Today is my dad’s 61st birthday and his first birthday as a grandfather. Ian’s a pretty lucky kid to have such enthusiastic (great)grandparents. Unfortunately I live 90 minutes away from most of my family, so once a week is about the most that Ian gets to see his grands. Since Daddy and I are both working late tonight, and he’s coming up for Thanksgiving on Thursday, we got together on Saturday to celebrate.
We started by taking a stroll around Daddy’s garden and checking out all of the fall root crops that are just coming in. A lot of Ian’s baby food has come from this garden. My own garden got away from us this year as we were just a smidge busy with taking care of a newborn, but Daddy’s garden had a great growing year, so we weren’t too upset about our’s not producing that well. Since Daddy doesn’t do too many pesticides, we’re able to eat veggies straight from the garden (after we knock most of the dirt off anyway). Over Thanksgiving break I’ll be making some more food for Ian from turnips and a cushaw– a squash that looks just like a gourd. apparently it’s similar to a pumpkin in its flavor, and cooks up about the same. This is the first year Daddy raised these, so I’m going to try to also make one into a pie for Thanksgiving dinner.
After our jaunt around the turnip patch, we headed off to Buddy’s BBQ for a birthday dinner. While at Buddy’s, we were able to discuss important world happenings, like NCAA football. You know, things that really matter 🙂
My dad is a die-hard University of Tennessee football fan. He’s been attending games since either the late 70’s or early 80’s (I can’t remember when exactly). He was there for the terrible season and losing streak with Johnny Majors; he drove to New Orleans to watch the vols run all over Vinny Testaverde in the ’86 Sugar Bowl; he was there in Sun Devil Stadium in ’98 to watch the vols triumph over FSU as national champions. I spent a great deal of my own childhood in Neyland Stadium and quite a few January’s on the road to bowl games. When Johnny Majors had health troubles and an interim coach served, my dad had the opportunity to meet Phil Fulmer. Through thick or thin, good times or bad, Daddy remains a loyal fan. He never snarks about the coaching staff or the players and knows the stats of all the players and their backgrounds. You know how lint is usually that grayish bluish color? Not my dad’s. He has the only dryer I’ve ever witnessed as having orange lint in the filter. It makes gift shopping pretty easy: find a new orange shirt/hat/gloves, etc. See him in the Peyton Jersey? That’s right, he’s watching a ball game while listening to another over the radio to keep up with how that will affect the vols’ ranking.
Ian won’t have much of a choice about being a vols fan. His grandpoppa already has his whole childhood mapped out. Saturdays in the fall will be spent in Neyland, winter evenings at Thompson Boling, and early spring mornings out squirrel hunting. Tennessee Tech and UT are in the works of planning for Tech to travel to Knoxville to play the vols fall of 2014. I’ve decided that will probably be Ian’s first trip to Neyland, but I’m a little worried about loyalty confusion as Ian knows the TTU boys and has been going to their games since this August. What color(s) will this little boy wear!?!