I spent Christmas with my Dad. We were both going to be alone for the holidays and have our own reasons for not enjoying the holiday season. So, we decided to just hang out together. He is from New Mexico and has occasionally been heard to say that it gets too cold there. I live in Idaho, very close to Canada. And we had a cold snap. And we had snow. Lots of snow. I will never forget the look he gave me after I had to go out and buy a snowblower. It was an interesting combination of pity and disgust. It might have just been he was cold because we had to drive with the hatchback open to get it home. I didn’t ask because I was thinking about how fun power tools are. (It stops being fun after you have to do it three times within 12 hours.)
We had a very mellow good time. We even went grocery shopping. We made meals and watched Sons of Anarchy. We laughed and just enjoyed each other. I was looking in the pantry this morning and I cant find my cereal. There are 2 very large onions, some potatoes, and I think a box of pasta helper I didn’t buy. I also have a new toaster but I am not sure what happened to my frying pan.
He is a little hard of hearing and has a knack for starting conversations as you leave the room. I found myself holding my pee several times while he asked about something or told me a story. I also find myself whispering throughout my day because I find myself talking very loudly whenever I am around him. I slip into interpreting and repeating when we are out at restaurants or in stores. The day after he left I turned on the TV and panicked as the loud explosion on the show reverberated through the house. There was a brief minute, right after I nearly wet my pants, that I forgot that I could turn down the volume.
My Dad has this knack of questioning things he disagrees with. It is very subtle. “So, you like to use crescent wrenches when you put together machinery?” Its not necessarily condemnation, but it is clear that a box wrench or even a gosh darn socket wrench would be better. I have developed two habits when questioned about anything in my life. One is to just say, “Yep.” The other is to have ready a complete explanation and rationale, complete with cited references and quoted statistics as to why the use of a crescent wrench is superior in agility and adjustable functionality. For the snowblower, I just said, “Yep.”
We drive each other absolutely batty sometimes. We are good friends and enjoy each other most of the time. I am baffled by him frequently. I am amused by him as well. There are few people in this world I trust and respect as much as him. Its nice to get to pee when I need, recognize the food in my cabinets, and not feel the need for prepared answers when I use the lazy tool. I can have the TV at a volume that wont frighten airplane pilots.
I miss him.