Father’s Day never seems to get quite the attention Mother’s Day does. I think it’s ‘cause they’re both holidays dreamed up by big, business types to sell stuff, and, let’s face it, women are just easier to buy for. Or maybe it’s because fathers tend to hang in the background, while mothers get most all of the praise for how their kids turns out. So Father’s Day is quieter, more mellow. Less pressure.
The whole crew was here for Sunday brunch: Dad, my sister Irene, and Jimbo, and their kids Caitlin and her boyfriend, Adam and Jimmy and his new gal Courtney. Charlie’s folks and my mom have passed, God rest their souls, but they were with us in spirit.
I served our famous “egg dish,” something our mom used to make. Don’t know where she got the recipe. We used to have it Christmas morning along with the pork pie. Why is it famous? Well, it looks and tastes like it’s real complicated, but it’s easy as all get out.
You put the egg dish together the night before. The ingredients are pretty simple: white bread, butter, milk, a dozen eggs and two cups of shredded cheddar cheese. How can you mess up with a combo like that, right? You let it soak overnight, then bake it for an hour or so in the morning. It puffs up all golden brown like a soufflé. Impressive! So, we had that. Plus, I cooked up some nice breakfast sausage, and Reeny brought a fruit salad and some of her delicious cranberry-nut bread. She uses real lemon zest in it, which gives it a zing. Love that!
There’s always an empty chair where our mom used to sit, but Dad looked so happy, surrounded by his family. Sometimes, I look at him and am startled by all his gray hair and our nervousness every time he goes up or down the stairs, afraid his knee will give out. In my head, he’ll always be my big, strong dad.
See, I’m a daddy’s girl. He and I are more alike than either of us would care to admit. Actually, we’re too stubborn to admit it. Where Irene and mom were always the peacemakers, quietly trying to keep things hunky dory, my dad and me are quick to anger. We blow up, then get over it. When I was a teenager, we’d occasionally go head to head, but we’ve mellowed with age.
When it comes to bringing up a topic and getting my dad to do something, I’m always amazed at how my sister Irene knows how to come in the back door. Just like mom. I have a more direct approach; calling a spade a spade. Neither technique is better than the other, and actually work pretty good in tandem. If it wasn’t for Dad’s stubbornness and that darn selective hearing, he wouldn’t stand a chance.
For Father’s Day presents, Irene and me usually give him food. You know, he’s down to Mahoosuc Green, and he gets his dinner in the dining room there. But he has a little kitchenette in his apartment, where he has breakfast and lunch. We like to put together stuff that our mother or his mother used to make, you know, a little taste of home.
So, I whipped together some Spam salad with a little sweet pickle relish in it, just the way he likes it. Irene made a miniature meat loaf with mashed potatoes and maple carrots on the side. And Caitlin, the sweetie, baked him some blueberry muffins. He’s under strict orders to keep those down to one a day, though. He has to keep an eye on his blood sugar. Poor Dad, with all these women bossing him around. But he holds his own. Heaven knows he’s had plenty of practice!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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