Wednesday, September 7, 2011

He has arrived with recliner and dog

My father is en route to my house today.  He left his sister's in Alabama on Friday and I am not so much having second thoughts as simply running through scenarios in my head about how this will work exactly.  I haven't lived with my family since I left for college at the age of 17.  It's not like I don't have anything in common with my father; we share oddly short legs, weird feet and the belief that I am adopted.  I am definitely more like my mother.  My Daddy is a good ol' boy in every sense of the word.  He is a straight shooter; so am I.  He does not suffer fools at all; I do not suffer them gladly but as a federal employee, must deal with them on a daily basis.  There are many things on which our opinions and belief differ.  Money, religion, hygiene and style are just a few of the areas where we have mostly opposing views.  TV shows, books, food and laughter the very few areas where we usually agree, although as a diabetic you would think he would avoid sugar more than I, but you would be wrong.  He arrived sipping a Mountain Dew because diet drinks "taste funny".  I titled this blog 'Penny Loafers at the Rodeo' as it encapsulates the inherent differences between us.  I have actually worn penny loafers to a rodeo.  He hasn't worn penny loafers, ever I don't think.

If you've watched my video on YouTube (Dustin Thompson VA) you may be familiar with my description of my Daddy.  I know that many people have always imagined him to be an older version of me, with the pastel chinos, seersucker suits and coordinated belts, shoes and watch bands.  But that is absolutely not the reality.  I describe him as Uncle Jesse from the original 'Dukes of Hazzard' except with red hair and suspenders instead of overalls.  I kid you not. 

When he arrived "yestidy roundbout dinner" (translation: yesterday around noon) his truck was completely packed like the Joad's escaping the Dust Bowl, y'all.  He has purchased a tarp to protect his belongings including a power wheelchair, recliner, suitcases and a four-wheeled walker.  It had seen better days as it had weathered the rain and wind from Tropical Storm Lee as he drove from Alabama through Texas on his way here.  I almost laughed but then it hit me that he has two different pieces of equipment to help him get around.  I keep forgetting he's old y'all.  Old like the Pope.  He turned 70 in July and it's odd to see him in this light.  I always remember him as the strong, loud, slightly scary man who I always viewed with a mixture of fear and respect.  He wasn't a very loving man in the sense of those Dads from the AT&T commercials; he wasn't and still isn't a hugger.  But he did show love in the ways he knew.  He would buy me things he thought I would like.  He would have my Mother cook my favorite things when I visited from college.  He would make jokes, sometimes at my expense, just to make me laugh.  He did love me, but I was much too dramatic (in that overblown 90210 way) to recognize that he was doing the best he could with a kid he truly didn't understand.  So I guess it's come full circle.  He didn't know what to do with me but he let me stick around for as long as I needed and now it's my turn.  I've just got be sure to have enough Febreze; he does still smell like old man. 

Somebody throw up a prayer!


  1. Well, God Bless you for opening up your home to him! You're alright by me, my friend. (hug!!!)

  2. Whoooo! This is gona be good, Dustin. I can just FEEL a book coming out of this experience. :) Looking forward to reading it. Only request -- Pictures, please! Hugs, friend. Reading this made me miss you even more!