My Dad liked to think he could fix cars. He was great with carpentry and other
‘fix it’ jobs. In what we considered his ‘domain,’ the garage, there was a long,
wooden table with a clamp on it, some shelves that held some clear baby food jars
with all sorts of odds and ends in them, neatly sorted and able to see what you
needed, at a moment’s notice. As far as car repairs went, other than oil and tire
changes. . .
Dad wasn’t the best mechanic!
I thought about all those fathers out there again, while mailing my Uncle Orrin’s
and two brothers’ Father’s Day cards out today. I wish to thank all the fathers in
the world, for their sharing the responsibility of raising children. Your efforts will
surely ‘pay big dividends’ in your relationship with the kids. Whatever you ‘put into
this special parenthood,’ I believe, will come back to you. There are rare occasions
that this doesn’t happen, for those times, I am remorseful and hoping this doesn’t
ever happen to you.
I believe all those men who have helped women out, as neighbors, teachers, friends
and relatives all need to get a round of applause! I appreciate the men who were not
birth fathers, ones who became good stepdads. By throwing balls, playing games
and allowing their bodies to be human ‘jungle gyms!’ (My artistic brother, Randy,
did this best! He liked to really horse around and ‘rough house!’)
My other brother, Rich, was the calm one who read books, sat down to play games
and really listened to my children’s early attempts at reading and telling stories.
What a great balance these two men, (while I was alone, raising my kids), made!
Susan and Rich are the biggest movie goers (and also, theatre goers) I know! They
were great at also taking my kids to these also. What a treat!
They were known for kidnapping, coming down from Cleveland unexpectedly,
for a hike or a canoe trip at Alum Creek or Delaware State Park. If they called me,
I could meet them ‘halfway up the road,’ so they could take them to Mohican State
Park. Marrying Susan was an awesome addition to our family, because she was a
‘package deal,’ coming with three ‘built-in’ cousins for my children!
My brother, Randy, was known to come by our house and pick the three kids and me
up! Off we would go, to the zoo, to camping places or to a nice out of the way natural
setting. (My parents belonged to a camping organization called, Good Sam Club,
so they were often where we would head together to meet to camp and have a nice
meal, campfire and even, miniature golfing.)
If my Dad were around, we would have water play, with all kinds of noodles, boats,
rafts and other paraphernalia. His and my Mom’s cottage, up on Lake Erie, was a
respite for me, weary from babysitting 5 plus my 3, for all those years! It was more
than another set of hands, it was living by “Grandparents’ Rules!” So nice to know
someone was taking over, allowing chaos to ensue, without any consequences or
my having to lecture or punish, since mainly “Anything Goes” or went, as the case
This has nothing to do with Father’s Day, but I must divulge a secret!
My parents ‘made’ us eat brussel sprouts, spinach, lima beans and other green
vegetables. We had to stay at the table, until a majority of our food was gone.
Somehow, these rules were thrown out the window, once the grandchildren
came along! In their station wagon or their Transvan, there were chips, pretzels,
Cheetos, Good and Plenty candies, peanuts in the shell, and any other snacks
that were not meltable. If you were to open their freezer, while we were kids,
there was always Neopolitan ice cream or ice cream sandwiches. Sometimes,
we would have simply popsicles. My Dad would take a sharp knife and cut slices
of the pink, brown and white to put in a bowl for us.
Once I produced grandchildren, times had changed! There were all varieties of
ice cream, one of my favorites suddenly was around: Chocolate Chip Cookie
Dough. My Mom’s favorite became “Moosetracks,” while my Dad’s favorite
was Butter Pecan or Pralines and Cream. They had caramel and chocolate
syrup now! They were like an ice cream parlor, in all its deliciousness!
Rewards of being a parent of said grandchildren, meant that you also could
avoid vegetables and other important daily food requirements, skip breakfast
and eat donuts or ice cream…
This is pretty much a rambling post, but I will get back to the poem that may
fit the subject.
To All the Dads, Fathers, Uncles, Step Dads or Other Meaningful People
Who Have Provided Good Role Models for Children.
I have been inspired by my silly Advance Auto position as a Bins Order Filler, to
write a Father’s Day poem.
This is mainly using car terminology, the fun that can be had while traveling
around in cars or fixing them, too. Multiple applications of car parts inserted
into a wordplay-sort- of- poetry way.
“Zooming into Father’s Day”
June 12, 2014
“Start your engines.
Ignite your energy.
Spark your hearts.
Plug in your sparks.
Ready. . .
Children are shouting,
Moms are smiling,
Families are celebrating~
Dads around the world.
Driving in the country,
Come to a complete stop,
Parking at a special place.
Unpacking food and coolers,
Picnic baskets, charcoal and
Everything needed to party.
Use some elbow grease,
Pitching in with side dishes.
Hamburgers and hot dogs,
Another one will roll off
The Assembly Line.
Desserts are eaten,
Children scattered to
Merry go rounds,
Smells like gas.
Is it the baby or the car?
Don’t muffle the noise,
Turn the radios up!
Spray paint is for car details,
No graffiti on park benches.
If only in our minds.
Racing to the finish,
We won’t stop till…
We are ‘tire’d.”
Three more days to go until the Big Day for Dad comes!
“Grease” was written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
“Grease” musical was first performed at the Kingston Mines Theatre
in Chicago, Illinois in 1971. It became popular as a stageplay and later,
as a movie, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.
“Greased Lightning” was a song, that began while the teens, Danny and
Sandy, are at a drive-in movie.
What was your father talented at?
What is a favorite memory of your Dad?
Is there someone else who played an important part in your childhood,
who you would rather comment about?