Posted tagged ‘my dad’

“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”

June 21, 2015

This is my annual Father’s Day post. It brings back a rush of memories every time I read it. My dad 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.

“Taste is the most unexplored sense”

January 16, 2015

When I got up during the night, I swear I saw stars, and was delighted, I stood at the window a while just looking. When I woke up, it was cloudy, and I wanted to scream. Right now, though, the sun is making an appearance, and off to the west are patches of blue sky. I can barely contain my excitement.

Gracie woke me up around 6:30. She wanted out, but when she got on the deck, she couldn’t get down the stairs. They had a topping of ice from the dusting of snow we got yesterday. I put on my shoes and walked her to the yard down the stairs step by step. If the poor dog only knew. Here I was her safety net, and I fall all the time. Luckily this time I didn’t. Before I went back to bed, I threw safety paws de-icer on the steps and also noticed where Gracie had been sick a few times. I won’t get into a description, but I think whatever had been bothering her was on her crate blanket which is now washed and in the dryer. Gracie is back to her always happy self.

In the old days we didn’t take our dog to the vet’s except to get the rabies shot required by law. There was no well dog visit back then. Duke, the boxer we had while I was growing up, was a terror to other dogs, but he met his match once and his neck was torn open. My dad said nature would take care of it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vet’s who took care of it. The dog’s wounds healed, and my father gloated a bit with his I told you so. We all just looked at each other and said nothing.

We pulled many fast ones on my poor dad. My mother would come and visit me, and we’d shop. She’d fill her trunk with boxes and bags. When she got home, she’d bring in two or three packages and show my father what she’d bought. He’d nod but actually be totally uninterested. Shopping was hell on Earth to him. When my dad went to work on Monday, my mother would empty the trunk. My dad never noticed anything new in the house. His spot was at the end of the couch next to the table. That was his little kingdom and nothing there ever changed. He was content.

We knew never to tell my dad some of the ingredients in the dishes he was served for dinner. He would refuse to eat them if he knew. Garlic, according to my dad, was to be used for garlic bread and shrimp scampi. It had no other uses. Little did he know he often ate it in a variety of dishes. He did catch my mother putting it in slits in a pork roast and was horrified. My mother took out all the garlic. My father had eaten that pork roast with garlic several times. He just didn’t see it.

My father used his eyes to determine whether or not a dish could be eaten. Hummus was wallpaper paste. He knew that without trying it. Just looking was enough. It was a huge no on potstickers and anything my mother made for my brother, the vegetarian. My father was the original meat and potatoes man with a few vegetables tossed in like carrots, canned asparagus and corn, either fresh or canned. My dad actually ate a huge variety of things. He just never knew.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 2, 2014

It wasn’t as cold as I expected when I went to get the papers this morning. It was 39˚ and felt warm. Today I have good weather news. The snow storm we are expecting has changed direction and is predicted to be only 2-4 inches down from 6 to 8. That is sweeping snow, not shoveling snow.

When I’d visit my parents for the weekend, my Dad would go out and buy the Sunday paper and a dozen donuts. He never remembered my favorite donut, but he bought enough choices so I was content. His favorite was plain. He would always butter the donut before he ate it with his coffee. My dad preferred instant coffee instead of brewed. I never understood that. Sunday was his day to make breakfast. He always used the cast iron skillet and kept a   over his shoulder as he cooked to wipe his hands. I can still see him at the stove. This time of year he wore corduroys, long sleeve shirts and brown suede shoes from L.L. Bean. He’d cook the bacon then ask how we wanted our eggs. He was adept at over-easy. Waiting for my breakfast was the best time. My dad and I would talk about all sorts of stuff though politics were never among them. We were polar opposites. After breakfast, we’d play a few games of cribbage. We always played cribbage every time we got together. Sometimes we’d play 5 or 6 games. The number of games depended upon whether he was winning or losing. A higher number of games meant he was losing, and we’d play until his luck changed though he always said he won by strategy while I won by luck. I loved to tease him when I won. Skunking him was the best of all, and it drove him crazy.

Games were so much a part of my growing up. We played them all the time. My parents taught my brother and me whist so they could each have a partner. My aunts and uncles would come up to the house on Friday nights, and they sit around the kitchen table and play cards. My dad was too funny as he always harassed them when he won but all in good fun. The kitchen would be filled with smoke and they’d each have a drink. They were the high ball generation.

Those nights are etched in my memory drawers. I can still hear the laughter and my father’s voice. I can hear my mother laughing along with my dad, and I can hear my aunt demanding the cards be dealt especially if she lost the last hand.

“Did you know that there are over three hundred words for love in canine?”

July 22, 2013

Today is sunny and really humid but much cooler than it has been. My windows and doors are open to the world. Gracie loves the freedom of going in and out on her own. I met my friend for breakfast though it was a mad dash to get there. I woke up at 8:45 and 9:00 is our usual meeting time. I multi-tasked: brushed my teeth while I was getting dressed and let the dog out while I was trying to find my sandals. I left my glasses home in the rush, but the spare pair was just fine. I made it in 17 minutes. To some people on the route I was a red flash they weren’t sure they saw.

When I was born, it was around 2 in the morning. My father was the only person in the waiting room. The nurse asked for Mr. Ryan as if it there was standing room only with crowds of men pacing the room. He saw me right away, minutes after I had been born, then rushed to my grandparents’ home to give everyone the news. The Duchess of Cambridge is in labor. Media trucks, cameras and reporters are outside the hospital waiting for the birth of the next heir to the throne. Tradition dictates that the news of the birth will come from an easel erected at Buckingham Palace. I didn’t have photographers or crowds waiting for my birth, but I had my Dad who rushed to make the announcement: the first grandchild had been born.

Today is dump day, finally. Gracie, of course, is coming. She loves our dump trips. She hangs her head out the window and takes in all the aromas. I never can smell anything. It’s definitely a dog thing.

Around 3:30 this morning, I heard Gracie’s bells. They were so loud I knew she was swinging them back and forth on the doorknob: her frantic attempt to wake me up. I came downstairs and let her out. She ran to the back and started to eat grass so I knew she had an upset stomach. I stayed on the deck. It was lovely and cool so I sat for a while. No lights were on in any house, and Gracie stayed in the way back so she didn’t trigger the dog lights. After a time, I came back inside. Gracie didn’t, and I started to get worried so I put on flip-flops, grabbed my flashlight and went looking. I found her right away still munching on grass. I called her inside and gave her several spider plant fronds. She chewed every one of them then got on the couch and started to fall asleep. It was around 4:30 by then so I went upstairs to bed, and she eventually followed and fell asleep. This morning she is fine. I’m really tired.

“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”

June 16, 2013

This is my annual Father’s Day post. It brings back a rush of memories every time I read it. My dad 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 and never succeeding, of playing whist in the kitchen, 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, but when I close my eyes, I see him so clearly.

It’s a warm day so he’d be sitting on the front steps with his coffee cup 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 crowded 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.

My Dad: Paul Peterson

June 19, 2011

My Dad: Paul Peterson

June 20, 2010

This has always been one of the most requested songs.

“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”

June 20, 2010

Father’s Day gives me the chance to use my whole posting to talk about my Dad. 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.

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, some several trucks long. 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 was roaring.

My father wasn’t at all handy around the house. Putting up outside lights, 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 crowded 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 would pay. One Christmas he gave us all $500.oo, 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.


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