Dad’s birthday dawned sunny and beautiful, but it was a sad one for me this year. Some years I am filled with how lucky I was to have such a wonderful father and friend, and other years it just makes me so sad he is gone. This was one of those years.
To make things worse, I ran over a dead deer on my way to work in the evil darkness that morning. I had no choice, since there was too much oncoming traffic for me to go around it by driving in the other lane of the two lane highway, and there was no shoulder of the road, either. I felt like a monster, since humans had already killed the poor creature and now I was desecrating its body.
I was relieved to notice that someone had removed the evidence of my callousness on my way home from work that day. I got changed and ready to go out again, since Megan and I had plans, but I was not feeling festive. I went out one door as she came in another, but we found each other and laughed. We jumped in her little red car and set off for the Village, passing the eternal Christmas tree where Dad’s bird ornament winked in the sun.
Unlike me, Megan was having a good Dad’s birthday. She had worked in the garden that day, honoring Dad’s legacy as an excellent gardener, restoring the sweetpeas we plant for him every year as well as fertilizing the fruit trees and caring for the lavender. And she was looking forward to our plans to celebrate Dad that evening.
The bookstore in the Village was having a sale, and that seemed like a perfect way to honor the man who read to us and gave us our love of reading. You can see the Great Catsby in his favorite spot:
Megan bought two instant pot cookbooks, even though she did not actually have an instant pot (she rectified this later by ordering one on her phone at my house, since she does not have internet at hers). I weirdly ended up getting deeply discounted but sparkly Christmas cards as well as some stocking stuffers. I got something for Erica’s stocking last month. I am unable to explain this extremely premature holiday shopping.
We then headed to the beautiful Ledford House, where the view was wonderful:
We toasted Dad with Red Queens, a divine concoction made of gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and cranberry, garnished with a sugar rim with hibiscus and dark chocolate:
and swapped some of our favorite Dad stories over dinner. I think he would have liked that, and also approved of our choices, both of us ordering according to his rule of getting something you would not (or could not) make at home. Megan had incredibly light gnocchi with Gorgonzola and walnuts:
and I had petrale sole with passionfruit beurre blanc, served with mashed potatoes and asparagus with infused herb oil:
It was a good way to celebrate our father, and by the time we headed back home, I just felt glad we had him in our lives. He will always be in our hearts. We love you, Dad.
A YEAR AGO: Not a great start to the day.
FIVE YEARS AGO: A date with my family.