My dad's been gone for 7 1/2 years.
While I don't usually miss him so much this time of year, I was watching Little People, Big World, and saw that their best friend passed on, and it was sudden, and quick, and unexpected. It made me think of my dad.
When I was a kid, this time of year was quiet. The harvest was in, everything that could be repaired probably had been by now, and the sows weren't going to farrow for at least another month and a half. This is when my dad would get fat and sassy (yeah, right, the man never broke 160. he was 5'6", and definitely not a fat man. during really busy times, i think he was lucky to be 140).
"HO HO HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!" i can remember hearing that on several christmas mornings. my dad had a big voice for such a small man. he could rattle the windows.
i remember he could never say "banana." it was always "balana." He was very sick as an infant, and spent most of the years we learn language not hearing anything. When he finally began to hear again, it was never quite right. the Nebraska School for the Deaf focussed on sign language, rather than speech. i credit my ability to understand most people to the fact that i grew up hearing "mangled" english.
i don't miss him much this time of year. he's not as close now. wait for spring. when i drive in the country, and see farmers planting at all hours of the day and night, i hear my dad's hollering for more seed corn. when i see the corn growing up and up and up, i hear my dad talk about when they were kids and how corn grew during WWII (he wasn't allowed to serve, for obvious reasons, although he tried). My favorite smell is corn pollinating in july. Seeing combines on the road makes me remember rides on the tractor, going from field to distant field (although my dad NEVER took his equipment on the highway. if it needed to go to town, he had it trucked. said it was too hard on the tires to drive on the highway (and those tires were $500 in the 70's!))
i miss my dad