Sunday, August 23, 2009

Visiting Dad

I followed up on a personal vow to spend some time with my dad before the H1N1 hits. Call it morbid, but a virus like that is just the thing that could take him out. I want to be sure I have some time with him, to hear him talk about things, to let him know the profound impact he's had in my life. Before he's taken away.

As usual, the conversation was a lot lighter than I planned. It comes a lot harder to say, "Your integrity, your example, shaped me who I am. Thank you." So we talked about family and work. Dad was suitably horrified when he found out how much I spend on my energy efficient furnace. The big difference from past conversations, I think, is that I am not devastated by his assessment. I laugh. I am allowed my foolishness. Without the lenses of insecurity, I see his concern and comments as a sign care and concern rather than judgement.

Dawn and dad have been having fun. They took a grand field trip through central BC and the coast. I lost track of how many ferries they took. One ferry trip was thirteen hours and they were accompanied by dolphins and whales. They toured hot springs, undeveloped, undiscovered. They found an unnamed lake with water as warm as bath water. They saw turkeys. Dawn says she thinks dad had as much fun watching her as the discoveries they made on the way.

They gave me a tour of their garden and watching their happy fussing gave me just as much pleasure. They have two compost heaps behind their shed, making me jealous for a yard big enough to play with. Their elevated garden is a delight. They pulled beets, carrots, and potatoes for me to take home. Dawn loves dahlias as I do and she has some great ones! She's storing the tubers this winter out at the campground where she says they keep a room just above freezing. I am jealous all over again.

We go for dinner and as we leave, dad mouths, "I love you". My answer was awkward I know, but the message was delivered. There were no grand words exchanged, but I got my wish.

I borrowed the picture from an article about Anne and Andy Dunstan's Dahlia farm.