20 July 2015

Pink

Yesterday was Father’s Day. (That’s a lie. It has taken me so long to write this; it is now July.) What better time to write a little story about my own daddy, who rarely gets called Daddy by me anymore - only Grandpa!

The very first car my daddy ever drove was a Ford Fairlane 500. The temperature gauge was broken, the radiator hose busted, and then the engine seized going over Holland Creek on Highway 90. Obviously, this is not how you want your drive to go. It had to be towed to the Ford dealership in Navasota. The professionals deemed it too far gone, so it was time to find alternate transportation. So where did he land? In the driver’s seat of a 1967 pink, two-doored Ford Mustang with black interior.

Please don’t let the word PINK get lost in the middle of that last paragraph. If everything else is forgotten, just remember the pink.

Think that was a character-building time in his life? I’m guessing yes.

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These days, we spend too much time in our vehicle talking on cell phones and listening to text messages ding. No phones in the car back then. I often wish that we didn’t have this option now; save me from myself, and all that jazz.

When Katie was smaller, one of her favorite things to do as we sat waiting in the truck or eating at Sonic was to stand or sit in her daddy’s lap and pretend to drive with the steering wheel.

There were no babies steering the wheel in that pink car, and I bet Daddy had no idea that he’d have two one day. Two girls, I might add.

*****

One of my favorite things in the world – but don’t tell Brady – is to watch him bring home all manner of animal for Katie to see…ponies, horses, kittens, puppies, dogs, and even pigs. I’m sure I’ve left something out.

Katie has always gotten so excited over riding everything and petting everything and especially getting to feed the animals. I can’t wait to see how Beau responds when he’s old enough to really understand what’s going on with the animals.

I huff and puff and get completely exasperated; it’s just part of the game now.

*****

Okay, end of the Katie Commercial Break. Back to Daddy and that car. I hear my mama often say that she wishes he’d have kept it. My sister and I have also lamented from time to time that he didn’t keep it, because how cute would we be driving around in a pink Mustang?

When you’re living your life from day to day, it’s hard to know what you’ll regret later. Selling something, skipping a vacation, turning down an invitation, taking the safer route….

I’m sure when he got rid of it, it was the thing to do. As my brother-in-law says, you can only do the best you can with the information you have in that moment. I hope Grandpa doesn’t regret selling it. After all, car or no car, it’s one of our favorite stories to hear and tell.

I don’t feel I’ve really done this story justice, but I wanted to get it down for keeps. I’ll sign off now with a mental image of my daddy driving a light pink Mustang through Anderson with really long, light red sideburns and a big smile.

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