I was just informed by e-mail that I was a winner in the recent "write about your dad" contest over on Kimchi Mamas. I had also attempted to enter the corresponding Rice Daddies "mom memories" contest, but after I had typed up the whole story, it didn't manage to post in the comments for some reason. It was getting late and I didn't bother to try again. Never mind. My heart was gladdened to have a chance to share memories about my dear, late parents. It seemed fitting to find out tonight that I was one of the winners, because, I was listening to mellow music on the radio and thinking about them all the way home from work... thinking about what songs I'd dedicate to them if I were to call the station's request line, and about the poems I did up for their memorial.
Since my "mom" story never actually got "out there" (which is fine-wouldn't have been fair if I won BOTH contests*) I'll try to tell it here.
When mom was 75 years old I took her for her very first trip to Yosemite. At that time both of us were very interested in hiking. Specifically, she wanted to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. We were on a spur trail on our way to the PCT when I noticed a nice waterfall with a swimable, natural pool under it. Since I had a swim-suit on underneath my clothes, I suggested we detour over there. Told her how I had long wanted to swim at the bottom of a water fall. Mom was all for it, but, on the way to the swimming hole I noticed a few naked people skinny dipping over there. I quickly tried to steer mom away from this indelicate sight. Silly me! My mom was a NURSE. She'd seen a lot more than that in her day. Anyway, she wasn't about to be deterred by a few naked people. Started stomping through the woods right towards them. She was kind of hard of hearing towards the end of her life from chronic ear infections and her normally soft spoken manner had gotten a bit louder. Well, she was pretty worked up about these naked people getting in our way and starting complaining in a louder-than-normal voice "My baby wants to swim in the waterfall and no stupid old naked people are going to stop us. They surely don't care if anyone sees them naked or they wouldn't be skinny dipping in the first place! Life is too short to care what anyone thinks anyway. Come on!" You never saw so many people snatch up their clothes and flee through the forest barefoot and in the buff when they got a glimpse of MAMA BEAR a stompin' and hollerin' their direction. I was almost in hysterics. It was so unlike her. The really funny thing was that I heard them exclaiming to each other in a foreign European-sounding language. Possibly they didn't even understand her words. And may have had an exaggerated understanding of her intent. Too hilarious! When we got to the falls, the water was a little deeper and colder than I had anticipated. But, you'd better believe I SWAM in it! She was right about life being short too. She died the very next summer of a tragic accident. I was always glad she had that experience. Glad I had it too.
If you want to read dad's story you can find it at http://kimchimamas.typepad.com/kimchi_mamas/2007/01/this_is_a_conte_1.html
Thanks RICE DADDIES
and KIMCHEE MAMAS
for the contest.
And, thanks for the memories.
PS Both sites are highly recommended for a good read.
*Statistically it was possible that this submission could have taken first place...I understanding the winning name was drawn from a hat by one of the rice babies!