Wild Mushrooms

17 Jun

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

I journal every morning. Two of the things I do are suggestions from Jill Badonsky in her book, “The Awe-Manac.”  First I paste a page from a scripture calendar in the journal. Then I write a name for myself for each day, something made-up, whatever pops into my head, and after that, I write a list of things I get to do today. Last week  I noticed it was June 9. Here’s most of my journal entry for that day.

Today I get to celebrate Ivan’s birthday. He would be 98, if he hadn’t died ten years ago. He was our dad, my brother’s and mine.We always celebrated his birthday and Father’s Day combined. Our favorite gift was a box of chocolate covered cherries. He treasured them so much we found them still in his underwear drawer untouched at Christmas.

One time, Ivan made his own hand-rolled chocolates. They took a lot of time and trouble and they were delicious.

Another time he brewed beer in a huge stoneware crock and put it in his daughter room. (That’s me.) Her boyfriend came over to visit one time when Ivan wasn’t there and the daughter was talking about the beer and the boyfriend wanted to see it. When he looked at the foamy crock and smelled the aroma, he wanted to try it. So she dipped a glassful for him. Ivan didn’t consider the brew to be done, and maybe it wasn’t, because the boyfriend felt sick soon after that and went home.

The ultimate test of loyalty and trust was when Bill and I visited Mother and Dad in Ft. Bragg, in northern California. Dad invited us to go out in a field with him and pick mushrooms that would accompany the steaks he was char grilling that night. He showed us what to look for and set us loose in the field. It was as much fun as an Easter egg hunt and the mushrooms tasted wonderful and memorable with the steak. We felt fine after we ate and still do. (Don’t try this at home, mushrooms can be poisonous)

The food Dad liked best was a mess of ham hocks and pinto beans with onions. He usually cooked them in a pressure cooker. That can be a dangerous undertaking, but he was undaunted, even knowing that people had blown up their pressure cooker and had to clean beans off their ceilings. Beans are gassy you know. That never happened to Dad. He had control over his cooking.

I must admit, in some ways, Dad was what is fondly called a character. Whenever you felt you had to ask a question you’d get one of two answers. He chose the one that felt most appropriate to him. You may use them if you need them. Dad would be honored.

1.    “Not knowing and having no means of ascertaining, I feel a certain delicacy in indefinitely stating.”

I always wondered where that one came from and when he took the time to memorize it. Still do. I memorized it too. One more thing before I tell you his other answer. Dad wasn’t exactly an academic, more a work-with-his hands kind of guy. After he retired, he lived next door to a man who once was a teacher. Dad called him the professor, and he fixed a lot of household items for him. He said if the professor left him alone to get on with it, he wouldn’t charge him anything, but if he stayed around to watch and talk he would charge five dollars an hour. However, any time the professor wanted to help, it would cost him ten dollars because whatever he did, Dad would have to do all over again.

So anyhow, here’s Dad’s second favorite answer to most questions:

2.    “Are you writing a book?”

“No.”
       End of subject.

But then one day after I had started writing a book, I asked him a question and he said, “Are you writing a book?” I knew I’d surprise him when I said yes, and then he’d have to answer my question, so I said,

“Yes.” That was so gratifying. Surely he’d be proud.

Leave that chapter out.” Whoosh, I wasn’t going to get an answer after all.

But you know, it could have partially been his, “Are you writing a book, “that influenced me to actually write one. After all, most of us want to please our parents. Anyhow, I enjoy writing books and I thank Dad, for his interest and for his unique personality.

Psalm 103:13 
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; (NIV)

Ivan

Ivan

2 Responses to “Wild Mushrooms”

  1. Louise Gib son June 17, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    TREASURE THOSE MEMORIES, DIVORAN. RELATIONSHIPS. ESPECIALLY THOSE OF PARENTS, CAN AFFECT OUR EMOTIONAL WELL BEING THROUGHOUT OUR WHOLE LIFE.

    Like

  2. ludyja June 17, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Ah, DiVoran………what fond memories you have of your Dad. I guess I didn’t know him that well, as I don’t remember those comments. I do remember his great sense of humor, however. You must have gotten yours from him. I love you.

    Like

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