It’s Father’s Day here in New Zealand.
My Dad was a quiet fellow. He had a very dry sense of humour and was an expert of the corny Dad joke. He was brilliant with figures, an accountant who could add up rows of numbers without any calculator. He taught me my fourth form maths because my teacher was so useless. I still do long division the ancient way! It paid off the following year when I passed school cert maths!
Dad taught me to drive, kind of. I was getting lessons through the driving school, but it was dad that would take me out to practise hill starts, parallel parks and the like.
I used to drink the foam off the top of Dad’s beer when I was little. I’m sure he shook up the bottle a little to ensure there was some. He wasn’t a big drinker, but sometimes he’d have a beer with my brothers watching the rugby. He influenced my love of rugby, although we went separate ways with the teams we supported – me, Canterbury; Dad, Otago.
And he was a great gardener. Both mum and dad were green thumbs. Mum’s main domain the flowers (although strawberries and rhubarb were hers), dad did the veges. He grew tomatoes, pumpkins, peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, cabbages, radishes, potatoes, spinach and silver beet. If we ate it, he grew it. I can remember helping plant carrots and weed the garden as a little girl. He also had a go with grapes and made some infamous wine that, as the story goes, knocked mum out after one glass! He was banned from brewing after that!!!
I was in the garden yesterday and I always have a sense of dad with me when I’m out there. I potter in the flower garden, but I do prefer the veges. I’m not the green thumb he was, but there is great satisfaction in being out there weeding, planting, harvesting.
Dad was there to help me budget when I first got a job, looked after my banking when I was overseas (even putting an extra thousand in my bank when my card got swallowed up in Spain so I wouldn’t be stuck – it all turned out well and he got his thousand back, but it was pretty cool for him to do that, considering he was on a pension by then!). He went looking at flats with me when my flat was being sold on me, and then when I decided to buy a place instead of rent, supported me, came with me to the broker’s meeting and advised me on mortgages and the like.
There are so many things I could say about my dad. He was Pretty Ace. I do miss him.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.