FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021

Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past the hell that is Missourah summer. The 90 degrees and drink-the-air humidity we sweated through at Quail Ridge Park, Pavilion #3, laughed at our hubris.

We chose ice cream because FIL was always down for a bowl (or two). I always thought of ice cream as a warm-weather treat. FIL scoffed at that. We once had ice cream while in a barn during a raging January snowstorm. He had many favorite flavors. Moose tracks was up there. If it was available, his brother’s homemade butter pecan bumped it down the list. It was available today, so I used my September cheat day from my new eating habits and had a bowl for FIL.


Softball Stories

FIL was an avid bicycle rider. He and his friends Don and Warren hit the Katy Trail, which crosses Missourah, at least weekly. Into his 70s, FIL routinely did 35 miles in a day with ease. I sat and talked with Don and Warren for a bit today. They were reminiscing about their slow-pitch softball glory days with precise recollections of plays in games that took place more than a half-century ago. “I always had one bone to pick with your father-in-law,” Warren said. He recounted the 1968 league championship game in which his, Don’s and FIL’s team were tied in the last inning with a runner on third and one out. The batter hit a shot back up the middle. FIL, the team’s pitcher, reached out to stop it, but it was just out of his reach and tipped off his glove. “I always gave him a hard time about it because if he’d just let it go through I was there at shortstop and it would have been an easy double play.” As it went, everyone was safe and the go-ahead run scored.


The Swim Trunks

Wifey Poo was overjoyed to see her childhood best friend arrive. Julie and Wifey Poo go way, way, way back, to when Wifey Poo lived in North County, St. Louis. Julie came with a stack of old photographs featuring the two of them and their families. There was one picture from the old neighborhood in which FIL was manning the grill as various conversations took place around the yard. FIL was wearing a Hawaiian-print shirt and dark-blue swim trunks with white trim. I recognized those swim trunks. FIL wore them on the last float trip we went on as a family a few years ago. That put 30-plus years in between their appearances in the photo and my recent memory. That’s so FIL. He took amazing care of everything he owned and was loath to throw out anything that had an ounce of life left in it.


The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘I want to punch him in the nuts.’

My 7-Year-Old nephew, Q, talking about a bully at his elementary school

Hostess with the Mostest

I spent much of the time at the ice cream social on the periphery, as I like to do. I enjoyed watching Wifey Poo as she bounced from conversation to conversation. She was so in her element. Wifey Poo is a social butterfly, and she’s an amazing hostess. FIL would have been proud of her today.


Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. My in-law family is pretty amazing.
  2. Homemade butter pecan ice cream.
  3. I bought a sound bar for the TV that comes tomorrow. Never had one before.

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