Friday, June 13, 2014

To Kill a Coconut

It didn't happen all at once.  
..... in fact, it seems like yesterday I was sitting atop the washing machine, making fun of my dad's breakfast.

....or vehemently protesting his making me eat "just one more" spoonful of Malt-o-Meal before school.  

On his days off, Daddy's "most important meal of the day" usually consisted of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, lox, and Shredded Wheat softened in a bath of Half-n-Half.    Were grits available in New Mexico back then, I've no doubt he'd make room for another bowl, decorated with generous pads of oleo.  ('Real' butter was too costly.)

Like his daughter, my dad wasn't fond of fruit.  But you get the idea.

No, my love affair with breakfast didn't happen all at once.   Well into my 40's, I seldom ate before Noon -- then enjoyed a hearty dinner around 8 or 9 o'clock.   

Breakfast was for retirees ... or health nuts.   (LOL)

Then, nearly 12 years ago I moved 2,000 mi. west and began work at a resort -- whose on-site restaurant offered generous employee discounts.   I ask you, how many times can anyone ignore the intoxicating aromas of morning carbs passing right past their desk?  
An unintentional whimper (or several) probably escaped my lips before I caved.

NOT a normal meal ... but ooooh, so tempting!

Nowadays, come 8:30 or 9AM I'm usually ravenous. 
.....and supper?  

Well, Supper's for young folk ... and health nuts.  :)

There's precious little I recall of time spent with my dad.  (Given some changes in background, Billy Crystal's marvelous 700 Sundays might as well have been written about me!)

But how my dad and I shared a love of eating ... noshing ... dining.   Whatever.

If only to make my son smile at the memory, I'll sometimes adopt a faraway look: "You know, I could really go for ...."  
(The correct response is usually, "a pistachio milkshake.")

Speaking of memories  ...
In honor of my dad, the other day I observed a ritual he taught me when I was but 7-8 years old:   Killing coconuts.

The victim

I'd spread old newspapers across the back stoop while Dad gathered his screwdriver and hammer.   Then, in the manner of a placekicker's assistant, he'd hold the coconut steady while I drove the screwdriver's tip deep inside.   Once, twice, 3 times.
I'd watch in fascination when he upended the coconut, allowing the 'milk' to drain into an old jelly glass.
Then we'd take turns smashing the 'hull' into bite-size pieces.

We probably didn't 'play' with our food more than half a dozen times, but that old ritual remains one of my fondest memories.  

Last night a friend from high school commented on my FB page, "Father's Day is hard."    Yes, Patty..... but aren't we so blessed by the memories!

Wishing you all a wonderfully MEMORABLE tomorrow.  

Hugs from Phoenix,


  1. Father's Day is one of those holidays that has always haunted me...I have so few memories of my dad and most of them weren't good memories. But I love reading other people's stories. And your coconut story made me smile...

  2. Ahh, it is those special times that make each life unique. I enjoyed hearing your special times and actions. How neat to have experienced the 'ritual' of killing the coconut, Neat.

    Funny how our lives change with the geography, huh?
    Another sweet entry. The best to you and TOM on the special day coming up!

    Sending love from a stormy North Carolina tonight.

  3. I enjoyed reading what you shared about your dad, Myra; how cute with the coconuts. I'm a breakfast person; not a big one necessarily but I need to get food in me, LOL, by 9:30 a.m. or I'm not a happy camper :)

    Father's Day is a hard one indeed. I was just preparing the Sunday school lesson for the 3/4 year olds and am going to do it on fathers and the 10 commandments (honor your father and your mother) plus some other ideas incorporated with that theme. Found a cute card the kids can make for their dads, stopped and thought "okay I know these kids have an abusive dad to their mom and their mom divorced him as a result". How are they going to feel about making a card for their dad, yet he is still their dad; not even sure they will see their dad on Father's Day, but I'm going with the majority of kids in the class that have loving dads.

    Was hard for me years ago growing up without a dad and seeing all the dads at church celebrating with their kids and all the recognitions. Plus the school I went to never got out until the middle of June, right before Father's Day and the nuns would have us the last week of school make a card for dads for Father's Day. (my dad died when I was 18 months old).

    so it is a hard day; same as Mother's Day. I think sometimes the only winners on those days are florists, candy companies, card companies, and restaurant owners.


  4. Oh what a precious memory, the Coconut killing! My mother could wield a mean hammer and whack that coconut. I loved the milk and we loved all those splintered pieces of aromatic coconut! I miss my father terribly and he has been gone 29 years. I m also reeling from the loss of precious Mollye. She was like a sister to me and although we never met she was an excellent friend and confidante. I love your precious photo too. Hugs, Anne

    P.S. I love breakfast! I am the Queen of Crepes!

  5. What wonderful memories about breakfast and the coconut and your dad.

  6. Love your coconut story - thank you for sharing it.

    I have been blessed with the most amazing dad who was and continues to be, a huge influence on my life. He's headed to the lake right now so I get to spend Fathers Dad with him. I am truly lucky!

  7. Sweet memories, Myra. I especially love the first photo.

  8. I never eat breakfast, but your father's "most important meal of the day" sounded so good that it made me hungry. Loved the tale of the coconut.
    The first photo (of you & your Dad) is so sweet.

    Father's Day invokes painful, haunted memories for me. I'll try to blog some of them later tonight.

  9. Your memories bless me so much! Killing the coconut made me laugh. Yeah, dinner is for the young Bet those breakfasts at the resort are outstanding!


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