Sunday, June 21, 2009

Take a picture

Happy father's day 2009. We had my dad, his girlfriend and my sister over for dinner. I don't see my dad as often as I used to, and each time I do see him, he seems much older. His hair is thinning. He's got old man splotches on his arms. He's having problems with his teeth. He seems tired.

We spent a few minutes, just the two of us, checking out the recession garden. He gave me tips on keeping control of tomatoes and cucumbers, how to keep the lettuces coming back, complimenting the raised bed. We walked around the property. He commented on some low branches that need to be removed, admired the crepe myrtle in the front yard.

"Was this walkway here the last time we came?" he asked.

"Yes, it was."

"I don't remember it."

Beautiful afternoon sunlight. Full bellies from chips and dips. Blueberry wine. Chicken on the grill, but not that grill. Flowers. Candles. Windows opened wide. I felt a gentle rush over my skin, watched the flower blossoms sway, "Did you see that?" I asked. Could it be any better? Thank you, God, for dinner.

Lanie was excited to help. We bought a special tray yesterday, a red one, for her to carry out the dessert: mint chocolate chip ice cream, with a small flair of whipped cream, and a chocolate heart cookie to top it off. We had spent the morning baking the cookies.

"Let me take a picture," I said.

"Hurry, it's heavy," she replied. Erin handed out spoons. They were both so happy, happy to help.

Watched the kids scooter in the driveway. Then around back to lounge at the patio, my girls playing merrily on the playset. Fading day light. So good.

"Your girls are beautiful," Miss Linda smiled. "You are blessed."

Thank you, God.

"Please come out again. We love having you here," I said as I walked her to the car. Dad was taking her home and would come back to get my sister, who can't drive from physical handicaps. When he returned, my mind nagged, take a picture, take a picture!

"Dad, come here," I said. I held the camera at arm's length and we squeezed our full faces into the frame. One. And then another. And another to be sure. My sister laughed.

"Get in the picture too!" I said. And Erin joins us eagerly. Shane offers to help. I still have yet to figure out why I have double chins when he's behind the camera.

Hugs. Waves. Gentle night. Fading light. I steal away while the kids ready for bed and play back the photos on my camera. And it makes me smile.

Thank you, God.

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