Posted June 17, 2019 by katry
Categories: photo

“The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.”

Posted June 17, 2019 by katry
Categories: Musings

This morning came early for me, 6:30. It was damp and foggy with a sky full of clouds. The weather said sun and blue skies. Both finally appeared around 9. Rain is predicted for the next three or four days so I need to soak up the sun while it’s here.

I have a list of all the errands I need to do today, all five of them. The big stop is the hardware store which has a list of its own. I never wander in hardware stores the way I do in other stores. I go, get what I need and leave. Usually I ask for help or recommendations from one of the men who works there. All the employees in my hardware store are men. There used to be a woman working there, but she disappeared. I figure people expect to find men working in a hardware store among the tools and nails and such. A brush, cleaning liquid and a hose nozzle which has a power wash setting are on my list. I need to clean the deck chairs.

When I was kid, we went to the beach often. We always went on a Sunday. My mother packed the lunch, and my father made the bug juice. My mother also packed a blanket, towels and tee-shirts for us to keep the sun at bay. My mother didn’t swim so she kept an eye on my sisters and mostly stayed on the blanket. She’d get crazed if we had sand on our feet and carried it to the blanket. That meant shaking the blanket clean. I was part of the wait 30 minutes after eating before swimming generation. My mother said we’d get cramps and maybe even drown if we didn’t wait. We stayed at the beach all day. I usually fell asleep on the long drive home.

When I was a kid, there was a place called Kiddie Ranch on Route 1 in Saugus. It was behind Arcade Bazaar. We used to go by it on the way to and from my grandparents’ house. From the road I could see some of the rides. I always wanted to go and asked often. One time my parents surprised us by saying we were going there. What I remember is my father turning the car around at the rotary and saying we were going home as we were too noisy. My heart fell. What I didn’t realize was he had to turn around as Kiddie Ranch was on the opposite side of Route 1. I don’t remember the rides.

My Father: Judy Collins

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video

Dance With My Father: Luther Vandross

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video

Father And Son: Yusuf Islam/ Cat Stevens

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video

Father And Daughter: Paul Simon

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: photo

“I’m always going to love my father.”

Posted June 16, 2019 by katry
Categories: Musings

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. 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. 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.

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 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 always said he never snacked, and my mother would roll her eyes. He kept chocolate under the couch, hidden from everyone else, but, we, everyone else knew. He loved Pilot Crackers covered with butter. Hydrox was his preferred cookie. His vanilla ice cream was always doused with Hershey’s syrup. That man did love his chocolate.

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.

Saturday Dance: The Shadows

Posted June 15, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video

Saturday Sun: Nick Drake

Posted June 15, 2019 by katry
Categories: Video