Unless you have been living in a cave you are acutely aware that Father's Day is to be observed on Sunday, June 21.
As I hung laundry on the clothesline this morning, I reminisced about my dad. I have a lifetime of delightful memories of my dad; we were very close and I still miss hearing him whistle, snoring in his big chair, and having him swoop into the kitchen to check every cupboard.
My very first memory of my dad was in my bassinet. I remember distinctly how my mom and dad peered in at me, and I remember that they looked like proud young parents. I can still see Dad in my mind's eye, gathering tomatoes from his bountiful garden behind our house in South Omaha. I remember how he wore the same glasses for years and years and years and how delighted we all were when his eyesight improved. I was equally sad much later, when he had to have cataracts removed.
My dad could do anything. Well, that was my perception. He pretty much COULD do anything: he'd survived a pretty brutal childhood during hard times and a father who got hurt and could not work. He managed to get an education beyond high school and he had the kind of personality that carried him a long way in winning people to him. He was a buyer, a salesperson, a grocer, a city councilman; even Mayor. He sat on the school board and signed my diploma.
SIDEBAR: No, that's not the only reason I graduated high school! END SIDEBAR.
One of the favorite times in my life was when we lived in the tiny town of Elwood., Nebraska. My parents owned the packaged liquor store there and it was my job to sort pop bottles. Dad and I would spend time in the store and when business was slow, he would go through the Collier's magazines and explain the cartoons to me. That's when I learned to appreciate humor and Dad's special brand of humor, where his eyes twinkled and danced and he would grin out of the corner of his mouth.
Dad never let anything in life get him down. When he and Mom split up I worried about how he'd manage. He was retired, not used to keeping house, and I was curious. I inquired, "Dad, what will you DO?" I don't know what kind of response I expected, but he floored me with this: "I'm going to sign up for cooking classes." And he DID. He was a pretty darned good cook, too.
He'd had major disappointments and I don't mean his only daughter! He once lost an election for a county office he was pretty confident he'd win. Instead of pouting or blaming as some might have, he took a job in that office and helped his one time opponent. I thought that took a certain amount of moxie.
I found a birthday card for him once that tickled my funny bone. On the outside was a beautiful ancient golden scroll that announced, "GOOD NEWS!" and inside was this message: "They've found your birth certificate!" We all laughed till we nearly choked and my dad laughed the loudest and longest.
Here's hoping YOU have delicious memories of YOUR dad. I'd love for you to fill the comment box with your stories and accounts. You can remain anonymous or you can take out bragging rights for yourself, whatever suits your fancy.
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