Archive for June, 2011

Today a very dear friend of mine sent an email with random memories about her father.  Her memories were  stirred when she was emptying one laundry detergent bottle into another, savoring each and every drop not to waste any.  It reminded her of her father doing the same exact thing with ketchup when she was a child.   Her email was a way to honor her dad with Father’s Day upon us.  Although he (Timothy Lyons) has been watching over her from above for almost 23 years, my mind can still, as if it was yesterday, conjure up his smile, his laugh, and the odd ball times I was able to share with her and her family.  We were a mere 26 years old when her dad passed on.  It’s amazing at what a mind can remember and seems unbelievable that her dad Tim has been gone for that long.
I consider myself lucky to have had my dad in my life for 40 years.  This July will be 9 years since my dad was called from above and introduced to his maker.  But this is really not to mourn my father but to celebrate the 67 years of his life here on earth, and especially the 40 years that I had been blessed to have him in my life.   These are just random thoughts about the man I am and will always be proud to call my DAD.
One of my earliest memories of my dad was my feeding time as a very, very young child.  Whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner, if there was something I was leery or unsure about eating, it was time to play train, plane. automobile or animal for that matter.  Whatever was on the fork or spoon took  on a life of its own, complete with sound effects.  I can hear him say…Here comes the bunny Sandra, hopping into its bunny hole…as the carrots would bounce up and down on the fork and into my open mouth.  Or here comes the choo choo train, chugachuga, chugachuga, down the track and into the tunnel….I sometimes wonder if that is why I do sound effects at least daily in conversation..those who know me should know what I am talking about,,,,dodododoo…Zap, Chom, Chom Chom, duhdump dudump dudump
Another early memory is dancing.  Ahhhh, the weddings.  Standing on my Dad’s feet.  Yes, I was Daddy’s little and only girl. I also still choke up every time I hear the song O Holy Night.  I can still hear my dad singing that. 
My father was a very hard worker and always made sure we had a vacation.  We went to every state up and down the east coast.  One of my favorite memories, though it was not funny at the time was Skyline Drive.  You see, here we were pulling a Ventura Pop Up Sleeps 8 Camper and at first it was a nice scenic route. That is, until we got to the curves and in what seemed, close to  the clouds … with no guardrails on the side of the road, just two lanes, no passing and nowhere to turn around or pull over.  My father was deathly afraid of heights.  I remember him driving totally white knuckled, sweat pouring down his forehead screaming, “nobody talk, shut up, I’m trying to drive.”  Quiet, don’t speak another word. ”  This same scenario happened going over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel in torrential rain pulling the camper.  He also made my mom the map reader for all those vacations and road trips.  My mom would be saying, Joe…I don’t see it on the map and frustrated with one hand on the steering wheel he would point, adamantly at the Rand McNally map, Jule, it is right there, see, see? With me in the backseat thinking, damn, just keep your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel. 
My father was also a backseat cook.  He would come home and taste anything my mom was making and usually, well, more often than not, something was always missing…salt, pepper, garlic, whatnot and she would turn her back and he would be there shaking some sort of spice or adding something.  And for as far back as my memory serves, my dad complained that my mom did not know how to cut a tomato correctly/properly.  I never did look up if there is proper ways for cutting a tomato.  My father was also the King of condiments.  If it was marinade, dressing, spices, 5 types of mustard, we had it in our fridge.  The majority of the whole refrigerator door was condiments, spicy, saucy, sweet, sour, you name it. 
My dad was the only man I knew that smoked while taking a shower.  Oh, and also smoked the whole time he was eating dinner.  We named his Brown Plymouth Fury the “butt mobile.”  Funny how three of his four children (who named the car) all picked up smoking. 
As I got older, one of the things I cherished was waking up at 5 a.m. when I smelled the coffee brewing and meeting my dad at the kitchen table on Windsor Road for coffee.  He used to make the most awesome home fried potatoes and fluffy scrambled eggs and omelettes.  I loved our morning ritual, dad and daughter time.  And I have always been a morning person.
My dad  hated when people would mess up the sections of the newspaper before he got to read it.  But I would always try to get up and read the paper first as if not….I would be in for one trait I absolutely hated.  He would be reading the newspaper and say…Sandra, did you see this…and bascially read me the article.  My father was a sponge.  A bundle of information about a little bit of everything, useful and useless.  Something I know I picked up from him.  That and the messing up of the newspaper…just this morning I said to Elaine Feldman at the pantry to not to mess up my newspaper I brought in to read. 
My father also always had several projects started at once. He didn’t believe in paying for a repairman so you can imagine how that turned out!  Once he started painting the house and three years later, one side was still not finished.  A neighbor offered to finish that one side just so the house would be done before the rest of the house had to be repainted again.  We eventually got siding…LOL! 
My father also used to hunt me down.  When I was in my early 20’s (I think…Lyons correct me if I am wrong as we stayed at Doreen’s that night in “Waste Haven”) there were a few nights that I stayed out at a friend’s house.  Well, when I did not come home and he did not know where I was, Dad went out looking for me.  He drove up and down the streets of all my friends houses that he knew of looking for my car  Well, that morning I went straight into work and boy oh boy did I get in trouble the next night when he got home from work.  From then on, I learned to call, regardless of the hour of the night or morning (as he would often say…what if I was  in some ditch on the side of the road.  After that, whenever I did get in trouble…one of the first questions was…were you with Kathy Lyons?  He learned   later on that it was not Kathy who got me in trouble, it was usually me who got us in most of the situations….  But even 15 or so years later, the same scenario occurred when I was down in South Carolina and Elaine and I were out at a Video Gaming Parlor, at 3 a.m. my dad walks in to claim me/us as he was worried on where we were at such an ungodly hour.  I can’t believe that I was in my late 30’s and my father was driving all around Myrtle Beach, SC for a least an hour looking for us.
My father also had a wonderful sense of humor and basically flirted with a lot of my friends.  I remember one time a friend wrote a wish list of things she wanted after a night of drinking and left it on the kitchen table.  My father saw it and hung it up on the fridge, then one of my brothers saw it and threw it away and my father took it out of the trash, someone else threw it away and my father took it out of the trash and once again stuck it to the fridge…on the list was a new house, a new husband, breast augmentation, face list, and a big ol’ dild**.    Another acquaintance used to come over and rub my dad’s belly and say buddah…He also adopted one of my friends who was down on her luck and let her live at the house for about a year.  My dad was a very accepting person and basically befriended one and all.
Even after 9 years since his passing, I can hear him as clear as day, when I would call and say the familiar, Hi ya Daddy and he would say either “Hi ya Sandra” or “hi ya Daughter.”  I spoke to my mom this evening and we were remembering so many wonderful things about my dad, his quirks, his ambitions, but mostly his dedication to his family.  On this Father’s Day and always, Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  Keep sending me those signs of four-leaf clovers and I hope we all continue to make you proud.  Love ya forever…my father…my friend.   

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