I Make The Pies Now

25 Nov

Tomorrow’s the day … the day I’m reminded that I live in that combined existence… between the Barone Family and The Griswalds, only it’s playing on Univision and we’re missing our chief turkey carver. We’re missing our Ray Barone, we’re missing our Clark Griswald.

This will be the fifth year that my Dad will be hanging out with The Man upstairs during this holiday season, but no matter how many holidays pass by there’s always a moment of pause when turkey day comes around. Christmas was big in our family, but Thanksgiving seemed to be larger. Probably because ever since Ferris Bueller had his day off, I found myself counting and moving hundreds of free range turkeys and freezing my ass off in the Rocky Balboa-sized refrigerator for the family business. I found myself wishing Ferris was my friend, hoping he’d invent a plan for my day off.

Thanksgiving has always kicked my ass. Always. But when it was all done, there was always a reward.

I mean coming home aching from all those turkeys, 3×5 customer order cards, and cold air hitting my joints and back for several days, and then finally being able to sleep in that morning until after the sunrise, that was a reward in and of itself, but picking up pumpkin pies from Dupar’s Bakery with my Dad, the pies I’d devour with a big glob of whipped cream … dude … that was it. Driving home in his dark gray Nissan pickup truck, listening to jazz with the white cardboard boxes on my lap, smelling the nutmeg and all spice,, and joking around all the way home. That was my reward for a week’s worth of muscle.

And those were my moments …


But I had none of those this week.

No 3×5 cards, no inventory sheets, no late nights, no arguing over whether he said 14-16 pounds or 12-14 pounds, no white butcher coats or aprons, no sweatshirt, no thermals, no bleach-scrubbing floors, no sassy customers, no counting and recounting turkeys or boxes, no laughing because we were so tired, and no Dupar’s pie.

I make the pies now.

He still probably would have liked them.

I miss him during the non-craziness of my Thanksgiving Week. I miss him during the quiet of the night that’s not supposed to be so quiet. Sometimes I even miss the craziness of the 3×5 order cards and the insanity of inventory. But just sometimes.

The family is still in a state 0f Barone-Griswald existence, always has been, but it’s weird not having the Ray or Clark of the family around. But I am thankful that I remember these things. I am thankful that I can still feel the aches in my muscles, the paper cuts from the 3×5 cards, the Neutrogena Intensive Hand Repair cream on my chapped hands. I’m thankful I can still picture him at that dining table the nights before Thanksgiving, taking out the inventory sheets, 3×5 cards, black Bic pens, and hear his voice…

“Canela, are you ready?”

Yeah … I make the pies now.




6 Responses to “I Make The Pies Now”

  1. bgddyjim November 26, 2015 at 1:53 AM #

    Sometimes I’m jealous that you miss your dad so much. Now, thinking about it, I hope I’m a good enough dad that my girls miss me as much as you miss yours…

    I lost my dad two years ago now and only think about him once in awhile now… Of course, maybe that’s an actual Blessing in Alzheimer’s… I got to mourn my dad passing for three years while he was still here. I got to ask God to, mercifully, bring him home. I don’t miss the guy who died back a couple of years ago… I miss my dad.

    Know what I mean?

    Anyway, thanks for this start to my day. I feel better than I did when I woke up, and that’s saying something.

    • The Guat December 10, 2015 at 1:04 PM #

      Dude thanks for reading and for saying that…I totally get what you’re saying and sorry it took me so long. I’ve been missing here since I needed to open up the Kids Advil and Tylenol bottles, but we’re turning a corner so I had a chance to stop by and read some of the comments. It’s always tough losing a parent and sometimes when they’re sick and not in pain anymore there can be a positive side, but you do miss who they were before they got sick. I totally get that. And I’m glad my Dad story helped turn your morning around. I totally enjoy the fact that my Dad can affect people even after he’s gone and not just me. Yup, I hope that when I pass ( a looooooooooooooooong time from now) that my kids love me like I loved him 🙂

  2. anotherday2paradise November 27, 2015 at 10:51 AM #

    Wonderful memories, TG. I enjoyed reading them and am not at all surprised that you miss your Dad so much, especially on such important family occasions. *hugs*

    • The Guat December 10, 2015 at 1:06 PM #

      Thanks so much for the hugs. Thanksgiving always brings the memories back, I imagine it’s tough on everyone who lost somebody. But I’m glad I can share mine and that my Dad can still have an impact even after he’s gone 🙂

  3. Cayman Thorn November 29, 2015 at 11:19 AM #

    Oh my God, girl. Every single time, you get me with these. I was speaking about writing and soul to a friend of mine recently, because man, you cannot have one without the other. Well, you can…but it’s not the same. When you got the soul and the talent, and those beautiful memories .. that’s everything.

    You do make the pies, hermana. And how…

    • The Guat December 10, 2015 at 1:09 PM #

      Duuuuuuuuuuude thanks so much for saying that bud. Totally uplifting words. I’m so glad that my Dad stories resonate with other parents and they can actually feel and picture what I felt, that it comes through. Sometimes I worry that I don’t do the stories justice, but with buds like you out there I can tell that I told it the way it happened and it made an impact. Thanks so much for the props, especially on this story, these are the ones that mean a lot. Buen Camino.

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