As you know, I have written many times about my Dad, and all the unique traits he possessed. His life, his personality, and all the funny things he did, could fill enough pages to produce a volume of books. He truly was a “character,” and even though he is gone, for some reason, just remembering his ways keeps him every bit alive.
I don’t think anyone has a “perfect” father, or mother, because none of us are perfect. However, some of us are blessed with good parents, and for that I am thankful. Getting back to Dad, he had some traits that live on in his children. Let me tell you about some of those.
My dad, as many of you know, was an Italian immigrant, and a butcher in his lifetime. This job gave him access to many things. One of which, was the day-old meat that had to be discarded, which of course ended up on our table, because my dad would bring anything home, and I mean anything. His words still ring… “Little girl, never waste anything! Just scrape it off, clean it up, and give it a little attention. This is a blessing from the Good Lord!” Then he would beat his chest and say, “We live in America!”
This was also true of the dying plants that ended up in the near-by dumpster. I can remember my dad bringing home all-but-dead plants of every kind. They ranged from fancy rose bushes to trees, to every kind of perennials, and even little trays of dried up annuals. “Wow, look at these honey,” he would proudly say to me, “these are treasures.” He would then fill big and little buckets with manure and water; stir it around, and place the plants in the water from anywhere to 3 to 5 days. I was right by his side when he planted them all around our yard. Most all those plants survived, and in no time, our yard was the beauty of the neighborhood.
My father also loved to decorate his house, and one time he found some paint cans half-filled that someone was giving away. He promptly took the paint and painted his garage door with the different colored paints. He thought it was beautiful, but this was one time when his son-in-law, my husband, gently convinced dad that this was a little too much. The next week, dad painted the door in one color. We are still laughing about this.
While mom loved to sew, and didn’t care much for flowers, it was I who grew a love for flowers. I walk out on my front porch and see the little sapling oak tree of many years ago planted by my dad, and admire the giant beauty it has become. My love for cooking also came from dad, and how to this day, I hate to waste food. I sometimes stray to the day-old meat in the reduced case, bring it home, and cook up a masterpiece.
I love you, Dad, and thank you for the memories. They are not wasted… that are alive and well in me. My other two siblings thank you also, they also repeat many of your ways. We all say, Happy Father’s Day.