February 1, 2008

Things I learned from my Dad

Elise & Dad Feb 1972
My father was a builder. Of houses, including this one, the first of two he built for our family. A chain of Dog & Suds restaurants. My first elementary school. Twice, he built the radio station in town (it burned down when I was in high school). An alcohol treatment center with soaring beams carved by the local First Nations band (there is irony here). He constructed all manner of furniture: tables, beds, cabinets, a wooden play stove with an oven and knobs that turned. A hope chest with my name carved on it for my twelfth birthday. A sled when I was two.

Elise Feb 1972
See that house at the bottom of the hill, the one that he was building? My mom would pack me in the sled with his lunch and I would sail down the hill to eat with my Dad and his crew. There were oranges, I can still smell them, and the sawdust into which we dropped the peels. I remember this; sitting on a sawhorse and eating oranges with my Dad. Waiting for the moment that lunch was over and we would get back to work. My Dad had the trowel ready and I went to town taping and caulking the hall closet. After I went home he would tear down the results of my labours so the closet was ready for me the next day. I never caught on.

Elise & Dad sledding Feb 1972
My Dad could figure out how to build anything, and he made my brothers and I believe we could do the same. It's been seven years since he died; seven years today.


Tory said...

What beautiful memories remain. May they never fade.

Anonymous said...

My parents are not speaking to me (and my mom is in the hospital right now -- probably in the months of her life). Be glad your memories are pleasant.

amstershiresauce said...

I'm so sorry you lost your dad so early. But what wonderful memories you have of him!