Though the sparkle in his eyes has started to dim and his feet have begun to shuffle, his passion for life has not begun to be snuffed. Time has softened his guffaw into a gentle chuckle. Quiet wisdom rests within his soul. He says what needs to be said without forethought or regret. He spins tales of days gone by with gusto and color. Those who know him say he is “quite a character”. Yes, the man has charisma. While he woos you with his charm, he wins you with his integrity.
He doesn’t just point out the history of the land and the people; he stretches his arms in exaggeration, and points his fingers here and there as he tells the real deal. As he grins his thin Clark Gable mustache spreads around his lips. He pulls at his suspenders and smoothes his shirt across his full, rounded stomach. He digs beneath the surface and presents a two sided persona rather than a flat, dull character or account. He has the ability to amuse as he teaches. One often is so taken with the anecdote; the lesson is not realized until much later.
Yes, at almost eighty-two my Daddy is still bigger than life. He is the ultimate storyteller, weaving emotion and imagination. He knows the point of his story and how to get it across. He has a gift of embellishing without compromising the truth. Though he is not a writer, and I am not an entertainer; I suppose we both have a need to tell our stories in our own way.
Like everyone else in the game of life, he has made mistakes along the way. He has learned from them and become a better man because of them. I sometimes wonder if he had been born in a different time and place how different his life would have been. Fortunately, the place and time is here and now. I am the recipient of his influence, and what a blessing he has been on my life.
Some people are writers. Others are story tellers. When one learns to write as a storyteller speaks it is the greatest gift of all.
Living in the Gap
January 15, 2012 – Snowbirds
A scattering of grey lay strewn across the dying lawn. A whoosh of wind, the tiny bits of grey lifted into the frosty morning air, sporting white patches beneath their tail wings. Airborne, they appeared to be a clouded sky. Snowbirds in flight: a premonition of weather around the corner?