Title: My Pa
Tags: Memories, Values, Fathers
Blog Entry: My mind has wondered all over today. I spent a lot of it thinking about how lucky I was to have had such loving foster parents. My sister and I had come from an abusive home to the orphanage. My sister was very, very close to Pa. The first time the man and woman came to the orphanage, my sister bounced into his lap and hugged his neck. I was mesmerized by the beauty and kindness in the woman's face. I reflected on growing up with a Pa every little girl should have had. We got valentines and a pure sense of how a man should treat the women he loved.  He never stopped courting Mamma.  He constantly showed us how much he loved us.  We were royalty for sure.  I think I was surprised when I realized that he was the only 'male' who bowed to us.  He kissed the back of our hands.  He treated us like little ladies.  When he was upset, everyone two streets over knew about it. I remember once in junior high school. I was getting ready to go to my first dance. I had a beautiful new peach top with a white chiffon skirt. There was white fur around the neck and cuffs of the blouse. I had new shoes.  As I sat waiting for my date's parents to arrive I looked down and noticed my pa had holes in the bottom of his shoes.  Money was tight, but I had a new dress to wear to my first dance.  I also had to laugh when I thought about Pa showing up in the middle of the dance with a movie camera and enough lights to light up Broadway. He really loved his little girls.  He had an old shotgun, that did not work, that he would lay by his side when he met our dates for the first time.  If they did not answer him with at least one, "Yes, Sir;" the date was called off.  Most of the time he offered to drive us.  It took an act of God for me to get my driver's license.  The appointment for my driving test was made and Pa was once again delayed in another city with the car.  Then at last; the car was at home and a storm had kept Pa's plane from taking off.  My mother and I took the car and I finally got my license. His hair had turned all white by the time I reach my senior year in high school. Mother became a natural blonde once a month.  She got her hair color out of a bottle so I have no idea what it was. Mamma was a blonde until she starting growing it white. Pa was deaf.  He wore a hearing aid.  It was a little box (looked like a smartphone today) that clipped onto his undershirt with a wire that ran to his ear. He always talked very loud. Everyone could hear his phone calls.  It is a good thing he didn't have any secrets.  If so, he did not have them for long. I thought (when I was very young) that he was faking deafness. I tried to prove it to my sister. I whispered, "Let's sneak out tonight." Daddy instantly jumped from his chair, shook his finger at us, and hurried to the kitchen. He went to the kitchen junk drawer and pull out two nails. He proceeded to our bedroom and nailed the windows shut.  "That will take care of that kind of talk, ladies." He said, then sat back down supposedly back to reading his paper. "See, "I said to my sister; "I told you he can hear."It never dawned on me that he could read lips.  I think it was our teen years that turned his hair gray. I stayed in trouble with my Pa most of my life (I just came that way), but I really loved him. He was a very gentle soul no matter how much he yelled.  He has been gone over fifty years and I still miss him. He taught me what to look for in a mate.  It was not looks, although, I thought he was handsome.  I learned, through him,  what kind of strength I could lean upon.  He had a very dominant personality but not domineering.  He could lay down the law with a velvet hammer.  He was also very clever which is one that sort of surprised me when I was about fourteen. I was to go skating with a group of kids.  Daddy was always on caution whenever my sister or I went out.  He had noticed someone following him for several weeks but had not said anything to anyone.  He did not want to worry anyone, especially my mother or grandmother.  He had told me to stay with the group and not to venture out on my own.I was having fun at the neighborhood roller rink.  I had decided to take a break.  It was getting hot.  I saw no reason why I could not step outside to cool off a little. I stepped outside the door.  Suddenly, I was fighting a canvas bag.  I screamed but there was a large hand around my neck.  I was petrified.  I was being lifted into what felt like the bed of a truck.  The truck started and we were moving.  I seemed to have three kidnappers.  They drove and drove.  Finally, we stopped.  I was lifted out of the truck and taken into a building and thrown down onto a bed.  I was so scared.  The canvas bag came off my head.  I looked at my captures.  One older man and two younger.  "Here, boys, I told you your old dad could do it." "This is great, Dad." "She is so pretty."  The youngest one of them had brown hair, brown eyes, and dirty clothes.  His face was long and thin.  I looked over at the one they called Dad.  He looked like the villain in any Saturday cartoon.  He had a skinny mustache, black beady eyes, and a bald head.  He kept rubbing his hands together.  I noticed he had a scratch that was bleeding a little.  I also looked around to see where I was. It seemed to be someone's house.  "When we going to send the ransom note?" "We are not going to send a note.  We are going to tape our message.  That way he can see we have here and hear our message." I immediately start looking for anything that would give me an address of where I was.  I saw some mail stacked up on a table.  I had a name as well.  "Can we play with her a bit, Dad, can we?"  The older boy was stroking my arm and trying to fondle me.  I jerked away from him. "No, son, none of that.  At least not till after we get the money or the diamonds.  He will come up with both to get her back.  I will decide if we still want to keep the deal.  If we decide to keep her... you can play all you want.  Just keep your head straight right now."  No one could hear my sigh of relief.  I did notice a group of condiments on a table.  Ketchup, mustard, vinegar, and relish. "I would like to sit on that chair please."  That is the first time they had heard me speak.  They all stared at me.  I was so scared I could not keep my voice from shaking.  I thought about the hours Daddy had played cops and robbers with me.  He had taught me so much.  "You can make your movie from there."  I glance at them all to see if anyone was going to go along with it.  They did.  I was moved to the chair.  Now, there was a mirror behind the table.  "You better turn your faces away from the mirror when you make your film so they won't see you in the mirror."  They all grinned at themselves thinking I was a very stupid little girl. "Just let me know when you want me to start."  I thought to myself that I had been a stupid little girl and gone out of the building by myself. They started the home movie machine.  They turned their backs.  I was paused in between sentences they were giving me.  I told in pantomime the address and name of where I was.  As far as they were concerned I had given the ransom demand for diamonds or cash equivalent.  I even got to tell them the drop-off spot.  What my captures did not know is that my Daddy had trained me very well without frightening me.  What had been a game had become a real-life threat.  He had also trained me how to think and carry out an escape.  They never realized Daddy could not hear the message but was reading my lips telling him where I was and who they were. I kind of heard the sirens in the distance.  I grabbed the vinegar bottle and started throwing it in their eyes and on the bleeding scratches.  They are screaming.  I still have my hands tied but it just made holding onto the bottle easier.  I ran right out the door into the front yard.  Just as the police pulled up and rescued me. When I got home I ran to my Pa's arms and could not stop hugging him.  I never felt more loved or safer.  I could not seem to stop crying.  When the police tried to question me, Daddy just put his hand up.  "She is not going anywhere, fellas.  She just needs her family right now."  My pa was always my hero whether I needed one or not.  I look across the field, where the bluebonnets grow.  I can see him smiling and opening his arms to catch me.