November 17, 2007


I’ve been feeling melancholy lately and it took me the longest time but I finally figured it out……

It started last night when I found myself humming and singing a few lines from an odd song while doing the dishes…….odd just because you hardly ever hear any of these types of songs anymore….Jazz, old-timey, big-band era, swing, early 1940’s kinds of songs… was one of his very favourites…….and he would sing it JUST as if he had been on stage somewhere performing it…..complete with various postures, knee-slaps and dipsy-doodles – or whatever dance one might have done back then to this song………

Glenn Miller
- from "Sun Valley Serenade"
- words by Mack Gordon, music by Harry Warren

Pardon me, boy
Is that the Chattanooga choo choo?
Track twenty-nine
Boy, you can gimme a shine
I can afford
To board a Chattanooga choo choo
I've got my fare
And just a trifle to spare

You leave the Pennsylvania Station 'bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner
Nothing could be finer
Than to have your ham an' eggs in Carolina

When you hear the whistle blowin' eight to the bar
Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
Shovel all the coal in
Gotta keep it rollin'
Woo, woo, Chattanooga there you are

There's gonna be
A certain party at the station
Satin and lace
I used to call "funny face"
She's gonna cry
Until I tell her that I'll never roam
So Chattanooga choo choo
Won't you choo-choo me home?
Chattanooga choo choo
Won't you choo-choo me home?
(I just HAD to post ALL the words cuz I just couldn’t for the life of me pick out any one particular line…….they were all HIM!!!)

We’d play these guessing, whistling/singing games…..his line was always " lemme hum a few bars and see if you get it…”. It never took long to guess as he was always humming and singing just in his everyday life…..and he had such a repertoire…..unbelievable!!

He was a hummer, singer and a whistler.....over time he developed this routine of sorts. You see he also liked some of the more risque songs....can't think of one just right now....but he would sing them out and when he got to the naughty bits (which really weren't all that naughty but in his eyes and for the times I suppose they were)...he would suddenly switch from singing the song to whistling or humming through the naughty bits and then resume the singing!! Quite the character my Dad was!

One of his passions throughout his life had been the theatre…..he knew a great deal about it and had, in University, performed in several pieces himself….and then never did again!! It’s funny my Dad had oodles of different passions and hobbies which he would do intensely for a time and then not ever again….come to think of it…..Dad was truly one of those Jack of all Trades, Master of None types of people. He knew a great deal about some things and just enough about many, many other things.

I remember how shocked I was when seemingly out of the blue he suddenly took up painting…..he knew exactly all the things he needed. I found out some time later he used to take a lot of art classes along with the acting classes in University……and lo and behold he sat outside in our English country garden, perched on a little stool with his easel, his palette, his little tubes of paint and did this awesome oil painting of our house and the surrounding gardens….I was like 12 and had never known him to paint and never saw him do it again…..I wonder what ever happened to that painting???

Then this morning I found myself having a toasted bagel for breakfast and rooting around in the fridge for something to put on it…..and what did my hand automatically go for…….Rose’s Lime Marmalade!! Now if you are any kind of a marmalade aficionado as my Dad certainly was you would know that the very finest, (well, aside from his lovingly home-made orange marmalade) is made by L. Rose & Co. Ltd., in Cambridge, England. It is to die for and made me think about him some more.......which, in turn, made me all weepy again!!

Each year, no matter what part of the world we happened to be living in at the time, Dad would somehow be able to find the prized oranges needed to make his was as one might expect only a certain type of orange that would do.....Seville oranges maybe?? I'm not even sure anymore. The recipe was, of course, an old family tradition type of recipe handed down and taught through generations…..wish I had paid more attention!! Dad turned this into an art form spending hours preparing the oranges, slicing the peel in fine strips....but not too fine because you know it had to have a certain substance to it too......marmalade just wasn’t marmalade unless the bits of peel were just so. Here he is making his delectable marmalade......

So yeah, back to the melancholy I’ve been feeling for the last little while….I guess this is what they call grieving and it’s so true… doesn’t happen all at once….it comes in drips and drabs…..waves sometimes…..(thankfully it hasn’t been oceans yet and I don’t imagine it will be really)…..usually it happens when you least expect it……’s OK though….this is manageable…..

I’m just sad……and I miss him!!

8 peeps just sayin':

Susan said...

What wonderful pictures. Just as I remember him myself. Thanks for a little trip down memory lane.

chapin said...

(((Boo)))) It sounds like he lived life to the fullest. What wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post sister dear...I miss him too.


Hotwire said...

that was a fantastic post. sounds as if he was a great guy. also appreciated your discussion on grieving - so very, very true. thank you!!

Hahn at Home said...

Boo - Thanks for sharing part of who your dad was with us. He sounds cool. And, grieving--man, it's so important. Feeling. Living.

Beth said...

I don't think the grieving and the missing ever go away - but they do get a little bit easier with time.
Take care.

the only daughter said...

Or as my friend Cate would say, take gentle care. Truly. ((boo))

Attila The Mom said...

Oh Honey ((((Boo)))!!

I know exactly how you feel. When my dad passed, I fell apart for an entire year.

Be good to yourself.