Friday, August 27, 2010

Daddy is Chevy Chase meets Jesus Christ

My Daddy is Chevy Chase meets Jesus Christ.

He has the sarcasm and wit of Clark Griswald who appreciates the odd and quirky vacation destinations, all the while having his black plastic rosary in his pocket at all times and his sweaty scapula on. If you do not know what a scapula is, google it.

It's a Catholic thing.

Daddy will pray a rosary when he is driving to Halstead (roughly 10 minute drive from the farm) and any other time when he is in the car for over 10 minutes. We always arrive at church 15 minutes early and he is there, kneeling praying the rosary. Our family still does not eat meat on Fridays. Quick Catholic history lesson: pre-Vatican II, all Catholics were to abstain from meat on Fridays, to remind themselves of the suffering of Jesus Christ during the Passion and Crucifixion. At Vatican II, that order was relaxed and Catholics were permitted to eat meat on Fridays. He is the Catholic father that I am blessed to have.

He is a bank of witty jokes. He is notorious for embarrassing our family when off the safety of our own farm and in the real world. Story: on the random events that we would eat @ a restaurant or fast food, when the timid high school zit faced cashier would tell us our total, Daddy's response was always the same "Gosh! You've got to be kidding!". He would say it in a way that would embarrass the living shit out of us and probably scared the little cashier out of her wits. Story: Daddy has the gold molar fillings that all kids who grew up in the 60s have. Growing up, when I would ask "What dat, Daddy?" He would tell me this long drawn out story about working on the roof of the barn and one day the train was going by (our farm is about 1/4 mile from the railroad tracks) and people on the train just starting shooting at him and he caught the bullets with his bare teeth. "Ahhhhhh", I'd say with the innocence my dark brown Shirley Temple curly hair would allow me. He has told this story to all my sisters and he'll say it probably 539 more times before it's all said and done.

And that is ok by me.

Growing up, though: that was NOT okay by me. Daddy was an embarrassment to me. After Homecoming dance, before I was able to drive, his 11 pm naps in the car waiting for me outside Trinity Catholic HS, was not cool. His tough love approach was perceived by me as reminiscent of another German with a mustache and swastika on his uniform. Daddy was tough. Really tough. I was the oldest and always always always pushed the envelope from everything, from low cut tops to church or conveniently ignoring the call on my cell phone @ 12.30 am on a Saturday morning. I did not like Daddy, let alone love him (so I thought). He was a jerk meant to ruin my life. He was a dumb dirt farmer who had no idea what the real world was like. How could he? He spent his days on a tractor bouncing up and down the field listening to shitty AM country music (I know love "shitty" AM country music).

My oh my. What good a little time, a rough set of life obstacles, and maturity do to a father-daughter relationship. Now, when Mom sighs and says "Every time you come home, I am reminded how much like your father you really are", I take it as a compliment. Although, I know this observation is more out of angst than appreciation.

Why this sense of nostalgia for Joe Bergkamp on this Friday morning? Ajl and I are going home tomorrow for the weekend; this is the two week lull between picking dry land corn and starting up with irrigated corn mid-September. I am a bit disappointed that I won't be able to try out combine skills perfected @ Leiker Farms in July, though. And I know ajl is itching to drive another semi-trailer or grain cart. Point being, naturally I am so excited to spend time with the family (although it'll be half the family, as Mel is living @ Leoti and Alayna is @ Fort Hays) and add to the embarrassingly funny stories of Daddy "insisting next time, he'll pick up the check".

Daddy's girl? Yes, please.