Happy Father’s Day!

June 16, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! I wanted to write about Dad, but I could not think of anything that I could turn into a cohesive essay. Instead, scenes started flashing through my mind, of the things that make Dad special to me.

It’s a bitterly cold winter morning and Dad is probably stiff and aching. Still, he goes down to the basement and stokes up the stove (at least these days he only has to turn up the thermostat in the kitchen). He sits in his chair and pulls on his coveralls while listening to the news, then picks up his cane and slowly thumps his way to the door to go out and care for his cattle. He should sell the cattle and retire so he can stay in bed, but he won’t. He’s been caring for his cattle for over fifty years now, and they are his life.

I enter my little upstairs bedroom. There, carefully tucked under the covers, with its “head” on my pillow, is Mom’s string mop. Dad strikes again!

The beloved slippers that I gave Dad a dozen years ago are held together with duct tape. I have found some nice slippers with Velcro so he can adjust them to fit his bad foot. I hold my breath as he opens the package. He’s never had anything like them. Will he wear them, or will he find some reason they aren’t any good and just stick them in the closet? He studies them, checks out the Velcro, then tries them on. Then he carefully tucks his old, battered slippers into the shoebox and shoves it at Mom. “Here! She can take them back—they aren’t any good.”

It’s spring, and I’m visiting the farm. The first thing out of Dad’s mouth when he sees me—“The yellow cat had her kittens.” He knows I love cats, and he never forgets the hours I spent playing with the kittens when I lived at home.

Dad is telling about a cow who gave birth to one calf, then moved off a bit and gave birth to its twin. He brought the first calf over to her and, “Her ears went forward like this…” He illustrates, cupping his hands by his ears, and I can just see the cow’s puzzlement that there are two calves!

It’s a school morning, and we kids pile into the kitchen for breakfast. There on the table, along with the cereal boxes and milk, are neat piles of whatever candy was on sale last week, one for each of us. Even as adults, we still never turn down candy from Dad, whether we really want it or not. We know that’s his way of saying “I love you.” And for Father’s Day I’m giving him a box of special, all-natural, real licorice candy, which I know he loves. It may not be traditional, but, hey, it works!

Wyndspirit Dreams