Posted tagged ‘Dad’

Fathers represent another way of looking at life — the possibility of an alternative dialogue.

December 1, 2017

Today has already been a long day, and it is only halfway finished. Gracie woke me up at 6:30 so we went out. It was raining, a light rain, but Gracie doesn’t care for rain so we went back inside quickly where both of us got cozy and easily returned to the arms of Morpheus. I woke up at 10:20. It was then I learned a new verse to Dem Bones: the back bone is connected to the head bone. I could barely walk and I had a headache, but Gracie and Maddie were waiting, Maddie less patiently than Gracie. She meowed. I took Gracie out, got my newspapers and yesterday’s mail. I stopped twice to rest my back. Gracie waited. Once inside, I grabbed Maddie’s dishes and filled both of them, put the coffee on then fed Gracie. She wolfed down her breakfast as if she hadn’t eaten in days. I got my coffee and started reading the papers. I turned on MSNBC just to check recent news and got throughly caught up in the Flynn testimony. By then it was time for more coffee and an English muffin which Gracie and I shared. I finished the papers but kept an ear to the TV. That’s where we are right now.

I was a bit surprised when I woke up to see the rain had given way to a sunny day with warmish temperatures, especially for December. My nose should be cold, and I should be bundling to stay warm; instead, a sweatshirt is more than enough. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I’m just surprised, happily surprised.

My father would have been 91 today. I think of him often especially when I fall or hit my finger with a hammer, a couple of dad things I inherited. I miss his sense of humor and our seemingly endless games of cards. I remember once when we were playing High Low Jack, and he did something to his back and fell off the bench to the floor. He didn’t complain about the pain. All he kept saying is, “I’m trumping. I’m trumping.” We roared laughing while he was still on the floor. He and I played endless games of cribbage. My wins were luck; his were expertise. That drove me crazy, and he knew it so he always said it after one of his wins. I wish I could play one more game of cribbage with him. I’d even be glad if he won because I’d get to see him smile and gloat one more time. I’m thinking about you, Dad!

“The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.”

November 11, 2016

My father graduated from high school in 1944 when he was sixteen. He was so young because his mother had sent him to school when he was only four. She couldn’t take him anymore. He was a bit of a rambunctious child so his mother sent him to school to give her a bit of relief. After he graduated, he asked his parents to sign permission for him to enlist in the military. They refused. He then bided his ime until December when he turned seventeen and didn’t need permission. He enlisted in the navy.I never asked him why he chose the navy. I wish I had. He certainly wasn’t safer as his ship carried supplies back and forth in the North Atlantic, and it was on one of those trips when his ship was sunk. He managed to find a piece of the ship to hold on to, but his legs were still in the cold water. I don’t remember how long he was there, but I do know he passed out, and when he woke up, his captain, who had been holding on to the same piece of ship was gone.

My father was rescued, but all of his mates from that end of the ship were not. He was transported to a hospital in Plymouth, England. The doctors thought he might lose his legs from the exposure to the cold water, but he didn’t. His parents, meanwhile, had no idea where he was or what had happened so they called the Red Cross who located him. He was seventeen. He hadn’t even thought of his parents. To him the war was a huge adventure.

My dad told us stories about his hospital stay. With both legs in casts, he’d borrow a bicycle and roll down the hill to the pub. When he was ready to go back, they’d have to call an ambulance to come get him. He was in the hospital during the Battle of the Bulge, and the wounded kept coming. They said they were getting slaughtered and were losing, but that changed.

He was sent back to the US still in the navy, was granted leave and went home. My mother had heard my dad had lost a leg, but she found it to be a rumor. When he first saw her, he greeted her with, “Hey, Babe.” He was, as always, his rambunctious self.

“Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?”

November 26, 2012

Today is a pretty day filled with sunlight and a clear blue sky. It’s even warm at 48 degrees. The leaves at the end of the branches are blowing, but the wind is gone. It’s a day to get out and do something.

My dance card for the week is fuller than usual, with usual being empty. Wednesday and Thursday are booked, and Skip will be by to put up my outside Christmas lights on Friday so I’ll have to scurry and get my wreaths. I love that errand: walking among the trees and wreaths and filling my nose with the smell of Christmas.

My father and his sister and Christmas trees are a part of my memories. My father used to go with my mother to pick out and buy the tree. He was always aghast at the prices and would try to convince my mother to go with a sparser, less expensive tree. My mother, at heart a Christmas elf, would never agree. She wanted the fullest of all trees, and my father usually gave in. The tree took up a whole corner of the room and was always beautiful. My aunt, my father’s younger sister, would drop by to visit and always admired the tree. She’d say something about how expensive it must have been which was really a subtle way to get the price. She and my dad had a yearly unacknowledged competition as to which one of them had bought the cheaper but more beautiful tree. My father always lied. We knew it and I think she did too. No matter how expensive the tree had been, my father always said $15 or $20, and my aunt was always amazed. None of us ever said a word about the real cost of the tree. We enjoyed the family ritual, the always rigged tree competition.


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