“A father is only capable of giving what he has, and what he knows. A good father gives all of himself that is good.”

This is my annual Father’s Day post. Many of you read it every year. It is about my amazing father, my funny and loving father. This morning, as soon as I woke up, I wished him a Happy Father’s Day.

In my front garden are a couple of ground cover plants. They have been there for years. My father planted them for me. One weekend he and my mother came down to visit. My dad brought his lawn mower, a hand mower, garden tools and those few plants. While my mother and I shopped, my dad mowed the lawn in the front and the back. Both yards were fields no longer. He weeded the garden. I could see the flowers. The garden was lovely. I get to remember that weekend every time I go out the front gate and see my father’s plants. They touch my heart.

This is my annual Father’s Day post. It brings back a rush of memories every time I read it. It makes me smile and long for my father. He was one of a kind in the best of all possible ways.

I have so many memories of growing up, of family trips and my dad trying to whack at us from the front seat and never succeeding, of playing whist in the kitchen, with the teams being my mom and me against my dad and brother, of Sunday rides, of going to the drive-in and the beach and of being loved by my dad. Memories of my dad are with me always, but today my memories are all of my dad, and my heart is filled to the brim with missing him. When I close my eyes, I see him so clearly.

On a warm day so he’d be sitting on the front steps with his coffee cup beside him while reading the paper. He’d have on a white t-shirt and maybe his blue shorts. He’d wave at the neighbors going by in their cars. They all knew him and would honk back. He loved being retired, and we were glad he had a few years of just enjoying life.

He was the funniest guy, mostly on purpose but lots of times by happenstance. We used to have Dad stories, all those times when we roared and he had no idea why. He used to laugh along with us and ask, “What did I say? What did I say?” We were usually laughing too hard to tell him. He was a good sport about it.

I know you’ve heard this before, but it is one of my favorite Dad stories. He, my mom and I were in Portugal. I was driving. My dad was beside me. On the road, we had passed many piggyback tandem trucks, all hauling several truck loads behind them. On the back of the last truck was always the sign Vehiculo Longo. We came out of a gas station behind one of those. My father nonchalantly noted, “That guy Longo owns a lot of trucks.” I was laughing so hard I could barely drive and my mother, in the back seat, was doubled over in laughter.

My father wasn’t at all handy around the house. Putting up outside lights once, he gave himself a shock which knocked him off his step-ladder. He once sawed himself out of a tree by sitting on the wrong end of the limb. The bookcase he built in the cellar had two shelves, one on the floor and the other too high to use. He said it was lack of wood. When painting the house once, the ladder started to slide, but he stayed on his rung anyway with brush in hand. The stroke of the paint on the house followed the path of his fall. Lots of times he set his shoe or pant leg on fire when he was barbecuing. He was a big believer in lots of charcoal lighter fluid.

My father loved games, mostly cards. We played cribbage all the time, and I loved making fun of his loses, especially if I skunked him. When he won, it was superb playing. When I won, it was luck. I remember so many nights of all of us, including aunts and uncles, crowding around the kitchen table playing cards, especially hi-lo jack. He loved to win and we loved lording it over him when he lost.

My father was a most successful businessman. He was hired to turn a company around and he did. He was personable and funny and remembered everyone’s names. Nobody turned him down.

My father always went out Sunday mornings for the paper and for donuts. He never remembered what kind of donut I like. His favorite was plain. He’d make Sunday breakfast when I visited: bacon, eggs and toast. I can still see him standing over the stove with a dish towel over his shoulders. He always put me in charge of the toast.

If I ever needed anything, I knew I could call my father. He was generous. When we went out to eat, he always wanted to pay and was indignant when we one upped him by setting it up ahead of time that one of us paid. One Christmas he gave us all $500.00, not as a gift but to buy gifts.

My father left us when he was far too young. It was sudden. He had a heart attack. I had spoken with him just the day before. It was pouring that day, and I told him how my dog Shauna was soaked. He loved that dog and told me to wipe his baby off. I still remember that whole conversation. I still miss my father every day.

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11 Comments on ““A father is only capable of giving what he has, and what he knows. A good father gives all of himself that is good.””

  1. Bob Says:

    On Father’s Day I have better memories of my father in law rather than my father. My father in law was a fun guy to be around and we had fun picking on my mother in law who has no sense of humor. He was the only one who could reign in her huge gullibility. He died six months before my 24 year old daughter was born.

    My dad always provided for us and he was not abusive but he basically ignored us when we were young and dumped us when my mother died when I was 13. He would visit us regularly (four times annually) when we lived with my aunt and uncle in NYC and sent money for our care but he was absent during a time I needed him. His excuse was that he couldn’t find a job that paid as much as traveling on the road and didn’t want us to be raised by a paid housekeeper. Looking back I would have rather had his time. He’s been gone 16 years and I can’t think of a time other than Father’s Day or his birthday that think about him. He was a better grandfather to my kids.

    It’s very warm and humid with a very small chance for rain. We are getting back into a drought situation and we need the rain.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I even traveled with my parents when I was older. I planned the trips and they followed along. I’d drive, and they’d pay for the car. We had the best times together.

      My parents’ house was family central. My aunt and uncles were there almost every Friday for cards. They were the best of times. My mother gave great parties. I remember her D-Day party was wonderful.

      I miss both of my parents and even now this I should give my mother a call.

      Hot here!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    I never get tired of stories about Your parents and I especially like the Vehiculo Longo 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Chjrister.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We all love our dad stories. He was funny on purpose and funny not on purpose.

      Have a great Sunday!

  3. Hedley Says:

    Fathers Day is in the immediate. My children are children that are adults with spouses. They are arriving with The Prince in tow. I don’t look back much to another time and another country. The kids bring me joy and happiness. I look forward to my time with them and as they have formed their own families understand how we slide down the priority list. On days like today I just want them to come over.

    Mexico beat the Team Birgit and Switzerland just equalized against Brazil. If you haven’t guessed it I love the World Cup

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      We all went to my parents’ house. My brother’s family came for the big days like Easter and Christmas. I was at my parent’s often. Even my sister from Colorado flew here often with her kids.

      Gee, I didn’t realize you are watching the World Cup!1 As if…..

      • Bob Says:

        Just saw the highlight of the Mexico vs. Germany 90 minutes for a one nil score. If they were still tied the game would be decided by a shootout. Why bother with the first 90 minutes. 🙂 This is worse than a pitchers dual.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        It is the same thing they say about the NBA. Just play the last 10 minutes.

        It is true that pitcher’s duels are boring. The best games to watch are the worst played games. Let those bats fly!

      • Hedley Says:

        No Bob, they wouldn’t. This is the group stage where 2 of 4 teams will progress to a single game elimination which involves 90 minutes plus extra time and then penalties.
        Hope you enjoyed the highlights, and the above explains what is going on

  4. Birgit Says:

    Happy Lucky Daughter Day!


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