I’ve been silent for awhile. You’ve heard about bumps in the road of life, and I’ve encountered a big one. However, I have not given up on our family cookbook/memoir. In fact, I have been quite busy with it. Have you ever done one? It’s a project, especially when you are involving several families and lots of stories and pictures. But the more I do it, the more excited I get about it. On that note, I am going to ask each person for their favorite memory of their mom and dad. I can’t wait to read the responses.
My dad was a complex person. Life of the party, jokester, tough guy, disciplinarian, generous and scary. I didn’t realize until after he died, that he was a big softie, just that he hid it very well.
I remember his letters. Oh how we dreaded those letters. You knew you were in big trouble if you got one. I only saved a couple of them and I so wish I had saved them all. They were a big window into his personality. If you click on the letter from dad above, you’ll see what I mean.
However, my favorite memory is “America the Beautiful.” Dad was a patriotic guy. When Tom and I decided to get married,( much to my dad’s undying gratitude, as I was 27 and he was sure I would be an Old Maid and he’d have to take care of me the rest of his life), his one request was that we play “America the Beautiful” at our wedding. I was stunned. I said no. Who has “America the Beautiful” sung at their wedding? How he pouted. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and my mom and I secretly arranged for the soloist to sing it. A surprise for dad. The big day came. I vividly remember dad walking up and down the halls of our home with an oxygen mask on before the service, as he was more nervous about the day than I was. We were married in the Catholic Church in town and of course my parents had insisted on a High Mass. That’s the long version of the regular Mass. It took over two hours. I can’t imagine that today! In the middle of the service, the soloist sang “America the Beautiful.” I stole a glance at dad who was sobbing. The reception was at my parent’s house where we had a pig roast and at least 200 people, several of whom weren’t invited. The best man’s brother came down from Minneapolis (he wasn’t invited) with three of his buddies. The day was the most fun and the happiest day of my life and maybe the happiest of my dad’s life.
I remember dad’s wine roast which he would make often on Sunday’s. However, it wasn’t my favorite. He was very proud of it but my favorite was his rotisserie chicken. That was incredible. This is how I think he made the wine roast:
Put a beef top round roast in a pan. Poke some holes in it. Pour a bottle of the cheapest red wine you can find over it. Marinate for a few hours while everyone is in church. Cook until well done.
Make your kids eat it.
What would your favorite memory of your dad be?