Monday, June 16, 2008

Three Subs

The smell of cheeseburger subs from Billy Kidd's sub shop filled the PT Cruiser. The smell of cut grass filled the air as we parked the car at JJ Shepard Field in Bryantville. The hot sun was beating down on the two separate little league games that were being played that morning. Of course, we couldn't see the games because Dad had pulled the car face first into a parking space so we got a great view of a cluster of trees and route 27 beyond it.
Dad orders his sub with everything except hot peppers. Jenna (new to cheeseburger subs) ordered hers with onions and salt. Me, I get what I usually get - a large cheeseburger sub with extra onions, pickles, salt and pepper. Dad opened his car door and swung his feet out; all the better to hold the sub with both hands. I sat next to Dad with my sandwich in my lap and Jenna sat in the backseat. For a short while no one spoke. No talk - eat. Then, Dad announced that he was going to save half of his sandwich for dinner, So, in effect, Dad was done. He began to chat a bit as Jenna and I finished our lunch. We sat and talked as one game had ended and a parade of parents and children piled into their cars and left. Soon, there was only our car left near the ballfield. As we chatted Jenna and I watched a father pitch to his young son. Jenna wondered why his Dad was throwing balls straight AT him so that he had to duck to avoid being clobbered by this parental fastball. "Maybe he's teaching the kid to duck," I replied. Then, "In all honesty, I have no idea."
The conversation was slow and easy. We had all day, after all. Dad had no pressing engagements and Jenna and I planned on spending a good couple of hours with the old man. Dad told Jenna about how he had wanted to be a history teacher and he even graduated from college as a history major with a minor in education. I'm glad that he's telling this story because Jenna wants to be a teacher, too. We chatted amiably then Dad said abruptly "Well, I guess we should be heading off now."
Jenna and I exchanged questioning glances. "Okay, Dad. If you want..."
The cruiser roared to life, AC blaring, and off we went, back to his house. We stayed for a few moments but then we heard "Well, I don't want to keep you..."
"You're not keeping us, Dad, but if you're tired we can head out...?"
We headed out.
Back in our car Jenna asked, "Is Grampa okay?"
I explained that he wasn't feeling well. His allergies were bothering him badly but thanks to his many daily medications he cannot take any allergy pills. This, combined with fatigue from a new drug prescription have made him more tired than usual. Still, Dad was like this even when he wasn't on meds.
Dad has always made plans with a mental time table in place. Today was no exception.
  • Drive to sub shop: 10 minutes
  • Drive to field: 2 minutes
  • Time required to eat sandwich: 10 minutes
  • Smalltalk: 20 minutes (most of which will overlap with eating time (see above))
  • Drive back to house: 10 minutes
  • More Smalltalk: 20 minutes
And we're out. Once he has reached his scheduling maximum then he's done. Not consciously, and not to be mean, but he's done. Time to move on. Next plan. Whatever.
And do you know what?
I don't care.
The point of our visit was to spend some time with the old man and take him out to lunch at his favorite sub shop. In doing so for a few precious moments I got to watch my Dad and my daughter just talk about life. Their schooling, her boyfriend, and some baseball talk. If the time was shorter than I would have liked then that's fine. Because even though I spent more time doing the round trip from Roslindale than I did visiting with Dad the end result was worth the whole trip. My Dad and my daughter with me in the middle - three generations of family in one car that had a great view of a cluster of trees and route 27 beyond it, eating from the sub shop that was already old when I was Jenna's age and just enjoying each others company.
I had a great Father's Day.


Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Great post friend. There is only one thing that bothers me... a cheeseburger sub should never be eaten with anything other than ketchup and onions.

9:38 AM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Bridget said...

Ketchup, RELISH & onions...come on!

11:12 AM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Summer Ryan Doyle said...

I suppose asking if they serve a veggie burger sub would be paramount to asking if Jesus ever liked hookers or booze--sacrilege, right?

12:32 PM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Andy said...

Jesus didn't like hookers or booze...?

1:50 PM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Fox In Detox said...

He did...with ketchup and onions.

1:54 PM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Letera said...

LOL. Happy Fathers day to you Andy.
That sub sounds yummy. With Ketchup and onions and if they grill mushrooms, those too! w/ cheese. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

10:13 PM, June 16, 2008  
Blogger Cynthia said...


Jesus ate with prostitutes and changed water into wine. 'Nuff said.

Except veggie burger sub might constitute an oxymoron. Nothing personal, Summer.

Now I got to get me to Billy Kidd's one of these days. And I'm with you on the onions and pickles...extra pickles for me.

11:50 AM, June 17, 2008  

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