any machine new life again...and usually with what he had floating around in his work truck.  He was also always willing to lend a hand when he could.  I knew Tommy was one of the best neighbors a person could ask for. 

During these eveing visits, I would realize that Tommy had retired a year before I was born....He had been "retired" my entire life.....and still worked harder than anyone I knew!  Tommy was a fearless adventure.  I would learn of Gold Mining in foreign countries, years working at the Sheep Station, Trapping Beaver, and a few of the adventures that had colored his past. 

Aside from being a shining example of work ethic, Tommy was an amazing family man.  There wasn't a visit that went by that he didn't tell me about something his kids, grand-kids, or great grand-kids where doing.  He was always uplifting and spoke with love.  

Even through all that Tommy had to do and all the people that he had to Love....Tommy was so good to watch out for his neighbors. 

A few things I will miss

* If I had been gone rodeoing or traveling, Tommy would call up and check on me.  "Where Are You?" he would ask. I haven't seen that blue car in awhile. 

* I'd been gone on rodeo run.  Driving home, I was tired, hungry, and returning to a empty house.  Tommy called just before I pulled in the yard to check on me.  He said come down I have supper ready for you.  I drove down and ate antelope, cooked squash, watermelon, and a fine feast!  

* This last winter, Tommy had got Shingles.  I would stop by in the evenings, after work to share some essential oils to help with the itching.  Always loved when we could stop the pain in it's tracks.  My favorite was just getting to visit and learn about Tommy's life, the history of our area, and life lessons. 

His brother used to call him Top Cat when he was younger, after a cartoon.  
Great dogs while working at the Sheep Station. 
Trapping Beaver. 

Tommy taught me the saying "A pints a pound the whole world round"

* Sharing a block of cheese from the local feed store.  Tommy loved when it would get super sharp. Even after he is gone, he keeps taking care of those around him.  Just finishing up a block of cheese.

* Cutting Fire Wood ~ Firing up the amazing mechanical masterpiece of a wood cutter & filling the wood pile.  Engineering genius!

*Block Parties ~ Always arriving right on time.  Tommy would show up ready to eat and visit.  He would even come out in the winter to a card party or too.  Always keeping us honest, if someone wasn't playing by the rules ; )

*1st steak dinner I cooked was for Tommy.  He ate it and was complimentary
(My 2nd was my for my Dad, whom complained about how horrible it was with every bite)

*Fix It Projects ~ Will miss the wild fix it projects, getting the well running, digging up water lines, cutting fire wood....almost every task would turn into an adventure.

*Valentines ~ 2/14/2013 ~ After work, I stopped in to visit Tommy.  What a night.  I don't really even know what we talked about but that night left such an impression on my heart.  We looked at photo albums from Tommy's daughter's wedding and told stories.  Letters from grand kids.  Stories of when the kids were little and they were living far from town.
Tommy was missing his bride.  The love that he had for her was amazing. They were a shining example of what true love is. 
***Friends with EVERYONE!  One of my favorite things about Tommy was his unconditional love of people.  He never judged or spoke a harsh word.  You could be yourself, cleaned up in Sunday Best or covered in dirt, Tommy welcomed you just the same.  People flocked to Tommy because of his love and Christ like qualities.  I was no different.  So grateful to call him a friend.  Still fight with my car on the drive home from work at night wanting to turn down Tommy's road to visit.

Rest In Peace Tom Cat .  You are missed!

Working on the Well

Tommy and his son Don, Cutting firewood for me

Doctoring Hands ~ STRONG hard working hands. 

Working on Trailer Lights on a Rodeo Rig this Spring

1st Block Party of the Year 2013

Last Block Party Tommy would attend

Joe Marty and Tommy

Ella Marty and Tommy

So thankful for the chance to say Good Bye
We Love You
" Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17 

Tommy's Obituary:

 A few of post with Tommy Memories

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