Daughters & Milk Cartons

And….. We’re off.

To God knows’ where, but off we went to fire up a little bit of funniness and and steal another billow from that ominously persistent cloud that has loved us like a glove for what seems like forever. It snuck and stuck, but now if you blink real fast, appears to be clinging to the radio antenna and starting to hang on to the edge of the rear view mirror flapping in the breeze. Maybe If we go faster it might lose it’s grip altogether … ya think?


A dark and light wind.

So goes the art of losing the glove. Stop at red, go at green, and go faster when the yellow light blinks. The yellow light is always the light of opportunity.

From Clouds to Gold... Go figure.

From Clouds to Gold... Go figure.

It is a hot and dusty morning, Kashmir is asleep and swimming in blankets of white dog fur, as Maria and I decide the agenda for the morning. Fans are at full tilt as the Lubbock heat starts to dial up. It’s going to be a heat wave today 107 degrees and what not, a record in these here parts. And how disgustingly predictable: 80 at eight, 90 at nine, 100 at ten. Makes you thankful we aren’t using military time.

The oven not withstanding, some grease at McDonald’s first and foremost, chugged down with OJ and a growing sense of ease and comfort as we get to know each other again. I see in Maria, a coltish sense of humor, a young girl becoming a lady right before my eyes, and a sense of fairness and sensitivity that she dresses up in wolves’ clothing- but can’t hide the fact that she is an adorable lamb, hoping to avoid the inquest of the world, and her potential slaughter. Brevity and bravado are her shield and spear.

But right now she is with her Dad, who does what Dad’s do- which is basically nothing but being reinvented by the loveliness silhouetting her face in a halo of hopes and dreams.

Dad’s miss a lot of the big things and tend to tunnel in, do the possum thing now and then, and of course trumpet their undying promise to their offspring all at the same time.


Yeah Dad, whatever...

No yellow light here or some other color, when you blink you become blind.

Bonding of this nature comes with a price of course, the old “master to the Grasshopper” theme becomes sickeningly laid out at every turn, in an effort to add some feathers to her wings, bump up the speed a bit, sculpting the grace with which she flies- but more importantly, honing stealth, swiftness, and escapability.

Yep. That what it’s all about, that father daughter bonding thing. Teaching her to be able to sidestep danger as fast as possible, hopefully in less than a heartbeat, sidestepping the eagerness of youth that lands you on the cover of a milk carton.


This is so Totally posed... Why is he my Dad?

It is really really bad if you find yourself on that cover. The milk carton that is… The upside being that you have endured long enough to actually see yourself in print, the downside is- you haven’t gotten away yet.

So that is what we talked about, laughed about, joked about today, my daughter and I. Staying off the Milk Carton.


Sponge Bob on concrete

So as I looked over at my beautiful daughter, I made a mental note to go to the hardware store, buy a file with which to sharpen her talons. She has some teefs, but they are the teefs of an eaglet not quite ready for prime time yet, rather gnawing and pestering as opposed to evicerating attackers to escape intact.

IMG_6123 B

Did he just photoshop me?

This is what Dads’ do… We buy files, and mace, and play basketball on hot days in Texas, with our lil’ eaglet daughters. We go fishing sometimes as well. A lot to be learned about Bait & Switch.


Ripples & Life

Oh and yeah… I made her clean up her room, do the kitchen, straighten out the dining room table, as soon as we got home, not because I thought it would help her survival skills… Certainly not because I felt deep in my heart, that being a stern taskmaster would help her moral, ethical, and spiritual (right) development, or add to her overall wholesomeness and readiness to merge into the world as a complete, newly founded, independent maiden…

No, it wasn’t any of that. In the back of my head I realized that I had forgotten one precious aspect of having Maria as my daughter. She was my slave!

Holy cow, what had slipped my mind was that at eleven, she was still a pliant little nematode that I could actually get to do- the mundane and boring chores associated with running a household. In terms of word origins the name “Nematoda” means “the thread-like ones”, derived from ancient Greek.

Nematodes represent 90% of all life found on sea floors, therefore food for bottom dwellers or more succinctly, the unsuspecting finger food of chance and misfortune.

IMG_6096 B

Yip Yip Yip

In this case she represents a genetically engineered droid that for little reason other than sheer bad luck or random mischance, had ended up in my crib, and was tragically at my beck and call.

It sucks to be a “thread like one”.

Forget the talon sharpening, feather preening, dove on a tornado oil painting. Let’s ignore the metaphorical extractions of ashes to phoenix glory, totally drop the duckling to swan fairy tale, and just get to the meat of the equation (in this case- some sort of plankton) and start doing some dishes !!!

