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Remembering My Father

Header photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

It’s currently 53℉ and lovely in my suburb of Orlando, and boy, does that first sip of coffee really hit home. Sitting and feeling the coolness of the air against my skin, I am reminded of that Mark Twain misquote:

“The coldest winter I’ve ever felt is a summer in San Francisco.” Not Mark Twain

My dad moved to Sonoma County (California wine country) after my parents divorced. It took a long time for me to make it up there; I’m not sure why; probably the same old excuses. However, one year later, we made it happen; I visited him for Thanksgiving. We planned a trip to see the sights where he lived and worked, and then we would take a road trip down to Palm Springs, CA, to see my uncle and Grandma for Thanksgiving dinner.

Even though I grew up with Missouri winters, when I arrived in northern California, the cold bit like a donkey. It was harsh. My dad smoked cigarettes (I might’ve too, I can’t remember), and in the morning, he would brew the worst French roast coffee (he swears it was the good stuff), head out to the garage, and open the door, turn on a propane camping heater, smoke and drink his coffee. To this day, I can’t drink French roast without thinking of those moments.

When we took that trip down to Palm Springs, we took his new VW Toureg, and I made him listen to Opeth’s Damnation, and he made me listen to Caswell & Carnahan.

This photo wasn't taken on the trip, but a few years later in Florida, after he moved down here.

This photo wasn’t taken on the trip, but a few years later in Florida, after he moved down here. Cell phones didn’t have cameras back then (or if they did, they stunk), and I didn’t take any photos of that road trip, but man, I wish I did.

Thoughtfully sitting here, drinking my delicious pistachio coffee, kinda wishing it was a terrible French roast.