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Lost in a sea of yarn and needles. Lusting after handmade socks and all things lacy


Everyday Was Father's Day

When I was a very little girl, we lived in a 3 floor apartment building in Brooklyn New York. One night, very late my Dad woke me up. He helped me into my bathrobe and slippers. Shushed me and grabbed up my quilt. We went quietly out the door and up the stairs to the roof. He has already spread out newspapers on the tar roof. There was a thermos of hot chocolate. Dad pointed up to the sky and handed me his prized binoculars. A total eclipse of the moon. Wrapped up in my quilt leaning against my Dad and sipping hot chocolate we watched the moon vanish. In a low voice my Dad recited the 8th Psalm
When I consider the heavens,the work of your hands.
The moon and stars, which you created
What is man, that you take thought of him?
Or the son of man that you love him?

I must have drifted in and out of sleep. Each time I woke up Dad was there watching the show in the sky. In the distance you could hear the city sounds, but even they seem muted. It was magic. In time the full moon returned and Dad took me back to my room. He brought down my quilt and tucked me in for the night. The next day he let me stay home from school. Although my Mom was not sure star gazing was a reason for missing school. Dad went to work as usual.
My parents met late in life. And to be honest they would have been just as happy if they never had children. They were so in love with each other. But Dad took to having children like a natural. He never talked down to children. And he expected we would be just as curious and interested in the world around us as he was.
When I was around 12 my Dad ground the glass for a telescope lens. I got to help. My father had the grand idea of cutting a hole in the roof of their house in Long Island and putting in a clear dome. Then mounting an electric telescope with camera. My Mom thought it would probably let in the rain. Sadly it never got to happen. My Dad had a massive stroke. He wanted to die, but my Mother dragged him onward for 10 more years. She could not bare to be parted from him.
I never heard my father raise him voice in anger. He never hit us. All he had to do was look you in the eye, with one eyebrow raised. You had this strange urge to explain yourself. It was spooky. His idea of punishment was to take a book out of his extensive library of second hand books and have you memorize something. Usually poetry. You also had to give a summery of what it was about. This did backfire on him a bit, when I had to memorize extensive bits of Hiawatha. I felt I should share this with any guests my parents had :-}
He was a kind and gentle man. He always stood up when my giggly teenage girlfriends showed up. Helped them on or off with their coats. He always took my arm at street crossings and walked on the outside.
Now I am sure you are wondering if this paragon had any faults. My father had no idea of time. This doesn't mean much, unless you are waiting for him after work in three inch heels. When he did wander up, and you asked through gritted teeth where he had been. He looked very surprised to learn he was late. Meanwhile your feet are throbbing like drums. In spite of his many stellar qualities, I was sometimes sorely tempted to push him under a bus. :-} No matter how far back we pushed the clock, we were always late.
My Dad who was from Barbados had a very British sense of humour, which alas floated over the heads of most people. Including my mother. She laughed but she wasn't sure why. This led to him giving us outlandish answers to questions like "Where did you meet Mom?" "Ahh, she was a go go dancer in a glass cage, I rescued her." My brother repeated that story at school, when his class had to tell something about your parents. My mother nearly died. She was a short chubby lady and president of the PTA.
Rock on Dad, you are a star
ps Daddy if you are reading,I wouldn't have really pushed you under a bus. I still have your book on the Qualities of soap bubbles. And you were right about that guy. I should have pushed HIM under a bus.

sorry I haven't been around much. I haven't been feeling full of mojo of any kind.


for this post

Blogger AngusThermopile Says:

Beautiful entry.

Liked your blog post too. ;)

Blogger junior_goddess Says:

Just bawling over here.

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

What a beautiful post. Your dad was gem.

Blogger Ghislaine Says:

What a great tribute to your dad! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It was worth the wait between posts.

Blogger Joan Says:

What an amazing story. I loved reading it. I miss mine as well.

Sorry about the mojo, been wondering where you were. Hope it comes back, like bets' did.

Thanks for sharing the memory!

Blogger Danielle Says:

This entry is beautiful. I, too, enjoyed how you wrote about your dad. Very real, yet honoring so many good qualities!

Blogger jayne Says:

What a thoroughly lovely post. Your dad sounded like a beautiful person. (envious, but very glad for you!)

My husband and I have that same sense of humour. Our kids are getting used to it.

Blogger thechartreuseshepherd Says:

I was so very touched by your writing of your father. I want my son to read this. His father was a good man, but not a good father. I want him to know how a good father acts. (I never heard of anyone else grinding a telescope lense. My older brother did this while we were growing up.)

Blogger Suzann Says:

You know Cheryl I think my Dad didn't want to be like his own father. Although he didn't talk about his father much. I gather he was lacking big time in the husband father skills. His father had a small merchant vessel. And sailed up and down South America. He made good money, but his family never saw much of it. When my father was just 15 he went to sea with his father. They sailed up the Amazon and made port up and down Brazil. But when they got back to Barbados, my father gave his mother all the money he had made. Because his father was broke again. He said his mother put her head on the table and cried. She had nearly been evicted from their home and she and the other children had been living on what they had in the vegetable garden.

Blogger Grace Yaskovic Says:

wow your story about your dad is wonderful and reminds me once again how much I miss my own!! Gone 15 years already and I truly thought he would be around tangibly forever. Hope you are feeling better!!

Blogger Having a Knit Fitt Says:

Thanks for the story about your dad.

Blogger benne Says:

Oh, Suzann, what beautiful memories of your wonderful father. The tears made it hard to read your words but your love for your father and his for you is strong and clear. My dad was like your dad, I got to "help" him with his projects and chores and he was so patient with his teaching. Thank you for sharing your memories and your dad, it's a beautiful post.

I've missed you, take good care.

Blogger Yosemite Says:

That is so lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Blogger Rose Red Says:

Hi Suzann - I clicked through from WendyKnits about your query on the Knittery merino cashmere (I'm using it for my sockapalooza socks - 2.25mm needles gives me gauge, for the Traveler's Stockings from Knitting on the Road, but it does make a pretty tight sock. And I'm a tight knitter too).

I read this post on your dad - I lost my dad last year (he'd been ill for 2 years after his own serious stroke). You are very lucky having some wonderful memories and lessons from him.

Blogger SooZ Says:

A lovely read. This week was the anniversary of my dads passing, 7 years ago. He'd been ill for 3 years with cancer. Your post flooded me with fond memories of my dad. Thank you for sharing it as you did.

Blogger smariek Says:

Such a beautiful post, it brought tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your dad.


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