2017.06.14 Old: Father's Day remembered

There are weeks when I don’t quite approve of the newspaper we make. It just isn’t as good as I would like it to be. This one is one the edge, but let me explain: I dared leave town for five days to visit grandchildren. At this time, I just hope we make deadline.


I got up early and washed the dishes this morning. All the dishes. Three drying racks full. Things have been busy recently. The counter was getting deep and the cupboards empty.

I don’t know how my good deed will go over, it’s Father’s Day, after all, and I’m probably not supposed to do something like that. But if I got the drain snake out and fixed that slow-emptying bathtub, I doubt that I’d hear a single complaint, not on any day of the year. Maybe I’ll do that later today. I’d be the hero of Father’s Day.

Father’s Day was observed last night to some extent. Colleen spoke to someone on the phone who mentioned she had already given her husband his gift. My kids took that as permission to get the show on the road and out came the presents.

First came an interesting pair of shoes. When we were shopping for the kids last week, I spied a pair of Converse All-Star semi-high tops that I really liked.

They weren’t the old thin cloth ones from 30 years ago, but there were similarities. These are more of an updated 1990s version. They’re still cloth, but there’s some padding added. They still have the old gum sole, but it’s much thicker. I could step on a honey locust thorn and it probably wouldn’t poke through.

Of course they cost more than the $6.99 pair I last bought at Meyer’s Department Store in 1965. Actually, they gained in value. When I finished with that pair, they were worth a lot more than when I bought them. I customized those babies. I dyed the shoelaces bright green and glued gold corduroy to the tongues.

But these new ones I saw in the store were both odd and functional enough to catch my eye. They aren’t soon-to-be-dirty white nor a somber black. I really wanted those shoes, but the only pair around fit my 11-year-old daughter.

Rosanna bought them for herself and I forgot about the shoe, figuring I would eventually end up with something I didn’t really want. But when I reached into the Father’s Day box, there was a pair in my size, or at least almost my size.

Actually, I didn’t recognize them. They looked a little more odd when I saw them in a large size. I’m sure the girls will just laugh when I wear them and Ben will probably be embarrassed. They’re that good.

I was also given a pair of bargain-table books, one of which I have to finish today before it’s passed on to my father. We’re sharing that gift.

I didn’t enjoy the gift giving all that much because Mother’s Day still weighs heavily on my mind. It was pretty much a non-existent holiday in our house. A look back at the calendar reminds me how busy it was, but I should have made the time.

You might think that’s why I got up early to wash dishes today—still trying to make up for presents never given. The truth is, I was up early because six kids drove off to Boys’ State today. They left the Legion Hall at 6 a.m. and it was the best chance to get their photo.

I couldn’t get back to sleep so I tried to write this column knowing I really had nothing to discuss. When my wife is in this predicament, she washes dishes and something comes her way.

I’ve tried it before and as usual, it never works for me. I ponder the mystery of how so many dishes could become dirty so fast. I wonder whether the load of glasses will be dry by the time I’m ready to rinse plates. I think about how the sink and counter will become covered with dirty items again before the day is over. 

And that’s not much to write about. But I have reached some degree of closure here and I only hope that Colleen already has her column idea in mind.

When she walks into the kitchen and turns toward the sink for inspiration, there’ll be nothing left for her to think about.