Today is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all those out there who do the job of a dad, whether you be male or female. My wish for you on this day is that you have the wisdom to teach your kids all they need to know, the patience to deal with them whether they are 2 or 20 and never ending love for them.
As I think about my own dad today, I am saddened by the realization that he is getting older. Mid-seventies this year. I’m thankful that I have both my parents still with me, but for how long?
Just this past week, I made a surprise trip to see them since it’s been almost two years. I was shocked at the changes only two years can make. The grey hair, the wrinkled skin, the slowing down.
I remember my dad from years past. He was young and energetic and invincible to my child’s eyes. I remember thinking he was perfect and could do no wrong. He was the bread-winner of the family, working long hours to supply for us. Although, as a child, I just didn’t understand why he was gone all day. He worked a factory job, and I didn’t understand why grown-ups didn’t get summer vacation like we kids did. Didn’t the factories close down for the summer like school? (I have to giggle at this as an adult. It would be awesome if we all got the summer off!)
He taught me so much without saying a word. He taught me about hard work, doing a job right the first time, never giving up, never losing hope. All without saying a word.
He still does. My mom has Alzheimers, not that they tell their children anything, but she has become so forgetful we know it’s that dreaded affliction. Yet my dad, who has been married to her for over 57 years (or so) still takes care of her at home, still loves her as much, if not more, than the day they married.
It doesn’t take brains, or brawn, or riches to be a father. It takes love, honesty and strength of character. My dad has that in spades.
I love you Dad. Happy Fathers Day.
An excerpt from Kalissa Wayne’s “Traffic Stop” in Blue Collar…
Sarah flew down the empty road, heedless of the speed limit. Darkness encroached on the country road, but the headlights on her Jeep were on bright, dispelling the shadows, at least to the edges of the road. The full moon cast a soft glow over the vast pastures and fields as she flew by. Stars twinkled and mocked her bad mood.
Freakin’ City Council meetings, she thought as she shifted gears. She hated attending, because they were nothing but small-town ego maniacs griping about petty differences and what should be done to draw more money to the county. Nothing ever got done, because no one would agree with anyone else. Why she ever agreed to take the position of arbiter she’d never know. She sighed, letting the wind whip over her from the open top. She just wanted to get home, take a nice long soak in the hot tub and go to bed.
She knew she’d jinxed herself when, in her rear-view mirror, red lights flashed, and she heard a siren strobe a couple times. Sarah debated whether to pull over or just keep going, but the siren turned on and stayed on. Taking a deep breath, she pulled off onto the side of the empty county road, put her Jeep in Park and cut the engine.
She closed her eyes and mentally counted to ten, then twenty, as the siren suddenly went quiet. Listening to the silence of the night and the radio traffic coming from the Sheriff’s SUV behind her, she decided to just keep counting.
She heard the snick of a door opening then closing, followed by the soft tread of boots on the blacktop, loud even above the night sounds that were returning to normal. At least he turned off the siren. When the footsteps stopped, she cracked open her left eye and looked sideways.
A massive chest covered in a black bulletproof vest filled her vision, the uniform’s short sleeves straining to contain equally massive biceps. Opening both eyes, and turning her head, she followed the impressive chest as it continued down into snug, form-fitting uniform pants interrupted only by a utility belt around his waist. Between all the gadget pockets, a radio and a Glock 45, the belt added some inches to his waistline, but it still looked narrower than his massive chest.
“Registration and ID please, ma’am.”
The deep baritone sent shivers down her spine. “Seriously? This is how you’re going to play this? You…”
“Ma’am. I need to see your registration and ID. I clocked you doing 75 in a 50 miles per hour speed zone. Even though I know who you are, I must do my duty.” The big officer leaned over, looking into the Jeep.
For the first time, Sarah wished she’d left her doors on the Jeep instead of taking them off for the summer.
The man was drop-dead handsome. Short, black curly hair peeked out from under his Stetson. Eyes so dark they looked black gazed from under the black hat brim. Under his eyes, a straight nose led down to a wide mouth. She tried not to stare, but his lips, even firmed up, as they were now, looked soft and kissable.
“Ms. Smith, if you don’t produce your identification and registration immediately, I’ll be forced to arrest you not only for excessive speed, but also for operating a vehicle without a license and possible possession of stolen property.”
Sarah’s jaw dropped, and she just stared into the dark eyes of the sheriff.
“Sheriff Carson, with all due respect, you can kiss my ass. You’ve known me for how many years? And you know I own this vehicle! Eeeep!”
Even before she finished the bleated word, the sheriff reached in and unlatched her seatbelt. As she tried to fight off his hands, he pulled her from the seat and turned her to face the Jeep.
“Put your hands on the roll bar now.” Even as he made the statement, his big hands shackled her wrists and moved her hands toward the bar.
As she started cussing him, she gripped the bar. “You are an asshole! You know damn well…” Sarah started to turn her head.
“Face forward!” he barked. When she faced back into the Jeep, he ran his hands down her arms to begin patting her down. “If you say one more word, I’ll have to read you your rights and charge you with verbal abuse of a peace officer.”
Sarah silently fumed as he continued running his hands down over her shoulders, then along her sides. She tried to ignore the fact that he was feeling his way around her body, and tried to ignore that her girly parts were starting to tingle.
His chest bumped against her back and hips as he leaned down to check her legs.
She was glad she had extra padding in that area, because his vest was not the least bit soft.
Her breath hitched when his hands encircled her ankles and forced her legs to spread open. Her skirt, ending just below her knees, allowed for a little movement. As the sheriff ran his hands up the insides of her legs, he forced the skirt higher.
A cool evening breeze drifted up her bare legs and teased the edges of the skirt.
The sheriff stood before his hands hit higher than mid-thigh. He ran his hands up her back.
A shiver worked up her spine when she realized his spread hands stretched from one side to the other. His thumbs ran up her spine as his pinkies rubbed the outside of her rib cage, and she wasn’t a small woman. His hands were huge, and it made her girly parts do more than tingle.
His hands skimmed across her shoulders and checked the collar of her shirt before running down her shoulder blades and under her arms.
She twitched a little as his fingers ran over her arm pits. Geez, she hated that she was ticklish. All thoughts of laughing died as he palmed her breasts and gently squeezed. Her brain froze as her breath halted in her chest.
“Carson…” Sarah tried to object, but his name came out as a breathless whisper.