Thursday, August 19, 2021

Midnight Endeavors (Day 232)

It is after 11pm and I totally going to make homemade pickles at midnight, like a lunatic. 

But, it is in my blood to do things when others are doing things like, well, nothing, because they are asleep. 

When I was a kid, my Dad had three jobs: sales for Sirchie, sales for Culligan and night guard at a retirement home. I am not sure how long he worked day and night; but I do know why he did it:

He was a hustler. 

At some point, he gave up Sirchie (it was sort of the family business), then Culligan (but not before I got to enjoy days at the office with him typing out agendas and writing letters) and then he just worked at Southampton Estates as the night guard. 

I loved his stories of the things that went on overnight--the woman stuck in the bathtub (he had to figure out how to scoop her out), the other night guard, a man getting his PhD in History from Temple. He was Egyptian and had my man proofread all his papers (and then, later, me.), the abandoned baby mallards my Dad once found at dawn, the occasional episode that required the police,  his reading adventures and his big ideas. 

It was mostly quiet in the guard shack at Southampton Estates overnight--my Dad would always have a good book with him and a notebook. I loved hearing what he read and what he thought up--for a long time it was designs for a built bookcase and then later, his backyard barn. Those midnight endeavors of his were the best. 

He's been on my mind a lot lately. It's not that he isn't always present in my thoughts--he is my Dad after all--but this week, he's been very much front and center. I am not sure why--I suspect it is the upcoming wedding this weekend that is drawing his spirit near. His brother's grandson (my first cousin once removed) is getting married. I imagine the original Carrington's--my Dad, all his brothers and every sister but one, are gathered ready for the party (and the mandatory Carrington family picture) up above. 

I know I just a few days ago that I don't really believe I can talk to the dead. But that does not mean I don't think, that maybe, they talk to us. In fact, I think those Carrington's have been nudging me for a few weeks--reminding me of our roots. Nicholas has caught the golfing bug--he got his first club today. Mike golfed with my Dad's clubs and told me the club sent his golf ball just right. Golf was and is the Carrington sport of choice. My mom gave Nick a watch today--and he slid it right on, just like my Pop did everyday of his life. (My Dad died with his watch on. He was never without it.) 

For me, the one place I keep finding my Dad is in my energy--my natural day and night rhythms. Like him, I love the night. Even when my house is noisy and things are busy, the night is quiet. The phone does not ring. No one comes to the door. The interruptions are minimal. There is time for things like writing and reading and wine and laughing and trying on new lipstick and organizing outfits and endless laundry and tonight, making pickles. 

I know, midnight pickles are totally ridiculous, right? 

But,  I think midnight pickles (like midnight hot dogs, another Carrington family tradition) are just perfect. Maybe the moonlight will make them crunchier or more dilly or just a nice story to share with my kids--maybe there will be other adventures tonight or not. But either way, it is the busy quiet I love so much about midnight endeavors. 

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