I've been collecting my writings from years gone by as I find them. Each time I move - now 5 times in the last 3 years - I find more scraps, loose sheets, etc. with my thoughts from various times in my life. I've decided to copy as many of them as I can here to try and keep from losing them again, and to share with the world. Please feel free to comment as thoughts occur to you. Either send them to trekker9er@yahoo.com or use the comment links here. Thanks, and Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

 Summer 2002 & just a few minutes ago - Memories of My Dad

The first memory I have of my father isn't a very long one. I'm not even sure when it occurred. All I know is that it was a weekday. I do know where it was. In our living room at the first house I ever lived in, 4044 Diamond in Pittsfield(?) Township, MI. It was very early in the morning. I had woken up (what I thought was) before everyone else. Not wanting to disturb anyone, in the living room I turned on the tv very quietly. I know it was very early because at first there was only snow and static on. But I waited, and soon (?) Some old guy came on and talked for a very long time to my perspective. I think he was on for an hour, and looking back it was probably the early morning news. But I decided to sit and watch while waiting for the morning cartoons to begin. So may it was a Saturday? It was during that time when Dad walked out from the hallway into the living room. I looked up at him. He was wearing what I thought was a suit, though I only remember a tie. His hear was still damp from what I assumed was his morning shower. I think he had a briefcase in his hand, or he picked one up when he picked up his jacket as he head out the door. I remember him looking at me when he first walked in. Neither of us said anything. He only stopped for a quick moment at first, probably because he was surprised to see me up. But then he had to leave. I'm not sure why this memory of him Is the one that stuck, but I think it's probably because I never saw Dad in the morning back when we lived together. He was always gone to work before I got up.

What I believe is my second memory of Dad, though this may actually be the first, is when Michael was born. I remember being in the hospital and we had to put on these ugly green hospital jammy thing before we could go see Mom or Michael.

My next memory of Dad is the day he left. Or rather, the day he and Mom sat Michael and I down on the couch and told us Dad was leaving. I found out many years later that he had actually left for a few days before, but came back to do things properly.

After that I have a couple memories of the park across the street from the apartment Dad moved into, but mostly I have more photographs than memories.

My memories of Dad after Michael and I moved with Mom out to Massachusetts became a lot less sporadic. I remember when he come to pick us up from the airport one year, and it took so long for me to find him because he had grown this, what I thought was an, ugly beard and mustache. He looked like a lumberjack in his plaid flannel shirt! Later I remember having grown so used to the beard and mustache that it was a shock when he picked us up from the airport one year without them! I was and still am glad they're gone. Dad looks so much better to me without them.

I also remember how Dad would make the car dance. That was always a lot of fun.

I remember for a lot of summers Dad usually had to work most of the time. But he always took at least a week off to spend with Michael and I. Usually we went camping somewhere on Lake Michigan. I can still see what the camp site looked like, and the sidewalks that went by the sand dunes and the small wooden convenience building half way out to the Lake. I collected a lot of stones there. I really only collected rocks at Dad's, when with him, and kept them at his house. Which brings me to the memory of when Dad moved out of the big farm house he loved and into Ann Arbor for the first time. My rock collection had gotten so large, and heavy, that he asked me to cut it down for the move.

At that place in Ann Arbor with the stream at the end of the back yard he only stayed for a year or so, two summers I believe it was. I remember Dad building rooms for Michael and I in the basement, and how I didn't quite help. I also remember berry picking in the backyard. That was fun and yummy.

I also remember when I found out Dad and Ann were trying for children telling him that I wanted a sister.

An earlier memory, as these are pretty much getting mixed up, is of one time Dad and I ran out of gas on the freeway. We started to walk to go find a gas station, and ended up hitchhiking a ride to the end of the next exit ramp. On the walk back the sprinklers at the corner to the ramp turned on.

I also remember one time when Dad had picked Michael and I up from 4044 Diamond we ran out of gas. We were on the other side of a hill from where the gas station was, and someone stopped and used their car to push Dad's over the hill and then into the gas station.

One summer Michael had really bad asthma that woke me up in middle of night. I didn't know how to work his "breathing machine" (nebulizer) and when I told him to put himself on it he refused. So I would have to go to the other side of the house to wake up Dad to do it. I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs to his room scared to call for him and wake him up. I'd try quietly at first hoping maybe he'd hear me and not be mad. This happened three or four nights, maybe five. I think I remember one time not getting up the nerve to call for Dad for a few minutes, then going back to Michael to see if maybe hopefully he had stopped having the asthma attack or I could make him use the machine, neither of which happened. One of the nights I was so scared I was in tears at the bottom of the stairs for five or ten minutes. I was afraid of waking up Dad but I was also afraid of Michael not being able to breath and I didn't know what to do. Once we got back to Massachusetts I had Mom teach me how to set up and run the machine.

I remember Dad always cutting very close getting us to the airport on time, and one time he forgot the tickets and we had to turn around just as we were getting on the freeway. He had to speed in the car and we had to run at the airport and almost missed the flight.

Other memories yet to write about:
- Camping trip I fell out of the tree
- All the cousins visiting and us going out into the woods behind 3rd farm house, Aleese "behaving" for Dad
- 2nd farm house Dad kept sheep
- 2nd farm house I stepped on nail in old barn
- 2nd farm house fossil hunting in the driveway
- Trip to UP
- 1st farm house Michael slept in library and we had closet that connected our rooms, and we always played Weird Al and built instruments, and I got flu one Christmas and slept 22 hours and Dad and Michael where in the kitchen when I finally got out of bed.
- First taste of alcohol at New Year's when I was 11 or something.
- Hitting a dear on the way up north.
- Dad didn't like us watching tv and only let me watch very little when I stayed home alone instead of going to camp
- Dad sang to us every night before we went to sleep
- Michael getting in trouble for saying "ship" and Dad thinking he heard something else
- At Pizza Hut (had to be from the red and white checker drapes I remember) Dad saying he wouldn't take us out to eat again until Michael got old enough to behave in restaurants
- Me making a list at the table, Ann asking me what I was doing, me saying I was making a list of everything Dad had done wrong this summer because Mom would want to know, and Ann telling me that when I did stuff like that it hurt my Dad. So from then on I stopped. And I think I remember going to find Dad and ask him if he was okay.
- Dad reading us the real versions of Fairy Tales, and "The Monster At the End of This Book".
- Ghostbusters
- Railroad Tycoon and Myst computer games.
- "You Don't Know Jack"! So much fun.
- Waiting to decorate the Christmas tree until Michael and I came, some years the tree only had lights because that's all Dad would do and Michael and I wouldn't do the ornaments.
- Great-grandma's Christmas village being very important to Dad
- Old movies like Sherlock homes, and his favorite tv series being Shannon's Deal and only lasting 7 or 11 episodes.
- Introduced me to Myer-Brigg's and really psychology in general, which I love.
- "Farnham's Freehold" the first sci-fi book I remember reading, and loving it.
- Teaching me to drive, hehehe
- Feudal and Risk and other rare board games we played. Michael and Dad playing games together I didn't like. Michael learning chess from Dad and eventually learning to beat him.

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