Fighting Fire with Fire

I remember when I was growing up we had a large plastic handled, serrated-edge knife on which my dad had written ‘hara-kiri knife.’  Apparently, hara-kiri is a Japanese term that describes a method of killing oneself by sticking a sharp knife into your stomach.  I vaguely wished for one on Friday when I arrived home from a happy hour of shopping only to find Luke’s car back in the yard!  As the kid from Poltergeist said, “He’s baaaaaaaaack.”

My dad always kept a coaster on top of his beer glass, not underneath.  The reason for this was to keep insects and other dirt out.  It wasn’t a real coaster, actually.  I think it was an old lid from a plastic container.  One day I was sitting in my dad’s chair, and just for fun, I wrote around the rim, “Dad’s a cuter, not a neuter.”  I remember him being very amused by that, and he kept that lid until the day he died.

My friend of 29 years, Bev, was here for the weekend.  We met as young teachers of the deaf in Prince George in 1978.  She loved my flowers, and it was great to have someone look at them who appreciates gardening.  She adored the tall magenta and red holly hocks, and I told her that the seeds originally came from a woman named Dolores Reventlow who grew them in Osoyoos 50 years ago.

I now have two huge sweetly-scented mauve phlox stands, thanks to a small container I took home from my sister-in-law Wendy’s garden ten years ago.  Now I have a bit of her in my yard as well.  In my ‘secret garden’ I have nasturtiums which are a remindeer of Phyllis Vincent’s which I fell in love with over 40 years ago.  One of my loveliest plants is a giant mauve perennial sweet pea, which came from Pauline Smith, Alley Cat’s mom.

So, it’s back to the four of us slugging it out in the house.  Luke went to Alberta, drove around for a week dropping off resumes, didn’t find a job, so came home.  I told him I am back in my office, and he’s not to go anywhere near it.  He has to sleep on the hide-a-bed in the living room downstairs, so hopefully eventually he will be worn down by that and move out.  I’ve taken to wearing only underwear on hot days, as someone told me that’s one of the best ways to get kids to leave home.  We’ll see.

On very hot days in Osoyoos, my dad would often be in only his boxer shorts, and sometimes he would be sitting at the kitchen table wearing nothing at all!  He wasn’t trying to be lewd, or even to drive anyone out of the home, he was just hot.  So, I try to assume the same completely innocent “What?” when the boys are giving me that horrified look that asks, “What in the name of God in Heaven is she up to now?”

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