Sunday, October 28, 2007

Breakfast with Dad

Pin It October 27, 2007
The morning would bring with it an excitement like Christmas and yet sadness too, like the last day of school in the spring. This bittersweet feeling came all because of something my dad had whispered to Yancy and me late that night, “Tomorrow we go to the Hoot Owl.” This small statement, coupled with the fact that my flight took off later that afternoon, had me feeling a mix of emotion.
So, what's The Hoot Owl? Well, The Hoot Owl is one of those little restaurants which you can only seem to find in small towns. It’s the place which has been run by the same family for years and the menu doesn’t ever seem to change…it’s like stepping back in time to a place that never seems to age, no matter how much I do.
On Saturday morning I was the first awake, and I carefully awoke my brother and dad. I felt like I did when I was a kid…trying so hard to be so quiet on Christmas morning, and yet wanting to be loud so we could get things rolling. It didn’t take long before the two of them were wide awake and we slipped off into the early morning mist and shadows which still covered the sleepy neighborhood on Red Clover Drive.
As we drove to The Hoot Owl the sun slowly broke into life, rising ever so leisurely with its first rays of morning reaching over the mountains to linger on the treetops, orange and yellow. We parked in the dirt lot next door and made our way to the brightly-lit restaurant which greeted us not only with warmth from the chilly October air, but a bundle of smells which all spelled breakfast.
Years ago my dad used to joke with us, telling us that each of the flies which always buzzed about this cafĂ© all had names, and were personally trained by the family, being kept in little cages at night and released every morning to greet the customers. Though the thought of flies in a restaurant may sound nauseating, this is just one of the small things about this little restaurant which gives it a feeling of home. I’m sure that a part of this sentiment is due to the fact that it is a place that I’ve only been to with my dad before, and no matter how old we get we hold on to traditions—even those which have only been in existence for a few years.
My dad, my brother, and I sat there and talked over our steaming plates of breakfast. We didn’t necessarily discuss anything which was life-changing, or anything which was incredibly profound…we just talked. Many moments I just listened to what was being said. Amidst spills of water and maple syrup, laughter and deep thought, and friendly greetings from other people my dad and brother knew, we had the opportunity spend a last little while together before I left for Utah…this is something which doesn’t seem to happen near enough with my dad.
As we walked outside once-again into the chilly October morning, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. As I climbed into the rental car, fired up the engine, and began the two-hour drive to the Spokane Airport, I thought of how fortunate I was to have a family who cares about me, and one I care about back. Already in my mind I was anticipating breakfast at some future time again with my dad and brother at The Hoot Owl.

9 comments:

Gerb said...

Great post. It brought back memories for me of 'Joe's' back home, where the drama geeks went for breakfast when we ditched school on days that a cast list was posted and we didn't get the part we hoped for. Total down-home comfort food, and wonderful memories of a unique group of friends.

annette said...

Dad's and breakfasts just seem to go together. Sometimes in the summer, my dad would take just me out to breakfast with him to Waffel House before he went to work. No matter what I ordered, I always got hot chocolate w/extra whipped cream. Treasured moments with Dad. Thanks for the memories.

Summer Lord said...

Are you writing a book yet - you are such a great story-teller and really know how to add those details that your 6th graders are still working on!
When we lived in Kalispell, Montana there was a place on Main Street - Norms News. My dad loved that place and we would go in and sit at the soda-counter that was there, and enjoy a classic hamburger and shake and hearing my dad tell about his memories of such places growing up. I love places like these, and wish there were more around!

Teachinfourth said...

Gerb,

I can also remember going to Shari's Restaurant after long shifts at the movie theater with a gang of fellow employees when I was growing up...a great time to order a mess of fries or the infamous "Jason's Delight" and just spend some time together. Those were certainly the days, weren't they?

Annette,

There's something to be said about a big glass of hot chocolate, isn't there?

Summer,

In my earlier post I said Kalispell, Washington, however, I knew it was Montana...I used to have some friends there, the Sias Family...I sure miss them.

As for a place here in Provo for sitting and memories, I have yet to find one. If I do find a place, I'll have to let you know.

Yancy said...

I really enjoy moments like this with you and dad.
The Hoot Owl is a good tradition. I ate there with some close friends the morning after grad-night (the day that I left home to live with you in Provo and start college.)

Teachinfourth said...

Me too, my brutha...me too.

thewendygirl said...
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thewendygirl said...
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mywest said...

Son,
I remember this and some of the fly's have passed on...I will let you in on a little secret, new young and agile fly's have been trained and were eagerly waiting their chance to replace their loved ones. Weekdays the young fly's are assigned tables but soon will be able to mingle with all.
It was a great time and yes we will be doing it again.
Love, DAD

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