Monday, February 20, 2017

a little misty

This retirement stuff is a pretty good gig.  Lots of reading, time with kids and grandkids, bits of projects in the house and gardens, some gym time. 

And I'm getting really good at naps.

Last week, Jack and I went to Ephraim for a few days.  He went to a class to learn to make another piece of furniture.  I stayed in the hotel for the first two days (which was like retirement without dogs) and then spent time driving around in the truck on the last day we were there. 

I drove down to Manti and stopped for lunch at the same place we ate breakfast at on the day Stu and Shi were married. 


It was the kind of place my dad used to love to drive to for a late lunch or early dinner.  A place that served a tossed salad followed by chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and milk gravy.  Sitting in that booth, looking out the window at the motel where Shi and her parents stayed on her wedding eve fifteen years ago, remembering so many meals in restaurants just like that one with my dad, left me feeling misty and emotional. 


So much time passed by, so many good memories.

The other day at my mom's house, I picked out a Dove chocolate from a bag of them on her kitchen table.  I love that when I open a Dove chocolate I get not only a sweet little treat, but also a few words to read.  This is the wrapper from my Dove chocolate last week:

I thought this was excellent advice and got a little misty after reading it.  I showed it to my mom, who smiled and noted that I probably shouldn't be following that bit of advice. 

The first thing I remembered that I could quote from my dad was his never ending quest for someone to pull his finger, and then, of course, he would fart.  And laugh.  Every time. 

I thought of his determination to see the world watered and green if only everyone, everywhere would install rainbirds.

I thought of his stories about trains and working at the smelter and the Silverbell gas station and being in the army air corps. 

I thought of his tale of drinking a cup of tea with his mother who would then offer to read his tea leaves by tipping his cup upside down into his saucer and then carefully examining the leaves and proclaiming his future for that day.

Then I thought of the day when I learned my daughter and her family were moving to California.  Jack understood how distraught I was by this and immediately told me I would just have to plan to visit them often.  When I told my dad they were moving, he took my hand in his, looked me in the eye and said he knew how much I loved that little family and that must have been one of the hardest things ever for me.

I'm not sure my dad was really the kind of guy people would quote.  But he was funny and experienced and smart and thoughtful and very kind and he knew me.  Thinking about him and being in their house, sitting on the kitchen bench next to where he always sat, sitting on the couch next to where he always sat, and sitting in a small town cafe where we'd spent time together all likely contributed to my misty emotional state.  

I suppose that's how the thing called death works.  You can find joy in the memories even in the mist of still raw emotion.  And it's okay.

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