The year was 2001 and the tradition started as all traditions do, without anyone being aware it was starting. My father had just given me more than 400 pages of letters he wrote to his folks during the war. Many were hand-written, the rest were typed. And though I thought I'd heard all of my father's war stories, the letters provided more questions than answers. Ultimately, I would learn that I hadn't heard the whole story at all.
My father told his three girls his war stories over and over throughout our childhood. But now, with letters in hand, something wasn't adding up. Something wasn't fitting. Something was wrong. So when Dad asked me out to lunch one day, I brought a couple of the letters with me. I began asking questions over chicken enchilada soup, one week at a time. The answers came haltingly, slowly, and sometimes they didn't come at all.
Hard to believe it has been seven years since the tradition began. It started as a simple quest to find the truth, to put the missing puzzle piece of my family history into its proper place. Over time, it became a book. BREAKING THE CODE-A DAUGHTER'S JOURNEY is the result. But our weekly lunch together didn't stop there. When I left my job as a teacher, we switched from meeting for lunch to meeting for breakfast.
Mr. Eds is a local diner. Other than a few times when there are lots of tourists in town, this is one of those places that always offers local flavor and I'm not just talking about the food. Dad still insists on paying for my breakfast. At first he said he'd pay for mine until I got published, but when I was published in a magazine for the first time, he decided he'd pay until I get a BOOK published. We split an eggs Benedict with extra sauce on the side (for him) every week. The cook knows us and starts cooking it when he sees us pull into the parking lot. It's nice to be known like that (every now and then we order something different just to throw him off).
So today, I am announcing a new blog feature called, "Wednesdays with Murray." Every Wednesday, I'll share with you, my readers, something about our time together. Whether it has to do with the war, the book, or a simple musing about a father and a daughter spending time together - you'll find it here every Wednesday.
Photo (courtesy of our waitress): Elvis poses with Dad and me.
I hope you enjoy this new feature. And please don't forget to...WRITE NOW-because it truly is later than you think. ~Karen