Thursday, September 07, 2006

Things I remember

The picture is off flickr from sometime in the past.

Dad was 39 when he was killed. So this will be one of those random posts about nothing and everything.

THIRTY NINE THINGS

1. We spent time every summer camping at the lake, in the mountains, or on the beach. Sometimes we would set up and mom and dad would go to work from the campground.

2. Dad's sister lived in Miami. It was not uncommon for him to call home on Friday afternoon and tell us to pack some stuff - we were going to miami. 14 hour drive. just to visit and fish then come home on Sunday. I still love doing spontaneous things. I love surprises too.

3. In the only fight I remember having with him, I called him a son-of-a b*&^. That haunted me for years.

4. He helped a lady who had run out of gas when she was only sixteen. Years later, I helped the same lady when she ran out of gas. I telling me her story, we discovered the connection.

5. I wish I could hear him laugh. Just once more. I have a hard time remembering the sound of his voice. My best friend has recordings of his family. I hope he realizes how special that fact is.

6. He called the drag race car "popscicle" - I have no idea why.

7. People used to joke about the hearse having to stop on the way to the cemetary and let him talk to somebody.

8. He took his truck to be painted a taupe color and his friend painted the truck pink. Not just pink - the color was called Rose Metallic.

9. He planted marijuana (1 plant) in the city flower bed, just to prove to the Chief of Police that he didn't have a clue what it looked like. (He was right.)

10. He called classic rock and roll "jungle music" and got out of the car in the middle of the road and danced just to embarass me and my sister. (It worked)

11. He threatened to shoot the first boy who came to the house and hang him by the road as an example to the others. (Does every good southern dad make this threat?)

12. His mom died when he was 2. His dad died when he was in high school.

13. His nickname was "Rosie" I very rarely heard him called anything else.

14. We had guns in our house. I learned to respect what they were. I learned how to shoot. I never thought about shooting people. (I think the key here is respect.)

15. He taught me to water ski. He taught me to drive the boat. Together we taught many more kids to ski.

16. He was a volunteer fireman.

17. He could read the local terrain and know exactly where a fire was and how to get there.

18. He was familiar with the process for bailing someone out of jail. Some of his friends were hell raisers. Not bad people - just had bad judgement.

19. He did not get mad when I wrecked the truck in Mr Ed's pasture. I took the end off the chicken house. Best friend Jim was there. It was his dad's chicken house. (Did I mention that Jim's dad was the chief of police?)

20. He tried not to laugh when we (Jim and I) disabled the float switch on the town water tank, in freezing temps, to create a frozen waterfall. His only question was "Teresa, do you know anything about the icicle in the back yard?" (Did I mention who Jim's dad was?)

21. He did make me work for the money to fix the chicken house. I had to pick up dead chickens in the chicken houses for the summer.

22. I was allowed to drive fast in a controlled situation. Street drag racing was a forbidden activity. Somehow this was okay, because driving a 145mph on the drag strip was a lot more fun than 75 mph on the street.

23. We would float down the river on inner tubes and my mom would tie her tube to the one with the ice chest because she knew he would not leave the beer.

24. The funniest story we have about him involved a head of rotten cabbage.

25. The second funniest story involves a chicken, freezing weather, a raccoon and a fish pond.

26. We never owned a new car.

27. He never drank alcohol before 10am.

28. He watched tv with eyes closed and the sound of snoring ringing in our ears.

29. He always read the funny pages of the Sunday paper first.

30. Sing - absolutely not. Except for some song about the old grey mule named Simon Sweat and the hole in the bottom of the sea.

31. He thought it was funny when me and my sis fought over which side to sit on in the car. (We fought because I knew what side the dairy barn was on and we always played count the cows.)

32. There is 1/2 of a dollar bill still in his wallet. The other 1/2 is in the wallet of his best friend. Some brotherhood pact about never being completely broke.

33. He taught me to hunt and fish and stand my ground when needed.

34. He also taught me to be generous, and fair, and kind, and respectful.

35. I wanted the K.I.S.S. solo albums for Christmas one year. He said no, but then he took the time to listen and discover no horrible messages in the lyrics. And "santa" brought them to me.

36. We always cut a live tree for Christmas. We would hike all over his sister's farm and cut one. (Usually the very first one we looked at, but only after looking at 900 more.)

37. He and my mom had a fight about a stray cat on the day he died.

38. He made sure that we were able to handle emergencies. He taught me to act in that case, deal with the situation, and then, if I felt like it, fall apart after it was all over. I still am that way about accidents and emergencies.

39. There is no doubt that he loved us and we loved him.

Have a beautiful day.

3 comments:

lalheg said...

I feel very privileged to be reading your memories of your wonderful father. Thank you. Are you going to do something with all of this as it is too precious to be just on a blog?

Natasha said...

All I can say is thanks for this!!! I lost my Dad 3 yrs ago 8/10 and he is forever embedded in my heart. I am yet to express the full emotion of the loss. It is cathartic to read what you write.

God Bless and thanks!!

shula said...

hard to pick which one is my favourite, but the weed plant in the flower bed is right up there.

Killed? Killed?! This doesn't bode well.

I take it we have to stay tuned.

Of course, I will be anyway.