French Toast in the Snow with my Father
Once upon a time I sat on a park bench in the snow with my father and enjoyed a simple breakfast of French Toast and sausage. He passed away more than a decade ago and I miss him every day. The man was patient and kind, the strong silent type who always stayed calm and got things done.
At twelve years old I was a reluctant cub scout who needed to earn my ‘Outdoorsman’ badge that year and thus had to cook a meal outdoors. And yet I had procrastinated such that it was now December, and Ohio winter had set in. I should have done this in the summer, but did not.
And so we awoke early on a Saturday and loaded the camp stove into Dad’s Buick. We ventured into the frozen wilderness of a regional park that was closed for the winter. Dad knew a secret shortcut that got us in. After parking the car we hiked a short distance to find a picnic table buried in the snow. We cleared it off and setup the stove. The park, so normally full of joggers and kids playing frisbee, was empty and silent, save for a squirrel or two, undoubtedly curious about the pair of furry creatures cooking in the dead of winter.
After a few minutes the sausage and toast was sizzling in the pan. Mom had supplied a thermos of hot chocolate; we poured two mugs and made a good natured toast to procrastination, and why I should get things done before winter sets in. Once the food was cooked we warmed our hands on the stove and ate. My dad was in a good mood and so was I. This was a moment of quiet reflection, a chance to ponder the snow covered fields and appreciate warmth, companionship and hot food. If we were cold I don’t remember.
This was more than forty years ago but I remember it as if it was yesterday. The taste of the food and the warm love from the presence of my father. In life there are few moments like this: we need to savor them while we can.