Saturday, in the Parker – Part One

Two memorials in three weeks with the Raffey clan – In 2016, November was a month of mourning. First, on the 5th, we had a funeral mass for my father-in-law Gus, and then on the 26th, a memorial for Dave’s cousin, Peggy. Emotions ran the gamut on that Saturday. Funny and sad were both had at both – Dave’s cousin’s house and at Parker Lakes.

While Dave was fixing the bike Saturday morning, the three of us started talking about the stuff they had at the St. Columbkille thrift store, where John had taken their dad’s clothes. I started telling John about how I had wanted Dave to take a particular pair of pants and before I could even describe them, John knew which ones I was talking about. Dave’s brother scolded me for not taking them or telling him that we wanted them. “No, we really don’t,” Dave was trying to interject. I won.

On our way to the thrift store, I shared how I could not believe we have never been to it. Gus had talked about this thrift store many times, and although we had been the the K-Mart many times, we had never walked next door to the St. Columbkille thrift store, run by the church Gus loved and served with all of his heart. And then there we were, buying back his pants for five bucks.

I knew I wanted the pants their parents had bought in Hawaii over 40 prior, though I did not realize how much until I could not find them (and I am still wondering why). After scanning the “men’s pants” rack twice, my heart sank a little. And then Dave, a couple of isles over, hollered, “Found them,” and I skipped over, excited as all get-out. Right next to them was a fun, colorful pair in my size – I just couldn’t resist. Of course you couldn’t, Dave was thinking. So now we both have a fun pair of pants from the greatest thrift store in Ft. Myers, Florida.


Ironically, Dave’s dad was very much a minimalist, yet he held on to these pants for over 40 years. Here are his¬†parents in 1972, his dad wearing the pants.

Everything but the kitchen sink

It’s funny how my husband comments every single time on how much stuff I bring with me on the boat. “Oh my gosh honey,” he exclaimed this morning, “we’re only going for a half a day!” From my standpoint, the length of the boat ride or amount of time we will be gone doesn’t have much bearing on what I choose to bring with us. My choices are based on past experiences, like when we got caught in the rain and froze our butts off for miles while we made our way back to the boat ramp (and our truck) as quickly as we could handle the cold breeze. Or the time I got locked in the bathroom at the boat ramp. Then there’s the sun to consider, so we’ve got hats, sunglasses, and the obvious – sunscreen.

I find his comments funny because not long after he makes fun of me for my need to carry this big bag on board, his requests begin. His first question came as he put the boat in the water, before we even got in. “Do you have anything we can use to wipe down the boat with?” As it is usually stored indoors, this is not something we are accustomed to having to do, but it has been sitting in our yard for the last week. “Yes, I have a rag,” I replied, to which he said, “Of course you do.” When I packed it, I was thinking of the time he needed one to wipe up a smear of grease from the engine.

Out on the water, he found that there was a problem with one of his fishing poles. “Got anything I can cut this with?” I handed him my handy Swiss Army knife. But when he inquired about the pretzels and m&m’s I was munching on, I said (while smiling), “Sorry, when you said I didn’t need to bring that much stuff, I thought you wanted me to take your half out.”

As it turned out, he was glad that I brought a number of the things that I did. Paper towels, an extra pair of sunglasses and a towel are just a few of the other things he utilized after making fun of my extra large carry-on. “Ya know,” he said to me at the end of the day, “I can’t condone you bringing everything but the kitchen sink, but sometimes I am sure glad you do!”