Monday, June 18, 2012

Fried Baloney Sandwiches

I love my job! No really, I do. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful job. It can sometimes, however, get in the way of my fun and my blogging... But that is what those pesky day jobs sometimes do. I apologize for the lapse.

Yesterday was Father's Day, number 2 without Deddy and number 1 without Grandeddy. Mama and Sissy were out of town, so I was intent upon pretending it was any regular Sunday. My wonderful hubby took my dear father-in-law out to breakfast early while I was at church and scheduled a Sunday afternoon of sitting on the front porch reading. It was the perfect plan to live in denial. But don't you love when God butts in and throws a monkey wrench in your plan, in a inconspicuous way.Yesterday went exactly as planned; church, lunch, reading, and napping on the front porch. However, I did not get to pretend that it was not Father's Day and I did not get to not think about my two missing fellas.

And what started an avalanche of memories? Why food, of course. Good to you but bad for you food. Fried Baloney Sandwiches and Banana Sandwiches. I do realize that for most people, baloney is mis-spelled, with the proper spelling being bologna. Where I am from, you would be more likely to see it spelled baloney on someone's grocery list and that's not because we don't know how to spell it, we just like it that way.

Sitting with some of the best musicians (EVER!) at church yesterday, the conversation centered around their children. One person mentioned he hoped his children had planned a day canoeing because nothing would be better than that as a Father's Day gift. Many of us spend our lives feeling as if we need bigger and better to be successful. We work hard to have a nice house, nice cars to meet the definition of what others tell us is success. But when it all boils down, it is the simple things that stick with us; canoeing, fishing, singing in the backyard to the radio as loud as we can get it. Deddy worked two jobs when I was growing up so that he and Mama could give us a nice home, food on the table and clothes on our back. We were not wealthy and there were times we were broke. I never knew it and it certainly isn't what I think of now.

Now, I have one of those brains that one thought can cause a tornado of thoughts to spin around in my head as you can tell from the paragraph above. All of that came from one simple comment from a friend at church about a Father's Day gift. I still had my mind made up that it was NOT going to be a sad day of me thinking about what I was missing because I was not going to think about it at all. Then it happened, my day went exactly as I had planned. Indeed, I was so smart, my to do list yesterday was perfect for avoiding all of the crappy stuff that sneaks up on you in quiet moments when you have lost a part of your world. I have learned as a Christian, God is a part of your life even when your to do list has conveniently left his plan off. He understands that I am still sad, angry and devastated that my Dad is gone. He understands that I have a hole in my heart the size of Texas and nothing seems to diminish it. I think that may be why He gave me a Father's Day gift.

It started by reading a book that is in the Southern chick-lit genre. I wanted something fun to read that I could finish in one afternoon. I settled down and it was a cute book for an afternoon of front porch reading. And there is was- a fried baloney sandwich, spelled the "proper" way. It was a special treat for the character in the book. I thought of how long it had been since I had had a fried baloney sandwich and there is was- when I still lived at home and it made me think of Deddy. No ma'am, we are not doing this today. Keep reading, forget about the stupid fried baloney sandwich and your spaghetti sauce that Deddy loved even with the mushrooms you chopped small thinking he would not know they were in there. Ugh and the potted meat he would put mustard in and eat out of the can with Saltines. How can anyone eat that stuff? And lets not talk about Vienna Sausages. What in the heck is in it anyway? Oh yeah- "Josephine, it is the rooter to the tooter and it is perfect fishing food. Quick, easy and good!" Fishing on the Tar River, I got to drive the boat and never once had to bait my on hook. It was peaceful and he let us swim in the river even if we didn't wear our bathing suits. We could drive the boat fast enough to dry off before it was time to go home. Sunburned and full of Munchos and Jungle Juice. Deddy picking the corn in my garden because there were spiders in the stalks. Conveniently forgetting to tell me there would be an iced pig in the bathtub on the Sundays we had pig pickins so I would throw back the shower curtain and Wilbur would cause me to jump 5' in the air. (Where else you gonna store your 80 lbs pig?) Pig pickins and the beer to pig/beer to Deddy ratio. Grandeddy and Deddy cooking the pigs/grilling out. Grilling out at White Lake. Grandeddy taking of his shirt and his tanned truck driver arms such a contrast from his white torso, he looked like he still had on a t-shirt. Grandeddy chucking my life-size doll because she was a little too life like and he thought there was a dead body in his storage freezer. (Grandma could not even save her from the trash pile at that point.) Trips to Myrtle Beach when grandeddy had a Teamsters meeting there.  Summer afternoons when Grandma and I always had to be back home in time to make lunch for Grandeddy, a banana sandwich on whole wheat. I closed my eyes smiling thinking of all those great memories and I fell asleep, in my chair on my front porch. A relaxing, warm from the sun nap that was nourishing. I think I was even smiling, OK, so it may have been my mouth was gaping open but I am going with smiling. When I woke up, I was in a better mood and happy. Not once did I remember cancer or COPD. Not once did I see either of them sick. They were smiling well not so much when the doll scared Grandeddy half-to-death but these were good memories. Simple times that were wonderful. If you have an opportunity, make time for these moments, savor them. Swing at the park, go fishing, dance with abandon with a little one, act goofy and sing at the top of your lungs, out-of tune with someone you love. There will come a time when they are the gifts that gets you through the day and reassures you that you will be OK again.

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