Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Hey son's" and hugs

(My Dad's birthday was Monday.  So I decided I would finish this story I'd started a couple of years ago....)

It was the last and only cold day of spring.  Temps had started out in the mid-60s that April morning, but a cold front had sent them plunging into the 50's by early afternoon.  Throw in a stiff wind and it was downright chilly.

Turning off the almost-two-lane country road, I saw him standing in the driveway in his fishing hat, straightening out some line.  There was something about that moment, seeing my dad already outside getting things ready, that made me smile, and does even now.

As I got out of the car I was greeted with that familiar, drawly "Heyyy, suh-uhn."

My sister was along with Nephew Bone soon and we headed down the long, hardly-one-lane dirt driveway and across a small field to the pond.  I took notice of Nephew Bone imitating Dad -- Peepaw as he calls him -- several times that day.  And imagined myself doing the same thirty years before.

We weren't long for fishing that day.  The weather was not our friend, and no one had dressed quite warm enough for it.  So after about an hour we packed up our poles and tackle and snacks and headed back to the house.

As I drove away that day I made the same promise to myself I always make, and break: to visit more often.

And I was thankful.

Thankful that Dad was happy -- as happy as I can ever remember seeing him.  He seems to have found an ease and a contentment with life that wasn't there for far too long.

Thankful I can still call him, to ask for advice about the house, or my Jeep, or just to hear that familiar "hey son" in a world that seems to go a little crazier every day.

Thankful Nephew Bone gets to spend time he will remember with his Peepaw, and vice-versa.

And thankful there's still a place I can go to, and even though I've never lived there, feel welcomed, and loved, and home. 

Dad and I had a couple of rough patches, as I suppose fathers and sons sometimes do.  But that seems like another lifetime now.  These days, I love you's have replaced simple goodbyes.  And we've long since traded hand shakes for hugs.

That's a trade I'd recommend to anyone.

"I know I can't turn back time / We'll slow it down while we can / I'm going home to see him / While he still knows who I am..."


  1. It's lovely that you can appreciate your dad. It took until I was on my own to fully appreciate his attitude and wisdom - but better late than never.

  2. Awesome post, Bone! And happy birthday to your dad.

  3. Dads and daughters hit rough spots, too, sometimes. It's nice to have things better with my own as well. Glad you and your Dad found your way, too.

    I haven't been fishing in forever! And now I want to go :)

    PS: I've never understood shaking hands with your dad... never. Is that a distance thing? Or a father-son thing? Handshakes are for business. :)

  4. the picture of Nephew Bone in my head, so cute!

    and at least your dad isn't taking you to dinner at 4pm.

  5. This is gosh darn gorgeous.

    I love Bone & Dad posts.

    I think you're not supposed to appreciate your parents when you're young. So you can have the moments you and your Dad have now.

  6. Handshakes for hugs. Love this.

  7. Oh, you. Making a catch in my heart.

  8. Beautiful tribute, Bone!

  9. Isn't it something that the older we get, the more we appreciate and love our parents. It's a special something, and you captured is so beautifully, as always. So sorry I missed this earlier, Bone - I hope you're well!

  10. You are lucky to have him and smart to have smoothed out the bumps early enough to appreciate the relationship! I can't say the same.