father blather


Fathers Day Weekend started with a Saturday morning drive to Santa Barbara for the summer solstice parade. Amy was dead set against it. Earlier in the week she and I had explored the paths along the creek next to our local library park, and it was magical for her. The shady trails in and out of high grasses, trees, and bushes, the rustlings of lizards and squirrels, it was all so big and wild to her.

She had to show her mom.

For three days she waxed nostalgic for that hike in the wilderness, and we assured her that come the weekend we'd make the expedition just to show her mom. That was the plan.

But we also planned to go to the parade. And we were going to visit nana and papa too. All this, including the hike, was quite possible in the time available.

This was not part of her plan. According to her you can only do one thing on the weekend, and the hike was it. She whined and pouted all the way to Santa Barbara. I kept driving.

She moaned and sulked. I did not turn this car around, young lady.

We arrived on State St. just in time for the festivities and it was a great parade. Amy loved it.

After the parade she was very sweet and happy and thanked me for taking her and I think the only thing to do at this point is to have her tested for Multiple Personality Disorder.

We did go on the hike, by the way, after a brief stop at home to freshen up. It was a mission accomplished for Amy as she showed her mom all the nooks and passages that skirt along the creek bed.

When we got home it was time for all of us to take a break, but I was anxious to get into the darkroom. I'd taken a mess of photographs at the parade and, as always, I wanted to see what kind of work I'd done. Some of the shots turned out pretty good and I'll get around to posting them when great gobs of time come floating down from the sky and land on my calendar.

The next day, Sunday, we drove down to Orange County to see my parents. We took along the new croquet set that Viv and Amy gave me for Fathers Day and played a few rounds on the back lawn. We even convinced Dorothy the neighbor lady to come over for a go through the wickets.

It was a generally positive visit, which means that I exercised restraint on a fairly constant basis and withheld all suggestion that perhaps people in their seventies might view health as something they participate in rather than something that happens to them. I kept my passive/aggressive mutterings and asides to myself and took the view that an atmosphere of ignorance, fear, and denial can be delightfully freeing, particularly when there's good sports programming on the TEEvee.

We drove home with the usual routine of deep cleansing breaths and shudders to shake off the disbelief/wonder/malaise that seems to stick to the roof of our brains after these visits.

The relationship I have with my parents is typically fraught with the baggage of the past, but my estimation is that this baggage is ample not just for an only child, but for a regiment of only children. The psychological spelunking required to fathom what went on suggests to me that if my parents had had ten kids, each would, in a sense, be an only child, so powerful was the need to insulate oneself from craziness.

Ohh baby, just look at me whine! Yeehaaaaw!

So I s'pose you can gather that it's good to be home now after this bi-polar weekend. Summer is officially underway.


Today's Music:

"Daddy Daddy Daddy" -- Frank Zappa -- 200 Motels


Wisdom of the Day:

There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us. I have observed for example that we all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter.

- Bat Masterson