Today I was pleasantly surprised by my dad stopping by in Sticksville today. It's about three hours from Redding, so it's not like he felt like driving over icy and snowy mountain passes just to see me. He's up in this part of the country checking on his accounts up the area, and wound up with an appointment in Sticksville, and so surprised me! We had a nice lunch in one of the two restaurants in town, and drove over to my grandparents house to have a visit with them. We'll be meeting in town later for dinner. I knew I was having dinner with my dad tonight in town. By "in town" I mean the metropolis of about 2500 people thirty minutes away over a snowy mountain pass. Yeah.
Anyway, onto the memory of this post. Lunches with my daddy. While I was at Chico State, my dad and I would have lunch and/or dinner at least once a week. When my dad transferred to the Safety unit at his job, he purposefully took the area that included Chico because we knew I'd be attending college there.
For four years, my dad and I did this. Every week, he'd let me know what days he'd be in town, and roughly what times he'd be available. Sometimes we couldn't get together easily, as I'd be working or have class. Typically it would be because of work.
We would visit; talk about my school work, my jobs, and what he and mom were up to. I've always been close with my parents, but my dad and I got close during my time at Chico.
One evening I was very thankful that he was in town. I had had a very rough day at my job, a vet clinic in Chico. My boss had been ragging on me for a month about my lack of animal care and piss-poor cleaning abilities. I had never had these complaints before, and I couldn't understand where the problem lay. After an entire month of being called a liar (but not in those words), I finally asked my boss this: "How can I prove to you I am in fact doing my job? Do you need to follow me around with a video camera or something?" To which my boss replied, "Oh, no, that's not necessary. Just do your job." Yeah. I knew I was beat. The minute she left the room I was in tears. I was so insulted, so hurt, so angry. My dad had called earlier in the day to see if we could have dinner. I told him I would be at work, so I couldn't. By the time I was in tears, it was about 6pm or so, and was starving. I asked my boss if I could have my dad bring something to eat and if I could take 20 minutes to visit with him. She okay'd it, so I called him - locking myself in the linen closet in the groomer's room to do so.
My dad brought me Taco Bell, and I ate in the parking lot, crying on my dad's shoulder. He was there for me, understood my issue and how upset I was. But he talked me down from walking out of my job. He gave me hugs and assurances that it was okay to leave, but I shouldn't under such circumstances.
When I eventually graduated from Chico State, I figured these lunches and dinners wouldn't last forever. And when I moved from Chico to Sacramento, we both had withdrawals. We both missed each others company over lunch or dinner and of course the visitor.
His surprise visit to Sticksville reminded me of those days. And hopefully the weather will cooperate and stop snowing so I can make it over all the passes to get to Redding for my visits with my parents this weekend. Not to mention my friend J who I haven't seen in ages . . .