Ten things about my dad

My sister and a good friend just had babies in the last two months. It is fun watching (well I guess more through pictures at the moment) and thinking about Chris being a father someday. It has also prompted me to be reflective about my relationship with my own father. It was not really a rock-solid relationship. We had hard times, we had good times, but through it all we had memories. Here are a few remembrances of my dad:

  1. If I knew I would lose him at such a young age, I would have kept all the letters he wrote to me on Christmas Eve (aka Santa who ate my cookies and drank the egg nog). Of course we left out egg nog for Santa, my dad LOVED his egg nog. The letters from Santa though, I guess I got rid of them, and they were the few letters I had from my dad. It would have been fun today to hear his wisdom. Especially during a holiday he loved. I am positive his letters probably shared his best self.
  2. I wish he had been here long enough to meet Chris. He would have inadvertently taught him about construction. Chris would have picked up things quickly and learned to leave the truly professional jobs for the professionals.
  3. He would have fun talking to Chris about cars. His “Automobile Quarterly” was a cherished possession. The two of them would geek out, although he would probably talk Chris’ head off with his endless stories of growing up on his Dad’s car lot.
  4. The only movie I can remember seeing with him is, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Seriously? What was he thinking? Bad movie, Dad.
  5. His blue pickup truck was, well honestly, a piece of shit, but it was his truck and it contained all of his endless notes, crappy construction items, odd-shaped pencils, tape measures, clipboards, and what I will never forget, the device you could wire to the horn and play my favorite ever – the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. How cool I thought it was to have that blaring from the truck as we drove down the street.
  6. I wish I knew I had a short time with him. I would have gotten over the grudge I held for so long. Not that it would have been easy for him, but I would have made us talk through our differences.
  7. I do not remember it as much as a kid, but as I got older and saw him less and less, he seemed to show his emotion more and more. If only that had started earlier on in my life. If only.
  8. He was a good/big hugger. Maybe that is where I get it from.
  9. He had an addiction to Ritz crackers and peanut butter. I do not share this addiction. It just makes me think of sandpaper and glue. Dry and sticks to your mouth. Lime chips are where it is at! Wish I could spoil him with my addiction.
  10. He would have loved iPhones. Not for the email, or phone, but for the games. If he knew you could play Cribbage, Euchre, Scrabble, Solitaire, I can imagine how unproductive he would have become. I think he would have played me from wherever he would be living.

Friends, Cribbage, and a Phone #?

Last week, I met a friend at a local bar to hang out and play Cribbage. Yes, you heard me right, Cribbage. Do you know the game? My father taught me when I was in elementary school. I wanted to learn so that I could play with him. Knowing how to play his favorite games meant that was more time I could spend with him, which as I remember was not too often. There are a few activities you could do 1:1 with him. Circle word puzzles and cribbage were top on his list. Over the years I would play here and there and after a long stint of not playing I would have to refresh my memory. Somehow it is like riding a bike, it always comes back to me.

handmade cribbage board

handmade cribbage board

Which is why I was happily surprised when two different waiters and a bartender walked by our table outside (thank you Portland heat lamps) and asked about our Cribbage game. They actually knew what we were playing. They even commented on my beautiful Cribbage board (purchased at the Portland Saturday Market). What is it about the game of Cribbage that piques the interest of others? One waiter mentioned watching his grandfather and father playing on the beach. He said he had a very specific image in his head, stated to us with a smile on his face.

I would like to tell you that we finished our game and I kicked my friend’s butt, but we never finished our game. Instead we talked about life, love, and included a few 15, 2 and 15, 4’s in the mix. (Savvy Cribbage players will understand).

Word to the wise, for those of you looking for a date. If you live in Portland, bring along a Cribbage board. The three men that stopped us were not to shabby (don’t worry I told Chris). I think a deck of cards, some pegs, and a nice handmade board might be just the way to get an extra wink and maybe a phone number.