playing catch, mustache kisses, planting in the garden, comb over, loud conversations, salmon loaf and beets, doing push-ups in front of the tv, pickled herring at christmas time, roofing a whole roof with a hammer, never being able to throw things away, - these are all things that remind me of my dad. 

When I was little I was daddys little girl and tom boy with the blondest mushroom cut youve ever seen.   I followed him around in the garden like a horsefly that you just cant seem to swat away.  I remember him smelling like a mixture of oil and gas and earth and old spice.  (sounds like a French wine!)  He still smells that way.  and Ive never seen him without a mustache. 

As I grew older - things changed,  as they always do and I didnt follow dad around in his garden anymore.  I didnt play catch with him or get mustache kisses. 
I didnt go to college - I barely graduated high school,  I had an attitude that was worse then Lindsey Lohans at her worst moment,  and I moved out and lived with boys before I probably should have, I bartended and the list of things go on that I am sure dad was not so excited to hear about in my mid to late teens. Yes teens.

Then we didnt really communicate for a couple years. Better to leave things alone then stir the pot right?

Then, slowly things changed again.  We moved forward. I bought a house, worked hard.  Then another one.
I then grew a garden- a big one at that, and I was excited the first day he came over and we walked up to it - he said "man did you plant everything too close together"  Dammit - not what I was expecting.  He was right by the way- I did plant too much and too close together because I was so excited BUT - he did come over quite a lot and I would make tons of food all summer long,  from the very things I grew.  And I could tell he enjoyed that. 
We played bocce ball, had late night summer meals outside on the deck with the tiki torches lit, and I would cook things for him that he had never tried.  I took him to a korean restaurant, a thai restaurant, a japanese restaurant and would order all these things he had never eaten before - and i made him drink wine at lunch.  My 20s were good, and sometimes you forget how good.  I will remember the day always - when I felt like for that moment he was proud of me - He had gone on a business trip for work, which wasnt something he didnt do very often, and dined at some nice restaurants with his colleagues.  He pulled out of his wallet a week later and handed me a  piece of paper with all the wines he had drank on his trip.  He said he wrote them down to see if any of them were good ones.  He was telling his colleagues about his "wino" daughter.  He took the time to write down all these wines during the dinners - and then waited to see me to give me this crumply piece of paper that had names on it that he knew nothing about - but he thought I would know and he wanted to hear about them.  A great day for me. 
  All these years later, Im in my 30s and life has changed again. Not for the worse, just not as hospitable.   He still tries to help me and I appreciate it and him.  I wish he drank more wine - years ago it was one of his resolutions (so was building a gazebo for mom too and he still hasnt done that  :)  But Its good for the crazy Mihna hearts so I hope it makes his list again this year and I would be proud to help him out on that one!

i will be the one that loves you, until the end of time

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