Spliced into all of this is the fact that bottom dwellers and tossed away milk cartons lay in the silt of the stream, and aren’t easy to spot. No snoozin’ on the job.


It's Plastic

14 thoughts on “Daughters & Milk Cartons

  1. Will I get emails on new posts or just new comments on this one? Just curious. I’m kind of new to the blogosphere thingy…..

    • Hi there-
      Just got back from Pikes Peak in CO. Thanks for taking the time to visit- and yes- all comments with questions or points of view will be responded to-


  2. Come on up and at least visit. Bring Maria, and we’ll take you both out fishing and hiking and camping and whatever. It’s lovely here, and a great place for eaglets to turn into eagles!

  3. teutonic13

    Lol! I do know what one is but am unsure of the spelling. I come from a family highly involved in the medical profession. (I did not go that route though).

    No, I don’t live in AK, but would love to. I have visited it 5 times and am in love with the place. I live in the Seattle area and am content here. It is beautiful once you get out of the city congestion.

    I was a navy brat so lived all over the country but basically grew up in Colorado. After living in Los Angeles, and Miami we are settled here in the Pacific NW.

    You really should visit AK if you are considering living there. You only live once!!

  4. califpat Says:
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:58 PM

    @teuronic: No thanks are in order. I appreciate writing that is close to my heart and speaks to the public that they are not the only one’s going through wonderment and difficulties in the rearing of children. Most parents can identify with what you are so eloquently writing about. I guess I can personally relate because I have raised six daughters and have felt all those conflicting emotions that you articulate so well. Thank you for putting these issues in perspective for all of us. I look forward to reading more. Go, Teutonic!!

  5. califpat Says:
    July 19th, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    @teutonic: It’s wonderful and reflects what so many of us Parents feel in the throes of our children developing before our eyes. The hopes. the dreams and the fears of parents concerning their children are well represented and so true in your writings. Very moving words and visuals. I like, I like!!

  6. Lainey Says:
    July 19th, 2009 at 7:54 PM


    I’ve been to your site too…also too… poignant comes to mind. …your photography is artful

  7. pacos_gal Says:
    July 19th, 2009 at 7:49 PM

    teutonic13, I too checked out your blog. I don’t think I can say it any better than HistoryGoddess already has.
    Touching on many levels and just…real.

  8. HistoryGoddess Says:
    July 19th, 2009 at 7:32 PM
    I just finished reading your last post “Daughters and Milk Cartons.” I am impressed by both your photography and your ability to make your reader “feel” your love for you daughter.

    You write of the real family values that all of us care about- values that can’t be expressed in 140 characters or less. This type of day to day love and appreciation of what matters most is what we are fighting for. Not sound bites. I don’t care what political party supports real families of all types, I just know right now, that ain’t the red team.

    The base that supports Palin loves their kids, I’m sure. But they are too hung up on fighting the strawmen that they are forgetting this basic, day to day care. Not big. Not flashy. This post is just a daughter being a daughter, and a dad trying to figure out what that means.

    (I am trying to relate this to the thread, but it is tough. I do want some pups to take a look at this post. The photography is very haunting as well)

    On topic- Um-m-m, Go Blue!

  9. Thanks for the bookmark.

    But more importantly, I wish to say that I was surprised you actually knew what a perfusionist does..

    Do you now live in AK?

    I have contemplated moving there, but worry that it wouldn’t have the correct causal roots and would be afraid I did it to prove I could do it… as opposed to doing it for my own “higher calling”.

    Thanks again

  10. I saw your comment on Mudflats and came over here to check it out. I didn’t know you had a site ( I have seen you comment at the Flats).

    This piece is so very well written and the pics are great. Your daughter is a cutie and the love you have for her is evident. Nice site! I will be back.

    I read your “Hello World” post and am amazed at what you have been through. My father was an anesthesiologist for the heart team at CU Medical Center and then St. Anthony’s hospital in Denver, back in the 70’s and 80’s. I know what a perfusionist (sp??) does and I know how demanding and stressful that profession is. I hope you enjoy Texas. I was born there so have a natural love for it, but it is not my desired final place to reside. I wish you and your family well and hope you are able to find work again.

    I will definitely be visiting your site (Bookmarked!) and look forward to reading your views.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

  11. I was very moved by the love for your daughter that came through this beautifully written post. This is not a quick read. I found I needed to savor your descriptions. Your photographs are excellent, too, BTW. Quite the artists, the two of you.

    Deep, honest thoughts here. Nice job!

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