Here's a toast to my weekend with Dad
During my high school years, my dad and I argued often, mostly over grades and my study habits. As an educator and principal for more than 30 years, he expected a lot and wanted me to always do my best.
He instilled in me a need to be persistent and to never be afraid to ask questions if I didn’t understand.
When applying for jobs after graduating college, he reminded me to send emails, call potential employers on the phone and explore any outlets related to my degree.
He taught me everything there is to know about baseball, taking the family to Colorado Rockies games every summer or finding a game to watch wherever we might be traveling.
We share a hatred for the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with a few unnamed players in the league.
As I got to the legal age, he spent time teaching me about his favorite beers and often convinces me to try new things.
He shared with me a Facebook-style app called “Untapped,” which allows users to rate beers, read reviews and “toast” people’s drinking choices.
Who knew we could virtually toast someone?
We also share a love for all things pumpkin-related during the fall, waiting patiently for Oct. 1 to dive into pumpkin-spiced coffee, pancakes, ice cream and yes, even beer.
A brewery out of Marble Falls, Save the World Brewing Co., makes a really good imperial pumpkin beer, which is soaked in bourbon-soaked vanilla beans, that is spicy, a little malty and smooth.
Not being able to spend time together on regular basis, we made plans for him to visit during the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest this past weekend.
As the date got closer, I began planning activities that gave us the chance to spend time doing what we love.
Our weekend began with sitting on the sunny patio at the new Altstadt Brewery and playing a seemingly never-ending game of checkers.
He spent six years living in Germany and England and attended the Oktoberfest celebration in Munich many moons ago.
He reminisced about the German beers and compared them to the German-style beers that are being brewed right here in Fredericksburg.
We shared German food at Ausländer, where he ate a Jaegerschnitzel. I asked him how it compared to the meals he ate in Germany but he said all he could remember was how good the beer was.
We then walked Main Street until dark.
We stopped in at Dooley’s 5-10-25¢ Store, where he got excited finding candy cigarettes, a favorite childhood pastime.
On Saturday, we spent the day at the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival, where we walked around tasting some of Texas’ finest wines. He convinced me to try new flavors and provided insight from the wine tasting club he recently joined.
After a long day on our feet, we piled on the couch to watch “Halloween,” honoring his favorite holiday of the year.
This weekend was a lot of things for our relationship.
The biggest was the reminder that our time spent together will be much different following the divorce of my parents.
It was a reminder that memories will be separate and that I need to make sure to tell him stories that I may have already shared with my mom. It reminded me that relationships are tough no matter what age you are, or how extroverted I may be, or how much I think, at 24, that I have relationships figured out.
Even with him nearing 60, we don’t necessarily have life figured out.
It helped me connect with him on a different level and talk with him about more adult things, like health insurance and figuring out which plan I need to get on before the deadline.
We talked about the new friendship circle he has joined, and the hikes they go on and their recent visit to a haunted house. We talked about his recent spontaneous trip to Disneyland and my jealousy due to the fact that I haven’t been in more than 10 years.
We talked about plans for the holiday season, which include time that will be spent in San Diego, California, for Thanksgiving.
It also gave me the chance to share with him some of my Fredericksburg favorites.
About a year ago, I wrote about the Josh Abbott Band song, “My Texas” which highlights some of Texas’ bests and shared what “My Texas” was. But even in a year, I got to show him another version of “My Texas.”
It was a chance to toast to father-daughter time, something I wish we could do more often.
This weekend provided a chance for us to get used to the new normal. It was a chance for us to let go of the high school arguments and a chance to build our relationship.