Sunday, August 23, 2009

Repost - Breakfast with Dad

Pin It This excursion to The Hoot Owl was during a period of time when Mom’s health had first become precarious because of the cancer, and I had left my classroom for a week because the doctors had said she wouldn’t be around very long—in fact, they’d given her between one and eight weeks in which to live. Who would have guessed that she would have outlived their longest estimations by nearly 21 months?

Even as I read over this particular post, it reminds me of the month that I spent up in Sandpoint, and the final days I was able to spend with her before she died.

I still miss her.

Originally posted on Sunday, October 28, 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 the night before, “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? To answer that you would need to imagine one of those little restaurants which you can only seem to find in small towns. One of those places 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 you do.

On Saturday morning I was the first awake, and I carefully awoke my brother and dad. I felt like I did back when I was just 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 the 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 café 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.


Bee said...

Yummy! Nothing like a good breakfast with Dad.

And I know you still miss your mom:(

SO said...

Family time is a good time no matter where you are.

I lost my dad last October. I'm sorry about your mom.

Corine said...

I remember that place (and the flies too! :) Thanks for the photo! :D

Nice how hard times and even tragedies can bring about great memories. Life is good.

birdeeb said...

Love when people talk about the traditions they had with their parents...reminds me that the walks & things I do with my kids will be sweet memories for their futures. I didn't know about your mom :o( I am sorry...

I loved the story about how your dad talked about the flies & that the family trained them LOL I can see where you get your sense of humor ;o)

Teachinfourth said...

B - Today at school was hard; I had to just teach 'harder' to not think about her.

S - It does stink, doesn't it?

C - I was thinking this morning how much I'd love to be at 'The Hoot Owl' for a spot of breakfast...

B - Sad how brain damage gets passed on through generations, isn't it?

Valerie said...

We have a little restaurant our family loves, called, "Northwoods Inn." Funny how much a part of family culture that can become. Great picture! Give Yancy our best!!

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