I often think of my father, who was so even-tempered, confident
and practical. Often, when I am switching off an unused electric light, I say,
"Hi, Dad!" to myself. He knew electricity cost money; and he wasn't about to spend
it unnecessarily! When he rewired houses, he put a control panel by his bed
how he could turn off the lights anywhere in the house. He turned everything out
at his own bedtime. If I hadn't finished my book-of-the-day yet, I rose
from my bed to turn the light back on.
If he was home when anyone had gone into the basement,
he ALWAYS turned off the lights with the switch
at the head of the stairs. The person in
the basement would scream, "LIGHTS!"
with all available strength. If he was still in the hallway,
then Dad would turn them back on.
Once we had a small leak in the bottom of the Disposall in the kitchen sink.
Dad hammered the edges of a nickel to thinness; then he epoxied it
over the leak. When I came into the kitchen as he was finishing, I asked
him why he used a nickel. He said it was because nickel resists
corrosion better than other metals.
That repair did last until we moved.
He had memorized many long poems when he was young,
everything from Tennyson to Robert W. Service,
and could be induced to recite them.
And he favored several of the old songs, and would sometimes sing one
while working in the garden. Annie Laurie was one of his favorites.
I miss being around people who knew those old songs.
And I still miss my father, who died in 1987.
The image above is of one of the haiku cards I made as gifts
when we went to Japan for a haiku conference.
I like to cut old rejected photos, particularly landscapes,
into one-inch slices; and then find something
to work with. Sometimes,
one can draw out from the edges
onto the mounting paper,
but I haven't done that here.
Good night, Dad. . .