PurdyPosted: January 4, 2013
My Dad is a man of few words. It’s not that he can’t talk, he just doesn’t unless he has something to say. I tend to think that my Mom does a lot of the talking for him, and he just doesn’t need to talk too much.
My Dad doesn’t have typical hobbies. He doesn’t watch sports. He doesn’t fish or hunt. Although, he does have a gun collection. I do remember him shooting a pellet gun at pigeons at my Nana’s house, although I don’t really think that counts. It didn’t really work either, as the pigeons always came back. I haven’t seen a gun out of the display case since I was very little kid. They are mostly antiques and I highly doubt that they are in any kind of condition to even use at this point. He doesn’t golf, he doesn’t play cards. He doesn’t go out for drinks with friends, unless it’s a couples thing and my Mom is with him.
He does have a propeller in the basement of their house. Along with an airplane engine. I don’t know if he was planning on building the plane, or what but they are both down there amidst other various mechanical projects of his.
He is an avid reader, although he was late to discover his love of reading. When he was in college, at Yellow State, it was finally discovered that he is dyslexic, many years of struggling, and they figured it out then. He basically had to learn to read over again, and then couldn’t stop. My Mom is a big reader as well, so their house is full of various books on so many different topics it can make you dizzy just looking at them all. Thank goodness my Mom finally bought him a Kindle, so we can at least buy an Amazon gift card in a pinch if we are completely stuck on a gift for him.
Two years ago we bought him the union suits. Since the ones that he had before we bought the new ones were twenty years old, I don’t think there will be a need for them in the future.
Much of the time we will buy him a sweater, or new jeans or something equally boring for a gift. He will gladly open it and tell us, “That’s purdy.” We know that this will be the response before the gift is even un-wrapped.
He does love trains, and old cars. We have bought many a train ride, train dinner, train DVDs, etc. over the years. When we were children our family vacations revolved around train museums, cemeteries, and usually one “fun” thing that would get snuck in for my sister and I.
My Mom drags my Dad out shopping with her frequently, the one thing that she has always said is that if my Dad brings her something and says he likes it, or wants to get it for one of the kids, or my sister or I she buys it. If he liked it enough to show it to her, it needs to be purchased.
When the kids are little especially, there is a lot of this. Mack had pink Oshkosh bib overalls, with a train conductor hat in every size until she grew out of them. My Dad is also the one who picked out her very first toy, a handmade wooden rattle that is saved for Mack’s future children.
The first toy bought for Mea from her Nana and Papa was a train. Super cute animals, sang songs, still gets played with, even now over five years later. This was also something my Dad picked out that was a must purchase.
He calls everyone “Kid.” Sometimes it is a term of endearment, and other times I think it’s because he may have forgotten your name, but when said to me, my sister, cousins, our childhood friends, and our kids, it is most definitely a term of endearment. (I have a funny “kid” story, I’ll have to share some other time.)
Before my sister and I were allowed out to drive on the streets, we both were taught, not only how to drive by our Dad, but also how to check oil, change a tire, and how to jump-start a car, just in case. One funny thing about being a mechanic’s daughter is that whatever noise you car is making when you drive it, it will certainly not make that noise when your father the mechanic is driving it. Technically, I drive a stick shift “wrong” according to the DOT, but it is because I learned how my Dad taught me. There is much coasting going on when I drive a stick. You really aren’t supposed to do that. The car should be in gear at all times. Failed my first driving test, re-took it in an automatic and passed.
My first memory ever is of my Dad. When I was born, my parents lived in “the little house.” We moved before I turned three, into the house that I grew up in, and that my parents still live in now. The little house had a tiny patch of strawberries in the backyard. I have always been a strawberry fiend. I love them. I remember my Dad taking me out to the backyard to pick a few strawberries for my breakfast. I got to help pick them. He washed them and cut them up for me.
My Mom is home sick with pneumonia. She rarely ever gets sick. Usually, we are making sure my Dad is kept away from all the germy children when they are sick so he doesn’t get ill. At almost 72, everyone is very careful not to expose him to anything awful. In all our care not to get him sick, somehow my Mom managed to get ill.
It is hard to believe that my Dad is that old. I don’t think he looks it at all. I see people everyday that are his age or younger that look much older than he does. I just don’t want to take any time or memories for granted with either of my parents. They are good ones, and I am pretty lucky to have them.