Positive Inspirational Stories

Positive Featured Inspirational Story - June 1 to June 30, 2010

Memories sustain us on Father's Day

With many miles between us, I'm seldom with my dad on Father's Day and this year will be no different. Sure, we'll share a cheerful chat on the phone and he will thank me for his card and gift. Nonetheless, we won't feel cheated by the status of a calendar for we have oodles of memories to sustain us.

For us, Father's Day is whenever we are fortunate enough to be together. It's not as often as I'd like but when it happens we have extended visits, not just a few days.  Recently I went home and spent an entire month with Dad; each and every day was a joyful celebration! That equals 30 years worth of Father's Days rolled into one get-together - it doesn't get any better than that.

On Father's Day while I wander down memory lane, I'll smile knowing my dad, at 89 years of age, is doing likewise.  We will both reflect on our recent merriment; the majority of which took place at the lake!  Yep, if the weather permitted we were up early with hopes we'd catch a 'big one.'

I know Dad smirked when he pounded on my bedroom door those early mornings, before the sun even crested the horizon. Startled, my dogs grumbled and growled and I'd finally grumble, too!  'I'm awake, Dad, you can stop pounding now!'

Our annual fishing marathon began with us keeping score.  After a few days we lost count, had no idea who was in the lead, and we didn't care. The fish were biting, our spirits were high, and we were together doing something we both love.

At last, a 'big one' did hit; I hooked that channel cat and slowly wrestled him in. He was hefty and beautiful but before he was on solid terracotta, my line snapped and he was gone in a split second. I whined the rest of the day and Dad teased me about telling fish stories!

Not to be discouraged, we were back at the lake the following morning. On my first cast I hooked another big fella. The fishing line screeched as it was stripped from my reel and I tightened the drag until that little dial would turn no more. I didn't breathe, nor did I yell for Dad to come watch the battle. I concentrated! Everything Dad ever taught me about angling raced through my mind like a movie on fast forward.  Meanwhile, the reel chattered like it might fly to pieces. Once I'd actually won the skirmish, I hollered for Dad.

'Go get your camera!'  Dad ordered as he proudly took the channel cat from my quivering grasp.

Once photos were taken, along with a weigh-in of 10 pounds, I finally caught my breath and let out a war whoop that echoed across the lake. Dad smiled as if he'd caught the fish instead of me . . . that's just what Dad's do . . . it's their nature.  

Our month of memory making took us down pathways abundant with twists, turns, and even a few detours - one being an unexpected storm which chased us from the lake straight into Dad's kitchen. 

'Kathy,' Dad said, 'don't you think we should bake a pan of brownies?'

In translation that meant, Kathy would you bake a pan of brownies?  His sweet tooth had been deprived of dessert for at least three days - mercy!

'Sure!  You just relax while I mix up a batch.'

Dad is a fine cook, but he also enjoys being pampered and out of the kitchen now and then. 

I'd barely begun when I heard horse hooves, gunshots, and the voice of John Wayne. It was time for Dad's afternoon western.  

I soon popped the brownies in the oven and asked, 'How long's it been since you've had icing on your brownies?'

His blue eyes twinkled at the thought. 'Way too long!'

While I iced brownies, Dad rode sidekick with John Wayne through the Montana high country. At the next commercial, he dismounted and sauntered into the kitchen to clean out the icing bowl, while I expected to hear the clatter of spurs against the kitchen floor.

'What kind of icing is this? I know it's chocolate but it tastes a little different than usual.'

'Dad, it's chocolate mocha. I know Mom made it from time to time.'

 'Well, if she did, I sure don't remember it!'  He left not one smidgen of icing and nearly scraped the finish right off the bowl. 

Still smacking his lips, he yanked a recipe card out of a drawer and scribbled detailed instructions for making chocolate mocha icing.

No, the date on a calendar does not determine when I express love, gratitude, and respect for my Dad - I convey those feelings at each and every opportunity. Yet, if we could spend Father's Day together, I'd strive to make it a memorable one.  I'd pack a picnic basket that brimmed over with wonderful treats to nibble on while we fished. And, tucked way down below all those munchies a surprise dessert would await Dad . . . brownies with chocolate mocha icing, what else?

Dedicated to Dad and written with love by Kathleene Baker

Kathy resides in Plano, Texas with husband Jerry, and two precious pups, Hank and Samantha. She enjoys writing, needlework, and fishing. As a freelancer, she has contributed to newspapers, anthologies, magazines, online ezines, Chicken Soup for the Soul and writes a weekly column entitled The Heart of Texas.

Kathleene's Tips on making sensational brownies with chocolate mocha icing

Use your favourite brownie recipe or even boxed brownies will work well.  The only trick to the icing is to add extra powder sugar to any chocolate icing recipe to make it stiff, and then thin to proper consistency with a few tablespoons of strong black coffee.  It is YUMMY!

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