Today is Father’s Day. Meggan took her Dad (and me) to brunch at The Ruby Slipper. Great ambiance, good food and we even found a parking place!
Watching Meggan and her Dad today reminded me of so many Father’s Day meals with my Dad. We laughed had long discussions about things that interested us and probably no one else and ate bland food. . . I want you to know that (IMHO) David is the second best Dad that ever lived. My Dad, however, is/was unquestionably the best Dad that EVER lived! And I miss him.
He’s been physically gone for several years but he is still very much present around our house. I can’t tell you how often one of will say a “dadism” like “it’s a great life if you don’t weaken!” Dad loved horrible puns, his wife, his girls and bland food. Trust me, if food happened to have any taste at all he probably hated it. And if he didn’t hate it his digestive tract would. He had a “bad stomach” with an extremely sensitive digestive tract. The only really bland food I ever saw him actively dislike were packaged flaked mashed potatoes.
We were in Europe, I think it was Holland when my Dad found a package of pre-prepared mashed potatoes in some market, somewhere. After two months of traveling and no mashed potatoes (we hadn’t gotten to England yet) he was thrilled! My Dad loved mashed potatoes – probably because they are nice and bland.
He could hardly wait until lunch time the next day. All morning he romanced those potatoes. He finally couldn’t wait any longer and declared that it was lunch time. Never mind it was about 11:00am and he was a stickler for a 1:00pm lunch! He pulled into a beautiful park for the much anticipated lunch. He was like an excited kid on Christmas morning!
Mom got out the butane stove and Dad found the package of potatoes, water, milk, fresh butter, salt and a kettle. With a great flourish he picked up the package and began to read the instructions. It took about ten seconds for his face to fall. He quietly handed the package to my Mom.
Turns out the instructions were nicely written in German, French and Italian. Not an English word in sight! Mom knew a little German so she tried her best to read the instructions. An hour later we had a very big pot of a white, gluey substance. Dad took a taste and pulled a sour face. I think he even spat them out. You could see that he was thinking seriously of blaming my Mom for the gluey mess. But Dad was gentleman and he visibly bit back his comments.
Two minutes later there was a big bang and the kettle and all the gluey potatoes were laying in the dirt. He had executed the perfect turn and somehow jiggled the table. Dad swore to his dying day that he ACCIDENTLY hit it. We (my Mom, my Sister and I) still believe he kicked the table so that the potatoes would spill and he wouldn’t have to blame Mom or pretend that the gluey mess was were edible.
To this day, every time I see mashed potatoes, I think of Dad, the accident/kick and it makes me smile. On this special day, if your Dad is still with you, enjoy celebrating his special day. If he isn’t, take a couple of minutes to remember something about him that makes you smile!
Happy Father’s Day!