Sunday, June 21, 2015
Sometimes it seems like he is still around. The grand kids still bandy about his cane, play dress up with one of his hats (which still smells like him), and at many important family events it seems he sends a hawk. One flew over the baseball field at Jonge's first game.
Now I miss him most on Saturdays. When I was a child, most Saturdays belonged to the two of us. Sometimes we did work together, visited with some of his interesting friends, or went to the most amazing thrift/junk/dump venues that you could imagine. Or hardware stores. He liked those too.
If I remember correctly, my mom and my two older sisters had their own Saturday morning routine that involved things like baking, sewing, or putting Dippity-Doo and curlers in their hair and sitting under a hair dryer.
One of our favorite stops was a wood shop. That one was on the way to the dump. They sold bags of blocks and wooden pieces, and I think one day he did actually buy some for me, and I nearly fainted from the surprise of it. I thought of that today as I stood in the wooden pieces aisle at Michael's Craft Store and took in that wonderful smell of cut wood. It smelled like the wood shop, my dad, and our basement.
Recently I've been pondering the differences between my dad and me. He hardly bought anything on those Saturday mornings. He always said he just liked to look.
When I was a bit older he would take me to auctions. His favorite thing to bid on were old tools. Sometimes he even won. It was a gift of his to see a use for something in the future. Another gift of his was to meticulously arrange his tools in his garage and basement. On his many pegboards he hung his tools and in permanent marker traced around them so that it was easy to see where they went when it was time to put them back. My dad never lost track of his things. If they were worth having they were worth taking care of. If you needed something, say a certain type of screw, he would disappear for a minute into the basement, unscrew the baby food jar that held that particular size screw - screw the jar back on - (you know, lids nailed to boards) and come back up stairs and hand it to you. I THOUGHT I was like that, until after a few years of not living with my parents, it wore off.
When I was in early elementary school I remember lamenting to my dad that I had no one to play jump rope with. After dinner that day he called me outside. He had bored a heavy hook into our box elder tree and attached a jump rope. He twirled and I jumped. And jumped and jumped and jumped. Sometimes he even jumped while I twirled.
So many people say how they wish they had one more chance to sit down and talk to their father. I don't really feel like that. We spent a lot of time talking. If you wanted to know what he thought, you had to ask as he didn't go around telling people what to do or what to think or how to live their life. But if I could say just one thing AGAIN, because I did get to say it to him many times, it would be thank you. Thank you for all of it.