Daddy Magic

“Hey, Carol, you wanna go for a ride?”

I was getting nowhere fast with Chopin’s Waltz in C# minor. A ride with my father sounded perfect. “Sure, where to?”
“Oh, I thought we could drive down the coast to Dana Point.”
“Bob, don’t forget that you were going to go to the store,” my mom called out.
“Sure, Ruthie, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten.”

He stood in the doorway, grinning at me as I closed the sheet music and grabbed my sweater. “Can we get some little Hershey Bars and Dreyer’s Vanilla?” I whispered, conspiratorially.

“I heard that!” Ruthie called out.

Giggling, I followed him out to the drive, letting the door slam behind me.

He often took me to Dana Point in those days. Of course, now, I can’t remember exactly when those days were, but they must have been when we were living in Irvine and driving down to Dana Point was a fairly easy trip. We’d sit on the cliff overlooking the sea and he’d tell me all about the rocks. How there were certain layers of rock that he, as a geologist, could read. He'd tell me the names of the layers, how old they were approximately, and how they came to be.
I was fascinated. Not just with the stories of the cliffs, but with his amazing mind. How did he remember all of this detailed information? What kind of brain had that capacity? Certainly not mine. I was still in Chopin Land as I listened to my father lecture. I asked questions, too, of course, but mostly I listened. I just loved to hear him talk. I treasured these trips to Dana Point. I was so lucky to have a father who was a geologist!

“Hey!” I interrupted. “Is that a dolphin out there?” I shaded my eyes and pointed out to sea, a subtle splash had lifted up and then vanished.
“I don’t know,” my father gazed out at the choppy waters. “It certainly could have been.”
“Maybe if we watch real close, we’ll see it again?” I suggested.
“Sure,” he said, grinning over at me. “Maybe.”

And so we sat, in companionable silence, watching the sea churn and dance. “There!” I cried again, “Did you see it?”

He chuckled, shaking his head, “I don’t think so, Carol….but….” He paused for a moment. “Yeah, maybe.” He pointed down the coast, past the purple orange layered cliffs. “Is that it?”

I grinned, “Yeah, I think so.”

Another splash and then it was gone. Was it a dolphin? Maybe or maybe not. But it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that I was here, on this cliff with my father—and it was magic. Not because of any dolphin. Or stories of ancient cliffs.
But because he was here, with me, sharing his time and his knowledge and his love.

“We better get going,” he said. “I hear the Albertson’s calling.”
Giggling, I nodded, rising to gaze out to sea one last time, then turning to him. “I think dolphins are especially fond of Little Hershey bars.”

Laughing, he headed back up the path, “And Dreyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream.”
“With chocolate sauce,” I answered.

“Of course,” he grinned, opening the door to let me in the Mach I as the sea breeze flitted through my sun bleached hair.


Ruth Jameson said…
Missy...that is beautiful...Your Daddy will love this story...

Love you so...
Anonymous said…
I remember those drives down the coast. Sitting on the rocks and watching the water. I love doing that still and try to see the big blue ocean every day. Of course, I like the ice cream and chocolate sauce too. Good times! Thanks for writing this beautiful memory. >^..^<
Daddy said…
Carol... That was beautiful. Thank you so much for such a lovely Fathers day gift. Mach1s and little Hersheys ... such a wonderful memory! Love, Daddy
Cj said…
Thanks for all of your kind comments all. I'm glad you liked the story. The memories will always be there if we write them down, eh?

Oh! And the little Hershey bars will be there no matter what!

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