I was reminded this morning how much I am like my father. The doorbell rang a few minutes past 10 a.m. and I, still in my bathrobe, threw the banana I was holding into the air, let out a war whoop of fear, and charged into the bathroom to hide.
This knee-jerk reaction is just one of many traits I share with my dad. I also suffer his seasonal allergies, inherited crooked teeth, and I fight a perpetual battle with tardiness. Case in point – I haven’t sent a Father’s Day card to him… now two days after the fact…
So here’s a Happy Father’s Day, albeit belated, and thanks to Roger for all the good things he’s passed on as well.
Both my parents have always encouraged my writing, but my dad is the one I grew up hearing in the early morning hours as he hunted and pecked out his latest political manifesto for the local paper. Both my parents were great story tellers and comedians, filling our imaginations from birth with Bible stories, fairy tales, songs, poems, history and literature. But it was my dad who always (and probably still) reads “Mr. Lion’s Plum Pudding” aloud every Christmas. Both my parents are avid outdoors people with a love for camping, fishing, hunting and hiking – but it is my dad who is always ready to drop everything to join me when enticed with a rod and reel.
Yes, my father is a real character. No one else’s father I know of mutters the speeches from “Braveheart” to himself in the bathroom. No one else’s father spends hours in a dimly-lit basement, meticulously cross-pollinating miniature roses under heat lamps. No one else’s father collects barbecue sauces from all over the country… and had to get his own mini-fridge to store them all in! And few fathers I can think of have given up so much to root themselves so deeply in their beliefs.
I think of my dad a lot these days when I’m out in the garden. Like my sister Caroline, I don’t know if I really inherited my dad’s green thumb, but I do have a love of the earth ingrained in me. Of course, some could say it was not entirely my choice… as I can remember long, hot afternoons of being enlisted by my dad to scratch a noxious concoction of fertilizers into the upper soil of 40 or more rose bushes around the house… on those days, I was definitely grumbling “no one else’s father does this!” But now that gardening is by choice, I do enjoy it more, and I often find myself asking ol’ Dad for advice. And, while the results are nothing spectacular yet, I have been able to successfully grow a few roses.
Do you think that’s symbolic?
Anyway… I Love you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day.