At certain times of the day, I find myself thinking of him. If I glance at the clock and it's 10 am, I know he is probably sitting with my mom at the dining room table having a cup of coffee. Back when he used to work in his machine shop every single day, that was his first break of the day, and he was always ready for it. Sometimes a friend of his would stop by, just before 10, knowing that my mom would be serving coffee, or maybe some bars, or even 'old' cake, pretty much right at 10 am. Even though he no longer works in his shop every day, he is always busy working on some kind of project, so the 10 am coffee time has stuck.
If it's noon, I know he is probably at home, this time sitting in his 'spot' on the couch, and my mom is serving him lunch. Seriously, serving him. Unless it is her coffee day, then she probably isn't home yet, and he has to make his sandwich and heat up his soup himself. Even though he doesn't announce it, he always watches "Days of our Live" at that time, and then he has a nice little catnap, to get him ready to tackle his afternoon.
If it's 3 pm, it's time for another coffee break. If it's hot, it will be a big sweaty glass of iced tea, or lemonade. I remember my dad so well on those hot summer days, working away in his machine shop. No air conditioning, and he in his work outfits and leather boots. As a welder, bare skin was not an option, even when it was 90 degrees in the shade. He would come in at 3 pm, just dripping, and my mom would always say, "Oh Dave, why don't you quit early today? It's just so hot." Sometimes he did, and we would go fishing before dinner-it was always cooler on the lake.
If he couldn't finish early, then I could look forward to some night fishing, after mom made dinner. I loved night fishing, the colors of everything as the sun started to sink, and the smell coming off the water. Fish usually were hungrier then, and we nearly always came home with some in our cooler.
I am hardly in Bemidji anymore, but even though I can't be there, I usually can picture what my dad is doing, at least at certain points in the day. And it is always reassuring to know he is still there, sitting at the dining room table.
Happy Father's Day, dad!