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A MASTER COOK, GARDENER, AND MENTOR Thinking of My Dad This Father’ s Day
This month, with Father’s Day coming up, I’m looking back on the massive impact my dad has had on me throughout my life. He’s been a constant source of support across the years, and I’m incredibly grateful for everything he’s done for me.
We’ve always been as close as can be. I remember when I was a typical moody teenager, I was struggling with my hair brush, desperately battling it out with a few particularly stubborn tangles. In my adolescent fury, I threw the brush across the room, and it snapped against the wall. My dad walked in to see what the commotion was and to make sure I was safe. Then he sent me off to wherever I was on my way to. When I got back, there was a bag on the bathroom counter — no receipt —with a brand-new brush. It might sound silly, but I was touched. He never once mentioned the episode verbally. “He’s always been the rock of the family, the one to which you can come to talk about anything, confident that he’ll listen to you attentively and respond with clear- headed patience and wisdom.” But that’s just the way my dad is. He’s always been the rock of the family, the one to which you can come to talk about anything, confident that he’ll listen to you attentively and respond with clear-headed patience and wisdom. He was there for me when I was a tantrum-throwing teen, and he was there dispelling my nagging doubts when I began to consider starting my own business. Being able to depend on his support and ability to lift me up whenever I’ve been down has been invaluable every step of the way.
If there’s one thing that epitomizes my dad’s giving personality, it’s his Sunday breakfasts. He
served delicious morning meals to the whole family, every week without fail, while my siblings and I were growing up. As I reflect, I realize he put in a Herculean effort those mornings. Sure, a lot of parents cook breakfast for their kids, but this was a
made-to-order affair. You’d put in your request, and he’d cook up the most delicious comfort
food. We’re talking eggs over easy, scrambled eggs with cheese, grits, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruit. Whatever you wanted was there on the table — unless you failed to wake up, which of course never happened when my dad was around. If you slept in just a little too late, you’d wake up to him hopping up on the bed and warning, “Hey, wake up, or you’re gonna miss breakfast!” And when my dad cooks, he cooks. He used to consistently serve up five- course meals with only the freshest ingredients, straight from his elaborate garden whenever possible. Gardening is my dad’s most beloved pastime. He’s a master at cultivating anything that grows in the earth, and he has all these big, great fruit trees that he raised from individual seeds. I don’t think I ate fast food until I was a teenager, and forget about pop. Everything in our house was nutrient-dense, natural, and delicious.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for everything you’ve done for all of us.
- Kim Nartker
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