A Ligo Haibun Affair – daddy walks free

daddy told stories of his youthful days – wild, carefree and perhaps, a bit ego-enhanced in his old age. anyway, our dinner chatter often centered on reminiscing –

his rendezvous meetings with wrong herds…brought trouble and many bitter encounters with his authoritarian father. managing like any hard-working herd dog, his keen father drove his wayward troubled son quick, across an ocean –
to a work-based, all boy, boarding school. it took time for the staff to settle
the boy’s rebellious spirit – angry, headstrong escape con artist he was, but…they did. must be the consistent discipline he needed to
train up a successful man.

i wonder why some things do not change as easy as the weather; sunshine one minute, rain, the next. daddy never lost his love
for cussing nor drinking, but he always brought home blankets of family provisions and abundant warmth from his love. he often said,
living in a nursing home would be the final choke hold to do him in.
mom found daddy one day
resting – flat-out, not breathing, on the back porch deck. mom thought. it would be you to give that last look with a good-bye…to the golf course. she is right, but not a farewell.
daddy walks a new game…

ruminating on
parting ways with memories
sets us free to live

::: ::: Written in response to the photo prompt offered this week in the Ligo Haibun Challenge.

Photo source: Ese’s Voice

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Confucius and Daddy…


Mahjong in China

Thank you Daddy!!!

 

 

 

My 2011 Thanksgiving Day thoughts are like most people, thinking of the million things I am most thankful for. Today, however, I would like to highlight my Daddy and a tradition he taught my brother and I, that I am most thankful for.  Actually, I need to go back to my Dad’s mom, who taught my Dad, who then taught my brother and I. You could find Granny, a feisty  little ol’ social gambler, in her game room every week playing mahjong with the regular women who came to gamble, gossip and er, have a few, you know, granny cocktails. Every week, Granny would sternly warn my brother and I NOT to disturb her while she was hosting her friends at the gambler’s table. I’m not sure when my brother and I decided to cross ol’ Granny’s warnings but once our foot stepped into the room the first time, we realized Granny was only blowing hot air with her warnings. You see, my brother and I got hit with so much LOVE and praises from my Granny and all the other women present. Every week we heard the same, “Aww, so cute your grandchildren,” in various versions from each well-dressed, prim and proper woman in the room. But the climax of the visit came when my brother, (because we both realized unconsciously, he was my Granny’s  favorite) he would ask very sweetly, “Granny, can we have some candy?” Yaaahooo!!! Granny kept a candy jar filled with lots of delicious treats in this game room and,of course, she had to keep the show up in front of her friends, so life, every week at that moment was as sweet as hitting the Jackpot at the local casino! My brother and I always made sure we dressed for the occasion, wearing shirt and pants with lots of big pockets and fill them up we did. Waddling out with our prized stash, Granny could be heard bragging about her grandchildren and the clinking of the mahjong tiles was once again set in motion.

16 Tile Mahjong game

No one can remember who exactly thought up the game but Confusion  Confucius, the deep thinking Chinese philosopher waaaay back in 500 BC, is often credited for the invention. He sounds more important than the Taiping Rebellion Chinese army officers or a Shanghai nobody  nobleman sometime between 1870-1875 or the two Nincompoop  Ningpo brothers in 1850. Let’s just go with Confucius….sounds like a regal discoverer-er-er and since he loved birds, the origin of the word Mahjong means sparrow! Wait, here’s another reason Confucius is the man. To play the game one would start with “a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles.”  If you studied on Confucius teachings (don’t look at me honey!) he taught (just guessing) on three cardinal virtues benevolence, sincerity and filial property that link to the three cardinal virtue tiles known as the Red (benevolence) , Green (prosperity/ sincerity), and White (filial property.) So, case closed, Confucius is the winner.

Confucius (2010 film)

Fast forward three million years and you see my dad busting out the mahjong set and me (#1 and only favorite daughter), my bro (now #2 only son and toppled from his favorite #1 limelight since Granny decided to take her gamblin’ ways and women friends to the mansion in the sky) and my mom, learning the game mahjong, à la Dad’s version. I say this because he either tried to teach us the authentic version or perhaps my small feeble mind couldn’t wrap itself around ALL the rules and regulation especially with the gambling aspect of it, that I discovered after borrowing a “How to Play Mahjong” book from the library, only a few things looked remotely like how I played the game. I closed the book up and decided at this point in my life, it didn’t matter much. The basic skills of mahjong is similar to the card game rummy and I taught all my children à la Dad’s and what I remember version and we (mostly my daughters) continue to play the 136 tile game, usually at a family get together. Yesterday our family celebrated Thanksgiving and as my children are older they invited their friends into our family.

Mahjong

 

Right after dinner my oldest daughter brought out our mahjong set and the tradition was being kept alive as she taught not only her new boyfriend but two other couples the very old “game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance” known as mahjong.

My dad has gone to be with his feisty ol’ Mama, (and yes, for sure they are setting up the mahjong walls and playing up a storm up there!)  and I am thankful he took a part of his life to play the ancient game mahjong with his family and that legacy continues to live through  my children and I, as he joins us spiritually at every mahjong game we play.

Does your family play parlor games passed on from earlier generations? Oh, please share with us the fun!

Thank you Daddy….and my gamblin’ Granny!

and

Thank you WordPress and all the blog friends I have met since the birth of Simply Charming… because of YOU, life has gone from ho-hum to super exciting! Who needs  Facebook when you have a friend like WordPress! 🙂

Sunshine

Photo and Quote Credits: Flickr and Wikipedia

Inspiration: My Daddy and gamblin’ Granny!

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Favorite Parent Awards…

 

I want to believe that I have one foot planted here on earth and the other securely

HEAVENplanted on the gold lined streets of Heaven.

Heaven means to be one with God.
Confucius

As some of my readers know, I see things usually in percentages. A weird habit that keeps me pondering and weighing on many things. For example, if you ask me who is my favorite parent, the percent calculator in my brain begins to tick and the answer spills out 50% in favor for my Daddy and 50% for Mommy and 100% in favor of my spiritual Father.

My earthly Daddy earned his 50% favorite parent award because:

  • his contribution of genetic material to produce me :))

    Construction worker

  • his tireless effort to keep his family well fed, clothed, sheltered and his children well-educated and entertained–I am very grateful
  • his work ethics that included hard work and rarely ever using sick days off
My earthly Mommy earned her 50% favorite parent award because:
  • her contribution of genetic material to produce me and 9 months in a private suite– 😉
  • her lifelong effort to keep her family well fed, clothed and trained in proper manners and self-control

    That's My Mommy

  • her motherly love that protected and nurtured and had no limit…..
The big 100% favorite parent award will always be given to the Master Creator of all things because, well, without Him where would we be?

Heaven visited me

Thanks to Post a Day #292 for this inspiration.