Dad’s Gift

Every year at this time, I am reminded of dad’s gift.

Dad’s father sang and played the piano by ear. Music was ingrained in his genes. My earliest recollection of him is his singing. He sang or whistled pretty much all the time.

We never missed listening to The Lucky Strike Hit parade on the radio every Saturday night. Dad had his own list of hits and wasn’t influenced by the top forty, but at least we were up to date.

Each morning began with Dad singing while he shaved. As a tot, I’d pop out of bed, march down the hall into the bathroom to watch him shave. In winter, a brown space heater shook off the early morning chill. In summer, the breeze from the silver leaf maple trees outside the window cooled us.

Dad could sing while he slathered on shaving cream. When it came time to use the razor, he switched to whistling. “I’m Walking the Floor over You,” his signature song made me laugh. His delivery was unique.

The morning ritual changed when I became a teenager. Whistling or singing his way down the hall found me still in bed, grumpy and sleepy. By then his repertoire updated to “The Tennessee Waltz.”

Dad was current with his vocal selections. Returning home for visits as an adult found him singing, “The Wichita Lineman.” His days as a lineman for the Texas and Pacific Railroad inspired solidarity.

This time of year, I recall the child giggling, the teenager cringing, and my amusement as an adult.

And the daughter is grateful that she had a father who sang to her.



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