Category Archives: Dad

Are You a Dipper?

My Dad and I. Check out the cup of coffee and bread on the saucer!

My Dad and I. Check out the cup of coffee and bread on the saucer!

It was a day like any other. Picking up my mom for her weekly grocery shopping trip, I looked forward to stopping at a local coffee shop while she took her time going up and down the aisles. The shop was close by and a few moments of quiet and a good cup of coffee were calling me.

Arriving there, I glanced at the bakery offerings. Since I had no chocolate in my purse, it was going to be a cookie kind of day. The display case at the Blue Canary was filled with delicious looking biscotti. I chose a dark chocolate drizzled, chocolate biscotti with cherries.

I sat down at the table and opened up my laptop. The mouse needed new batteries. Phone, coffee, plate with biscotti, napkins, check. Phone next to me, check. Finally, I reached for the biscotti and without thinking about it, I dunked the end of it right into that cup of steaming coffee.

The first bite was amazing. So was the second. I dipped every bite into the coffee and tried to be mindful of every chew. Instead of rushing through it, I savored and enjoyed the experience to the fullest. Wow, it was wonderful.

Just like this!

Just like this!

When I was growing up, coffee was a part of life at our house and at my grandmother’s as well. Back then, there was no decaf (Sanka came later) so it was Maxwell House perking on the back burner of our gas stove. The coveted pot was metal with one of those little glass toppers. Plink, plink, plink went the coffee as it perked. After dinner, there was always a fresh pot. My grandmother was the first person I remember allowing me cups laden with milk and sugar.

My dad was a dipper. No matter what type of cookie was on the table after dinner, he dipped it. My mother’s Greek bread toasts (paximathia) or butter cookies (koulourakia) were his favorites. Around the holidays, like Easter, mom would make dozens of them to take to holiday gatherings.

And Dad didn’t just do cookies. He did bread and cheese (think slices of swiss cheese) or just plain toast. He loved to dip. He loved coffee and whatever was on hand to dip into it.

I’ve met people who are not dippers. They would never think of dipping their cookie or biscotti into their coffee. Too many crumbs, they say, floating in their coffee. But I LOVE IT. So what if you get to the bottom of your cup and there are crumbs?

Sometimes when I think of dipping, I think of the old Dr. Pepper jingle. Instead of Be a Pepper, listen to the jingle below and substitute “dipper” for the word “pepper” in your head.

Works doesn’t it! If you’ve never dipped before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Give it a try. You’ll love it. 🙂

 

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A Letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

I can’t believe it has been 16 years since your passing. It was Father’s Day 1997 when Mom called to relay the news that you breathed your last breath. Uncle Jim G. was so mad because he had to leave his vacation in Yellowstone Park! Ha! But I knew the aunts and uncles would never miss your funeral. Vacation or not, they would be there….

I was not upset that you passed on Father’s Day. It actually caused me to smile because I could imagine you saying from heaven, “NOW you’ll never forget me!”. But truly Dad it would be impossible to do so.

Dad and I

Dad and I

Because you, like me, were an oldest child and it was you who stepped up, was responsible and felt the pressure. You made your presence known in a big way and I learned from your example to be a person who honors their word.

Jim and I mentioned the auto auction the other day, the one you used to take me to occasionally. For a few brief moments I could smell the sauerkraut on the hotdogs that you would buy us in the cafeteria. Mom would NEVER make anything like that at home but you introduced me to sauerkraut and I have loved it ever since!

I am grateful that you and I got to work together at the car dealership for those few precious years. You trusted me enough to leave me in charge when you and mom went away on vacations. That meant much to me and taught me great leadership skills.

Someone I was with last night mentioned Kennywood Park and I was again taken back to the times when you and mom would accompany Jim and I and the kids for a day at the amusement park. You and mom would walk around, eat all the great carnival food with us (their cotton candy was fabulous!) and watch the kids ride the roller coasters. I didn’t know then but I do know now what precious times those were.

I am trying to pay attention to those things I do lately which at first glance may seem insignificant, but could become life long good memories for Michelene, John and Gavin. The day will come when they will remember this and that about me and I want those moments to be fond remembrances, like the ones I have of you.

I am more and more aware of how short life really is. I try to remember how precious each day is and to have gratitude for all my blessings.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!!

One of my favorite pictures!

One of my favorite pictures!

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