This post originally appeared on my “What Is a Dad” blog.
Today I shared three meals with my dad. That’s pretty crazy.
In the morning, I rode with Pastor Steve to the Blockhouse in Dayton (one of only four restaurants) for the men’s Bible study group. It was great to sit at the end of the table and talk to my dad about more things– my extended family, life experiences, etc. It’s just comfortable talking to him. And I’m soaking in every word he says.
Then he ended up swinging by Pastor Steve’s home so that we could reconnect with Mary Kate. It was a treat to show him our wedding album, forgetting that these were the first pictures of my brother, my mom, and my grandpa that he has seen in a long time. I loved the simplicity of hearing him tell my beautiful wife, “You looked so happy.”
MK had a light breakfast (unlike us), so I decided it would be great for her to get her pregnant food on at the Blockhouse (yes, twice in the same day). There we talked more about my dad’s life, travels, and ups and downs. OK, awesome fact of the day. I thought that my dad was a roadie for the ELO. In fact, he was a manager of a band of Christians from Oregon called Rhinestone Cross. Boom, son! That’s epic. He also worked with a group called Tinto Blanco (White Paint). But the epicness is in the fact that he ended up selling all his equipment to an up and coming new band called Stryper. Yes, that would be the totally original Christian 80′s hair band. Music Melvin knew what was going on.
At the Blockhouse you could actually sign the wall. I wrote “Paul & Mary Kate & Evie Mannino: Melvin’s Family, 6/25/11.” I put it eye-level on the way to the bathroom, so he could see it whenever he went there for awesome breakfast food.
Then we went to the outside of the old Baptist Church of Dayton building. MK took some great pictures while my dad told me all about how he got the bell out of the belfry, his aunt broke her hip in front of the church, and how he got baptized there in 1984. Apparently, they had no hot water in the church; and Melvin George Huettl had to suck it up and get an ice-cold baptism in an Oregon winter.
Then we went over to my dad’s house. There we met Karen, who happens to be my half-sister. My dad had previously been married. I am going to be meeting my half-brother tomorrow. Karen has overcome a lot in her life. She is now 47 and has recovered from a life of drugs and homelessness. She was baptized a year or so ago, and she seems to be making wise choices in her life. God believes in comebacks. It was cool to be able to watch her baptism on video. Also, while we were over there, my nephew (Brian’s son) Kennith came over. I met him briefly, but he’ll be at the BBQ that my half-brother Brian is throwing us at their home tomorrow afternoon.
Then we rested for a little bit and had dinner at Pastor Steve’s home with my dad. We talked about church life, missions, and heaven. It was great. Pastor Steve gave me a small piece of pottery from his recent mission trip to Morocco. My first keepsake from this trip.
We had a sweet time after dinner talking about our journey in trying to have kids and how Evie is a miracle. God is good. Oh…and I felt her kick for the first time.
It was great to end our evening with hugging good-byes and know that tomorrow we’ve got another full day in front of us. Again, God is good.