Sunday, September 26, 2010

To Dad, With Love

   So this weekend was the harvest dinner at our local fire department.  It was pretty good too!  We went last year and I wasn't impressed although D was, so we went again this year.  We walked over, it's not far from our house and we figured we'd need a good walk afterwards, anyway.  We try to get there early because there's always a line and it doesn't get any shorter for a couple hours!
   We're standing in line, talking to each other, when D overhears conversation behind us and totally switches to them.  This happens ALL the time.  He's the extrovert in this relationship by far.  If it was me I would've ordered the take-out version of the dinner and ate at home.  Actually, I would've skipped it all together if I was really being honest.  Anyway, we start talking about cable, special-to-us channels, and the Amish.  It was really nice!
   Finally the line starts moving and we go in to pay.  As I'm writing out a check I notice that the woman taking my money must have had a serious fall.  Her eye was black and blue and her arm appeared to be broken or sprained.  Now this woman is probably in her 90's now, but you wouldn't know it.  She has the attitude of a much younger person.  It was really good to see her again.
   When we sat down to dinner and started passing plates around, we realized we were sitting with the same people we sat with last year!  On the opposite side of the room and table but definitely the same folks!  How amazing is that?  We had good conversations and the food was great!  Last year the gravy was sobland but this year it was just the right blend of spices. 
   The harvest dinner consists of turkey, gravy, stuffing, coleslaw, squash, carrots & peas, and rolls.  Oh yeah, and cranberry sauce, yuck!  It's served just like you would serve your own dinner - in bowls and on platters - and everyone passes the food to each other.  It was like we were a huge family!  For dessert we got to pick from a huge selection of pie and cake.  I chose cherry pie and was not disappointed!
   That's what we did this weekend, but before I sign off, and this was the reason I wrote in the first place, something happened in that old fire hall while we were there.  I saw my dad.  Except it wasn't my dad because he passed away ten years ago.  No, I did not see a ghost.  I do believe in them, but I know my dad is in heaven.  No unfinished business. 
   No, we were finishing up our dinner when a couple from another table got up and walked over to the end of ours.  They were probably ten feet away from us and when I looked over there was a man that looked so much like my dad.  He was shorter, not as long in the torso as dad, but he was wearing a plaid flannel shirt with dress pants and suspenders.  And he had a blue cap on his head like my dad would wear.  I nudged D.  I told him to look at the end of the table.  I told him that the man there looked like my dad.  Then I stared down into my cherry pie and tried to still the tears that built up so damn quickly.
   I miss my dad.  I miss him alot.  Just as we were really starting to get to know each other - as adults - I lost him.  But he taught me a lot and I feel him close to me in my heart.  And I felt him close to me that day at the harvest dinner.  So today's blog is dedicated to my father.
          To my dad, with love, me...

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