Posts Tagged ‘Fathers Day’

My regular readers will remember reading about the not so sweet side of my dad. That is all true but I am choosing to remember the sweet side of my dad, especially now that he’s gone (he died in May of 2015).

One of these memories is of when my mom went to the hospital “to bring home” my little sister. My brothers were at school. My sister and I didn’t go to school yet. My dad stayed home to take care of us. I remember sitting in the corner of the kitchen, out of the way, next to my sister, while my dad mopped the floor. He was cleaning as much as he could while my mom was gone so she would not have to do it when she got home. So he scrubbed the floor then waxed the floor while we sat and watched. He talked to us the whole time. When he was finished and the floor was dry, he moved the chairs back to the table and we sat as he baked cookies. We weren’t used to him baking or cooking but when he did do it, we knew there were be special sweetness to enjoy. He didn’t use a recipe. He just did what he remembered. He made little bite-sized cookies for us. They had anise in them and were covered with powdery sugar. They were delicious. My mouth waters for them when I remember.

A few years later, I remember him making candy for us. He hammered a nail on the kitchen wall and when the candy was “cooked” and cool enough to touch, he hung the mixture on the nail and began to pull it into a long, thing rope, pulling over and over until it was just right. Then while it was still pliable, he cut it into little pieces, just big enough for our little mouths. It was delicious pulled taffy. He didn’t do that often but when he did, it was such a treat, not just the edible kind but the kind that made us look up to him with smile and sweet love and anticipation.

That’s the part I like to remember when I think of him. That, and dancing with my feet on top of his; “reading” the newspaper with him before I could read; having him push me on the swings; listening to the stories he told us about his childhood.

I hope you all have wonderful, sweet memories of your dad to look back on.

Happy Father’s Day.


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While I often have some negative memories associated with my dad and growing up, today in honor of Fathers’ Day, I will dwell on the fun stuff.

I learned to dance by standing on my dad’s feet and having him twirl me around the room. I also learned to enjoy a variety of music from him. He used to play everything from ballads, classical, country, marches, Mexican ranchera music, and more. I learned to like them all.

My father had only a second grade education. Then he had to go to work to help support his mother and himself. He and his mother were shunned, even by family, because he had been born as the result of an affair my grandmother had with a married man. No one helped them and so it was upon him to help his mother earn a living from the age of seven on.

Even so, he had a strong thirst for knowledge. He taught himself English and then he taught himself to read it and write it. One thing I have in common with him is a strong interest in words. We both love word games and word play. We also both enjoy learning about the history of different areas. When I was in second grade, I was fascinated with learning where places were on a map and on a globe my dad bought at a second hand store. Then I moved on to learn state capitals and the capitals of countries round the globe. My dad helped me learn the capitals. When I was in third grade, my dad picked up an old encyclopedia at a thrift shop and from that, he and I learned about the places we had seen on maps and on the globe.

I remember a little routine my dad and my uncle used to do when I was little. They had a way of carrying on a conversation that made absolutely no sense, yet it sounded like it did. One would start with an off the wall comment and the other would follow with a second off the wall comment that had nothing to do with the original. They would go on and on, adding a variety of tones and inflection in their voices. I’ve tried to do this and can do it for about a minute or so. My dad and my uncle used to be able to carry on for fifteen to twenty minutes before one or the other would finally crack up and end the whole thing. Here’s a sample:

Dad: Bread is fifty-nine cents a loaf now.

Uncle: Gary painted the house blue.

Dad: I’m changing the oil tomorrow.

Uncle: She crossed the street just as the light turned red.

Dad: And did they finally go to sleep?

Uncle: I worked twelve hours today.

Dad: The son is in the hospital.

Uncle: Oh! That was such a good movie!

Dad: San Francisco doesn’t have any alligators.

Uncle: Then she brought me a cup of coffee with no milk.

Dad: Frank quit smoking last month.

Uncle: Marilyn is a real looker.

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