Memories triggered were from age 8 -10. My very favorite thing to do with my dad was go to the Renton store. The Original McLendon store had all big wood plank floors. I remember seeing a lot of old guys in cover-alls talking up a storm to customers about everything but what they came for. Trips to McLendons back then gave excitement about imagining creative possibilities envisioning larger sense of the world. Seeing all the products and colorful labels neatly in rows in contrast with other areas of utter chaos; tangling ropes, tubes and bundles piled high. Now the McLendon brand has grown and spread like bamboo into so many stores; that success is exciting too.
Now these memories are loaded with extra sentiment since I’ve just learned of my dads passing.
He did show me off back then and I was proud to be his son. How things change! On Super Bowl Sunday I found out about my dad dying. He died in September 2013. No one thought I’d care so no one bothered to tell me. Not even an email. I have 2 sisters, Paula and Heidi and a brother (oldest), Scott. Dysfunctional, judgmental, selfish. I would trust a stranger before I’d trust any one of them.
My youngest sister Heidi who I haven’t seen in a decade or so came by my Fremont house out of concern. She said she was worried about me. It was good at first to see her until the realization kicked in of why I hadn’t seen her in 10 years. The issue was never properly resolved and I was waiting for her to simply ask me what was bothering me. She offered flimsy apologies like “ I’m sorry for the way you feel”. She didn’t understand to just ask me how I was feeling. Assuming she knew how and what I was feeling was her way. Then her carefully worded apologies so she never takes responsibility. What brought her to my door was a little clay sculpture.
As I was packing and moving out of house I found this bright orange little clay head which her now deceased husband Phil had made during one of our clay play days. The fiery face being super expressive: shocking, and almost frightening. I boxed it up in bubble wrap and sent it to Heidi since I figured she would love it as a memory of Phil’s creative prowess. So she shows up at my door, two hours before Super Bowl (Seahawks vs. Patriots) which I had been dreaming about watching for a year. She was worried I was about to commit suicide and this clay head was my way of reaching out to her. If you live in a dysfunctional family you may understand. No communication here. Writing this down in words is a catharsis. I love writing because I can’t be interrupted. (A bit self-absorbed perhaps)
So just as I was feeling ok about clearing up this 10 year sibling aggravation and able to explain to Heidi why her ultimatum to me to install a handrail on front steps (or she wouldn’t visit again) was an attempt at sabotaging my happiness (something she’d been doing the entire time of our youth). Right at the point where I had felt a sincere apology she says “By the way, Al Carlson died”. She said it with same delivery as weather update. Somehow she had managed to bully me all over again. But it was time for Super Bowl; it was easy to send her away. Turns out the game was totally amazing and the Seahawk loss was a better show than Heidi trying to get a dig in. Later in a rare moment of introspection she confessed in an email she was jealous of me. Jealous of my freethinking creative spirit! Guess it'll be another 10 years before Heidi will ask how I feel about not being told of my dads death until nearly 2 years later? I won't be waiting around for that.
So on this gray rainy day I offer this entry as a little taste of the family discordant cloth I’m cut from.
Oh, and by the way, I did not like my father as a person. He was a racist bigot.
I must admit, it's a relief knowing he's dead. He can no longer threaten me. Those beatings made a life long impression.
Once again, Heidi was attempting to sabotage my happiness by not sharing the information. Enough of family drama. New blogs will focus on discoveries of RV living, traveling new places, findings and observations, dog life, art, wine, music, fun, and serendipity. I go into the world as a man searching for nothing and everything.
I have an appointment on Friday to bring in RV for wheel bearing repacking.