Thankful Three

As has always been the usual treat, my dad brings way too much ice cream through the door. This. One gallon. Filled to the creamy brim with three distinctly delicious flavors – chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry – it is the all-in-one creme de cacao in his visiting glass of Neopolitan courteousness; Also, an over-sized contribution to the holiday to match his need … a need to belong. We welcome him in. Every time.

A holiday, three times a year event it is. Very seldom does he come by other times. Christmas, Easter, and today – Thanksgiving.

He’s an independent sort of guy, but wants to be a part of his family. We’re small since mom died eight years ago. Seldom will he turn down an invitation to be around, yet hardly ever he’ll call with an idea to go somewhere with us. Relatives are distanced or gone, for the most part, and his friend circles are closing in, save one who stays in touch every day. Walks are twice per day, routines are vital, health is extremely important, and my relationship with him is better than ever.

Today. Over the threshold, once again, one-hundred twenty-eight ounces of ice cream for three people. Again, it didn’t matter. An army of one-thousand Navy Seals or two toddlers skirting along in diapers, a gallon of neapolitan from the local market was coming through my front door today. This year, 2020, changed perceptions about a lot of things, for sure. When it came to my dad standing in front of an open freezer door with cold, frozen dusty air blowing across his masked generationally worn face? … everything had to remain the same! Good for him, I say. Good for him.

He came into a house where we positioned the seating arrangements 6-feet apart. A masked hostess greeted him at the door, took the precious gallon and placed it in the freezer next to all our frozen pizza slices, removed ham, potatoes, and green beans from the oven … and we ate. Three people, two sofa denizens and one love seat, tv tray dad discussed politics and grammar during a pandemic, Thanksgiving day, meal.

My dad, a retired English teacher, could probably correct some errors here. Surely he would find some. During dinner, we talked through gerunds, whom vs who, subjective vs objective pronouns, and why television personalities talk bad English, according to dad. He has his political views, I have mine … interrupted by the fortunate forgetful nature of his short-term memory as we’re on opposite sides of the national chasm.

Pumpkin pie time (whipped cream) with ice cream and coffee (the last of those three for the other two, not me … not a coffee guy) came quickly as it doesn’t take much for three folks to eat meat, a starch, and veggie. Ten minutes later, dad headed out the same front door he came in only one hour before – in tow, a partially empty one-gallon, three flavors tub of ice cream. As has always been the usual treat, my dad brings way too much ice cream through the door.

We never know, do we? This has been the most unusual Thanksgiving. So far, though, I’ve had my thankful 3’s. D-A-D; Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry; Ham, potatoes, and green bean casserole; My wife, dad, and I together.

Small? Of course. Had to be this year. A short visit? Yep. Dad had to get his second walk of the day in.

We’ll wait until Easter to see what the world looks like. It’ll be different than today, probably. Numbers will hopefullly come down as a vaccine could be among us. A new administration, a new attitude, a new way of life? Who knows?

Tell ya what. When Easter is flipped over on the calendar and we open the front door, dad will be standing there with a gallon of ice cream. Assuming he’s eaten all of what went home today by Christmas, that is.

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