Ever have a small something or other trigger a thought or memory of someone? Today would have been my Dad’s birthday if he had not passed more than 5 years ago. I think of him often and love wearing some t-shirts and flannel shirts of his. There are times I imagine how he would have coped during this pandemic. He probably would be reading his Chicken Soup books or history books, sitting and watching birds in his backyard, watching TV sports, and/or puttering around outdoors or in the basement with some project. He’d want to be sure he had his coffee, milk, sugar, crumb cake and cigarettes, and would have cooked a turkey and his famous stuffing when safely possible for those attending dinner with him and my Mom (who currently continues to live a healthy life).
The photo attached with this post is not my Dad. This man though reminded me of my Dad: blue jeans, baseball cap, sneakers, sitting by a water’s edge and relaxing … but my Dad would most likely be drinking his 3rd cup of coffee, not soda or beer. My Dad was a quiet individual, but he and I could talk about issues. He would be as distressed, as I am, about people being so cavalier about the health and safety of others during this pandemic. He and I could have talked now about the Black Lives Matter movement. I recall asking him why certain friends could not visit us in the late 1960’s in Pennsylvania. He told me it would not be safe for them to visit and explained the need for racial equality. He and I could have continued our talk about the environment and climate change, reminiscing on our 1970’s discussions about alternative sources of energy. My Dad and I would now be comparing eastern birds with western birds as we each observe birds throughout the year from our homes and asking the question, do we see less birds than 50 years ago. No doubt, I would have called to ask how to fix a particular thing as he was always handy in providing me detailed directions and possible solutions.
There have been times this past year I wished I still had my Adirondack shack, all 600 square feet of it to escape to during this pandemic! My Dad helped me install a bay window where 2 smaller windows were, build an outhouse because there wasn’t one, and set up rain gutters to collect water in a 55 gallon drum since I had no source of water. It truly was a rustic place few people enjoyed, but I loved it. It did not bother me to sleep in a winter sleeping bag. It was a luxury when Dad and I added a small wood stove to the place, which already had an oil heater. My shack of 26 years was on the best 2.5 acres of land. Just down the road with a 4 mile hike to a local lake is where I saw my first loon!
It’s interesting how a particular scene can trigger memories. My Dad lived a long life and is surely missed. I am glad also to have so many more memories of him! Fortunately our mind and heart allow us to have such strong memories and feelings! For that I am forever grateful and, of course, for the times my Dad and I shared which now seem a lifetime ago and yet it has only been 5 years. Wow!