Today is the last day that gets me through the mental hump that summer has brought me for the past 5 years. August 18. What would have been Dad’s birthday. It begins with Father’s Day, which leads up to the day of his passing, and ends with his birthday. I figure one of these days, Summer will return to being my favorite season again.
I have been kind of dreading today for the past couple of weeks. I keep thinking, “Wow, Dad would have been 68 this year,” which hardly seems possible. I can’t imagine him pushing 70. He’d have tried to retire, and it just wouldn’t have worked well for him. He’d have probably ended up in jail or in a mental institution had he made it to retirement. But I can guarantee I’d have a novel’s worth of great stories to share.
So last week, The Owl gave me something to look forward to as he knew today was looming over my head. He suggested we remember Dad with some of his favorites. So with just a tiny bit of planning, here’s what we’ve decided to put on the agenda tonight:
A Dale Alexander-style dinner. The Owl suggested we make a DAPSNU-approved meal, which I loved. I called my mom for thoughts, and we ended up debating it for a bit. We both immediately thought of biscuits and gravy—but I’m not a brinner type of gal, and Dad was weird about gravy unless it was loaded with sausage. Bleh. However, a little insight from my brothers helped us remember his love of fried chicken. Since I never eat fried chicken, either, especially due to the fact it’s fried in skin, I decided to do a skinless buttermilk fried chicken to improvise. Not the healthiest thing on the planet, but Lord knows Dad liked his fatty foods. So fried chicken it is.
We’ll have some corn on the cob, too, because Dad had a weirdo way of buttering corn: spread butter on a piece of bread, rub your corn on the bread, then don’t breathe while you scarf it all down. Also on the side will be grilled asparagus. This was one of Dad’s favorites when it came fresh out of our garden. And finally, a glass of Dr. Pepper. His nickname in the family was Uncle Doc because of his love of that drink.
Dinner and a movie. We’ll be watching Caddyshack over dinner. Not only was it one of his favorite movies, but Dad was pretty much a spitting image of Rodney Dangerfield. Despite the fact that I was weaned on Caddyshack, I didn’t own it, so The Owl picked it up for me yesterday. See, he’s sweet and sexy.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Dad. And I’m eternally grateful for The Owl for suggesting we do this tonight. Such little things mean the world to me.