My Dad has been calling me a LOT lately over the past few days. This is a new experience for me, as we’ve never been terribly close. I’ve only reached out to him about once a year for the past several years, out of a sort of “eldest daughter” obligation. I’m not a bad daughter, it’s just that we don’t have much in common, and without Mom here (RIP) to craft the family get togethers, the whole family has sort of gone our own separate ways.
I guess I started this- I called him last week after we’d gotten together for lunch a couple of weeks before. What? I know. It was Christmas time after all, and two of my sisters are out of state so I worried he was sad or lonely. He wasn’t/isn’t. He’s actually becoming this new happy person, and…I like it. I like him suddenly. He’s eccentric as many 77 year olds can be, with no sensor. At our lunch in the tiny Cuban cafe, which was a major treat- I rarely go out to eat- he was being all convivial with the table next to us, he shared a huge tropical salad with me, eating avocados and mangoes for probably the first time in his life. I brought him a little drawing I made for him and put in a frame, of a big horn sheep ram. He loved it and said I must have spent hours drawing it. A side note about my Dad is that he graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1957, he had intended to be a car designer in Detroit after he graduated, but his parents for some reason called him back home. He’s a very skilled but unfulfilled artist.
During our delicious lunch (he ate Cuban food, including black beans!) I made a conscious effort to tell him my favorite childhood memories that involve him. Watching those classic Nature Shows together, especially Marty Stouffer’s Wild America. How he taught me how to draw as a girl, pulling out random little plastic “ark animals” to sketch together from the case in which there were literally thousands of tiny plastic animals of all shapes and colors. How he taught me to love jazz and classical music by dragging us to free concerts regularly, how he used to take us to visit pet stores on the weekends between his visits to car dealerships, where we’d happily eat as much free food as we could, and he’d get his car fix. We laughed and reminisced and found a common place- our memories.
I’d called him a couple weeks after our pleasant lunch, to let him know our farm was going to be on PBS. Channel 2, as we called it where I grew up, was a HUGE part of my childhood and our family. Like I mentioned in my other post- he loved to watch the Nature Shows with us, but would shed a tear when the lions hunted the zebras. We even went to the Channel 2 station for a taping of the show Newton’s Apple, if anyone remembers that program. I knew he’d be especially excited that our farm was going to be on this channel, and indeed he was. He couldn’t believe it! WOW he said. After I’d called him to give him the day and time, he called me back twice to make sure he had it right, he’s getting old, he said, and just wanted to make sure he’d written it down correctly.
After the airing, he called me back two more times, leaving ominous sounding voicemails- Khaiti, call me tonight please. I got back in touch with him last night and it was adorable. He wanted to make sure I’d noticed the chef at the end of the segment was using DUCK EGGS, can you imagine it? he said. I said I’m pretty sure that was sort of planned, Dad, to make the show come full circle. He said I need to get that chef a thank you or something. He was just thrilled for us. He’d called all his friends to tell them to watch it too. It made my heart glow because my Dad hasn’t shown much in the way of fatherly pride since I had been an obedient youngster. I wondered if he thought of Mom when he saw me talking on film, if it made him sad at all, but I didn’t ask. I was just so happy that he was overjoyed.
The Victory Garden’s ediblefeast episodes are still being held privately by PBS, but as soon as I can, I will share the link. It was filmed last summer, and the filmmakers did a wonderful job. Daniel and Mirra of the Perennial Plate are such sweet and amazingly talented people, and I can’t help but wonder if we’d said no to his last minute request to come film our turkey harvest back in 2010, would we have had the honor of being chosen for this project? There are plenty of AMAZING farmers in our region, so to be picked and have a chance to speak up for sustainable, ethical farming from our perspective is really, really incredible. Thank you to all my friends and family and amazing customers- we are Living the Dream because you are at our side!
Here’s a little clip, not the PBS show, but all about our farm: http://vimeo.com/114687584