Tuesday, January 13, 2009

High Flyer

I lost my Dad on January 6th, at 3:33am. I KNOW it was 3:33am, because I was the only one there with him when he died, and I looked at the clock specifically so that I would KNOW the time and not have to rely on some medical person's time-of-death that would obviously not even be close to the real time it happened.

My Dad's service was beautiful. It was in a big chapel, but it was still totally full, standing room only, with people spilling out into the foyer and watching it on a video screen. An old family friend who is a pastor officiated, I read a poem that reminded my family of Dad ("High Flyer," hence the title of the blog), Hillary sang a beautiful song about angels. The Civil Air Patrol, in which Dad was an active member and a 1st Lieutenant, gave a speech, had cadets posted at attention on either side of the urn, and did a flyover immediately following the service (this was a big deal because they don't do those for everyone). Dad would have been proud.

I figure that everybody probably gets tired of all of my lists, but hey, it's my damn blog and my Dad just died, so cut me some slack. So, Dad, this one's for you.

A SMALL SAMPLE OF REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY DAD THAT NOBODY ELSE WOULD EVER HAVE TAUGHT ME, EXCEPT MAYBE MY GRANDPA, BUT HE'S GONE TOO

1. It is completely possible for a snapping turtle to get big enough that, when tied to a picnic table, to drag said picnic table down a riverbank and into a river and swim off with it. With an axe embedded in its back.

2. When in doubt, add more caulk.

3. Any and all breakfast foods should be cooked in bacon grease. Bacon grease makes everything taste better, particularly if you cook things in bacon grease while camping. Additionally, ANYTHING can be eaten on a biscuit.

4. Just because they are outside dogs doesn't mean they don't deserve heaters and air conditioners in their dog houses.

5. Don't use glue. Use clear silicone. (See #2) Or just weld it.

6. Every girl ought to know how to use a handgun, and preferably own at least two. It's also not unreasonable to carry several on one's person at all times. Also, be a better shot than the boys. And never let a man support you.

7. Every day that you wake up and can get out of bed is a good day.

8. It's possible to be in the audio-visual club and still be cool. Maybe only in your own head, but who else really matters?

9. Change the oil about every 4,000 miles. It doesn't matter if the oil bottle says every 5,000 miles, or if you're super sick and have cancer and can't hardly get off the sofa, you still change the oil. Car maintenance is imperative. As is adding Marvel Mystery Oil when you fuel up.

10. Life isn't always fair, but you take what you're given and you do the best you can with it.

As I'm still in a fog of mourning, I'm sure there will be another installment of this at some point. But for now, this is the Robert S. wisdom that I want to share with the world. We could all have learned a few things from him.

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