It is snowing, and I am feeling sentimental about a man who made a big difference in my life. A man who loved dogs, and living in the country. A man who believed in hard work and helping others. A man who endured illnesses throughout his life, and a man with the brownest of brown eyes. A man I am proud to call, Dad.
For some reason, I am picturing Dad sitting at the kitchen table eating a liverwurst and onion sandwich. He loved smelts, mackerel, and suet pudding, among other dishes. Before his health started to decline, he loved to fish and was quite the outdoor sportsman. Dad and my brother Lee, along with his nephew, Al, and Bill Sams use to enjoy hunting. I can almost picture the fun and hear the laughter. Of course, that was a very long time ago. A time that I desperately miss.
Dad also loved to build things, like the shed at our home on Molasses Road. It wasn’t perfect, but it indeed served the purpose. He also enjoyed going to auctions, buying old bikes, restoring them, and then reselling them. He was quite good at it.
And about the auctions-Mom never had to buy sheets, pillowcases, bedspreads, towels, pots, pans and just about anything a household could need. Dad also bought books. In fact, it was because of those books that my love of words started to grow. Dad was an avid reader. He enjoyed the Lonesome Dove stories. I can still see him sitting with his feet propped up on his auction find ottoman engrossed in the adventures of the wild west.
Dad loved Christmas. I think he got a kick out of how Mom decorated the house with lights inside and out. And who could forget the silver aluminum tree sitting proudly on the coffee table, in front of the picture window? To be fair, I need to go back a few years before the silver tree and mention, that Dad also loved trains and platforms. He would work for weeks perfecting his layout to perfection. Some of my fondest memories are of those works of art; miniature towns, farms, cities, and everything that went with it.
I could go on and on about this great man who stole my heart at the tender age of six. You see, he became my dad then. Why is it that my eyes fill with tears when I recall that time in my life? Not tears of sadness, but tears of thankfulness and love for this dear sweet man who took a little girl, and loved her from day one. Who never treated me any different from my two sisters and brother. Who encouraged me to follow my dreams. And who I believe, would be proud of my determination to be a writer. He may not have fathered me, but he was my Dad and I was his daughter.
Dad and Mom live together in heaven now. The memories I have of both of them fill my heart to overflowing. I am grateful that Mom said, “Yes,” when Dad asked her to marry him. How blessed I became that day. And how fortunate I have been every day since then.
The memories are many and the love is deep for a man who became my hero so many years ago.