My dad hunched over the steering wheel and peered through the gold-rimmed glasses perched on his Roman nose. A little grin played around the corners of his mouth as he stared intently at the road, but there was a grin in his eyes. What? You say eyes can’t grin? Wrong! My dad’s eyes grinned. Even though he was bald, I loved the little band of gray hair that chased itself from the side of one ear to the other. The lines in his face were real character lines. He wasn’t old to me. He was just the greatest dad ever.
He sat there in his old overalls and blue flannel shirt, faded from too many launderings, and I sat there wishing I could be that lanky tomboy again, spending time fishing, or gathering black walnuts with him from the walnut grove at the edge of town. How I loved sweeping out his dusty old shop, loved watching him pound plowshares razor-sharp with his large iron hammer.
My dad was a memory-maker. As I sat there beside him, my mind wandering over the past twenty-something years, he turned to me with a wide grin and said, “Do you see that fly on the hood, pookaluke?”
Now I knew he was fooling with my mind so I said, “No, and you don’t see one either.” After all, we were doing sixty miles an hour.
He chuckled. “Well, I don’t see the fly either, but I could hear him walking.”