TOMC – 09.11.20

Well, it happened today. I was headed back home from picking up pizza. At the stoplight near the Edmond Wine Shop I glanced at my odometer. Cosmic Karma.

It’s gonna be hard selling this one.

Happy Father’s Day 2020 – Pandemic Version

Father’s Day 2020 – Pandemic Version

Dad died nearly 24 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long. When I started writing this I honestly believed the words would come pouring out, the memories would be sharp and events that happened so long ago would feel as if they happened yesterday. Well, guess what? I’ve been stumbling over my words, all of my memories are somewhat foggy at this point, and few events stand out as worthwhile things to write about. When you write as much as I do not having anything to write about (especially on Father’s Day) is odd. But the more I think about this I remember the thing I want to write about. I want to tell you about Dad’s Old Car.

“I had this habit for a long time, I used to get in my car and I would drive back through my old neighborhood, a little town I grew up in. And I would always drive past the little houses I used to live in…and I got so I would do it really regularly, for years. And I eventually got to wonderin’, what the hell am I doin? And so, I went to see a psychiatrist (laughter), this is true!…and, I sat down and I said, ‘you know, doc, for years I’ve been getting in my car, and I drive back to my town and I pass my houses late at night and, you know, what am I doing?’ And he said, ‘I want YOU to tell me what you think you’re doing.’ So I go ‘that’s what I’m paying YOU for.’ So he says, ‘well, what you’re doing’ he says ‘is that something bad happened, and, you know, you’re going back, you know, thinkin’ that you can make it right again. Something went wrong and you keep going back to see if you can fix it, and somehow make it right.’ and I sat there and I said, ‘that IS what I’m doing.’ And he said, ‘well you can’t’.”

Bruce Springsteen

Dad’s Old Car was a Chevy Bel Air. It was a turquoise and brown Chevrolet Bel Air, the brown being the various rusted out spots scattered where rust happens to an older car. The car was bought used. Dad never bought new cars probably because he couldn’t afford new cars. As much as I think fondly of that car now, as a kid I could hardly hide my embarrassment for the fact our family had to drive a beater. I was angry too. When I got my driver’s license the car insurance premium soared to an unaffordable level for a family of six having trouble making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. Dad asked me to surrender my license which I agreed to. When the insurance company got proof from the motor vehicle agency I no longer had a license, they lowered the premium back down.

One day when I wasn’t being lectured or yelled at or yelling back I asked Dad why he never bought new cars.

“A car gets you from point A to point B. That’s it. You can spend as much as you want or as little as you want. They all do the same thing.”

“Now the neighbors come from near and far
As we pull up in our brand new used car
I wish he’d just hit the gas and let out a cry
and tell ’em all they can kiss our asses goodbye”

Used Cars – Springsteen

It’s funny the things you think about, the memories that come alive on certain days. And while we’re on the topic of Dad’s Old Car here’s an update on TOMC (The Old Man Car). TOMC hit 70,000 miles last year. On Father’s Day 2020 this is where the odometer sits:

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Thanks for the life advice Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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Love in the Time of Ourselves: Reflections From a Memoir Teacher — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

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By Joelle Fraser The other morning, like tens of thousands of parents, I woke to a message: our children would not be returning to school after spring break. It almost felt like old news. The threat of change had been in the air itself, as real and invisible as the virus that caused it…

As a reader of others’ memories, I have little advice for mothers, for parents, just this: you will be remembered in ways you cannot imagine. Whole books could be written about how much you mattered, and how deeply you were loved

via Love in the Time of Ourselves: Reflections From a Memoir Teacher — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

Read this entire wonderful piece of writing.

My next post will be about food.  Promise.

Memories Hidden From View

The past is merely fragmented memories woven into a story that changes according to how you tell it. You can alter the impact your past has on you by changing your story about it…You live in whatever story you tell yourself.

Jarl Forsman and Steve Sekhon – Bite Size Happiness: Volume 1

Taking time off from work is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve taken long weekends where by the final day I am ready to head back to the office and get back to work. This compulsive urge of needing to work has been with me my entire life. My parents’ generation of immigrants, my ethnic heritage, my upbringing all contributed to my strong work ethic. I was quite surprised when recently all of this changed. It’s not that I’ve lost my work ethic or anything like that. I still work hard but I’ve also found other things to do with my time. One of the projects on this extended weekend was to de-clutter  and the target was my collection of saved recipes. Like any other household item the strategy was brutally simple: keep or toss. It didn’t take long to determine that most of the recipes I’d been keeping for possible future meals would be tossed.  Here’s some of the things that you learn about yourself while de-cluttering your recipe collection:

  1. I had saved recipes and old newspaper clippings since 1976.
  2. I never used any of those recipes.
  3. I’ve known for a long time that what I cook and eat currently is a lot different than what I used to cook and eat.  Most of the saved recipes are dishes that I would not cook now.
  4. An entire folder of pork and lamb recipes got tossed.  I eat pork on rare occasions and can’t even remember the last time I had lamb.
  5. Groupings of old newspaper articles eventually became cookbooks for their authors.  I have these same recipes in the cookbooks from the same authors in my cookbook collection.  Why did I keep the old clippings?
  6. Thinning out the cookbook collection is next on the de-clutter list.

I was literally tossing out everything until I found this:

 

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At first I didn’t recognize what I was holding in my hand.  It took a few minutes to realize I was holding an old recipe that was written in my Father’s handwriting.  After this discovery the pace of my purge slowed.  I didn’t want to accidentally discard a cherished memory.

Memories hidden from view that were here with me waiting to be uncovered and woven back into my story.  Have I ever mentioned my Father was one hell of a cook?

 

2017 – Year End Review

This happened…

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I had trouble growing tomatoes but managed to grow a few bunnies.

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A new member of the family arrived.

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Another next Gen got married.

We did not move to SF for the opportunity to buy and live in a closet for $425,000.

I discovered yet another reason to quit playing guitar (watch his left hand).

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The Old Man Car lives on.

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And this guy showed up at the house.

Happy New Year to all.

 

Pet Exposure may Reduce Allergy and Obesity – ScienceDaily

The latest findings from Kozyrskyj and her team’s work on fecal samples collected from infants registered in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study build on two decades of research that show children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma.

Source: Pet exposure may reduce allergy and obesity: Research shows having a dog early in life may alter gut bacteria in immune-boosting ways — ScienceDaily

When the kids were little we didn’t have furry friends in the house.  We thought this would be bad for the allergies.  Turns out we may have been wrong.

Your Mother and I apologize for your childhood canine deprivation syndrome.