It was well before noon on the Hallmark-Designated-Day-Honoring-Fathers, and the air was already permeated with the smell of charred beef and pork. He smiled, took a deep breath and laughed, "Fire up those new Fathers' Day grills, people!" He seemed happy as he headed to work for a few hours. "I'll call you when I am done and we can head off for a hike," he promised.
I will admit that for at least a moment I wondered what it would be like to buy a shirt or tie for Fathers' Day rather than take on tics and wilderness adventure! For just a moment, I thought about all those people who really would be firing up new grills or heading to pig roasts and eating their way through the holiday.
Yet, that is not us. Years ago, when our kids were little, the closest we ever got to going out for this holiday was when we stopped for ice cream cones as part of what he dubbed Sat-Ur-Daddy-Day. This year, like last year, the year before, and the year before that, there would be a hike or bike trek to mark the day.
He was smiling as the "grand-dogs" took turns pulling him along the trail at breakneck speed. I am sure I saw him glow as we stopped to savor his favorite spots along the trail: Mdm. Brett Park's falls; Denning Point's "beach"; Pete Seeger's famous Sloop Clearwater; and the Long Dock Wharf's waterfront hull. While there were several of us who might have liked to indulge in a strawberry shortcake over at the Strawberry Festival, he had what he wanted. While we were "tuckered-out" at the end of the day, our hearts were so full that he did not give me "grief" when I realized I had left my phone way back on the trail as I attempted to capture the memories! So we retraced our steps, happy!