In visits and visitations

I have not been well, but have not had the sense to stay home to recuperate.

While I considered staying home, I ran through my day mentally: I would sleep a little while, eat something, relax, maybe do a little writing, and then maybe head to the coffeeshop to get online.  I could do all of that at work, and save a sick day. 

Plus the Internet is faster at work.

Plus there’s a vending machine.

So for a week I dragged myself through work while they tried to train me on processes of which I cannot recall the names.  I skipped my weekly NaNo group, but my word count remains steady.

We are still without a fridge, but the great Outdoors has blessed us with cold weather and critters that cannot open Rubbermaid containers.  Milk and juice sit on the window ledge, leftovers remain perched on the toolbox just under the window.  We’ll probably snag one this week.  Saw a great vintage Kenmore that I’m hoping is still available.

Sunday, my dad dropped by with his mother.  I see each sporadically, my dad less since I’m no longer at the bar. Seeing my grandmother as she is now and remembering what an imposing woman she remains only on the inside, is sobering.  We chat about crocheting and she compliments us on our place and the floors.  We discuss property laws and other things that aren’t the warm fuzzies others probably discuss with their grandmothers, but is typical for my family.  Dad promises to return with a picture I loaned him, as well as tools to fix my bathroom sink.

It was yesterday when he stopped by, my dad in plumber-mode with an electric auger and a toolbox so full of gigaws and thingys, I was envious.  He did not ask me about my cold or my job,  because that’s not his way.  D did his best to get scarce.  He’s intimidated by my dad, as most people are.  He’s imposing and he has guns, but most of all he’s smart.  D is smart too, but when it comes to my dad, he’d rather not remind the man that we share a bed.  

Dad ran the snake down the pipe and in ten minutes, I was summoned to the bathroom.  He used the voice I remember from my childhood that intoned disapproval and judgment, and bade “have a good answer”.  I was actually afraid before shoving that inner child aside and hurrying to the bathroom.

“What is this?” he asked, and I scrambled for something to tell him before I even saw what he has in his hand.  Habit – wanting to have an answer, to not stand there mute and silent.  At the end of the snake was about a pound of hair, bobby pins, and elastic hair ties.  I was grossed out.  The four gallons of Drano we dumped down the pipe did absolutely nothing to it but make it melt into the world’s nastiest hairball. However it wasn’t Barbie heads or Matchbox cars or anything stupid.  Just stuff one would find at the end of a drain to a sink that lacks a waste trap.  Stuff falls into the sink and you wave goodbye to it.  See you in Hell, bobby pins.

“Yep,” was all I said.  The less said with Dad when confronted with mistakes, even common ones, the better.  He grunted an agreement and set to putting my sink back together.  The answer was satisfactory and I breathed an inward sigh of relief.  The evening ended with him writing me a receipt for the work – I’ll use it to offset rent as well as the new fridge we’re going to have to buy – and then lifting some photographs.

It was a photo taken about 12 years ago of me and my sisters.  I’d post a picture of it, but I can’t.  I’ve built up too much of an image to go back. He picked it up and smiled and said he’d bring it back.  It was a good smile.  I think he took a few more too, but I can’t recall which ones.  Like I’m really going to tell my dad ‘no’.  Besides, he likes having his kids around, even if we’re just two-dimensional.

He doesn’t need an excuse to come out and see me, but I’m glad he gives himself little reasons.  We’ve never had the best relationship, but he’s still my dad and I still idolize the hell out of him – like all daughters should.

 

          ———————–        <– Pedestal on which my dad stands
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             |           |                             . <–you

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