I grew up with a father who did not have a 9-to-5 job; he was the golf pro at La Grange Country Club for most of my elementary school years. He worked six days a week during the golfing season with Mondays and the winters off.
In the summers we didn’t see Dad as often as a "normal" family. I was young and didn’t really realize that this was unusual. I look back now and remember things that we did together that were very routine but now appreciate those memories even more.
Our Monday mornings consisted of going to Foree’s, the restaurant on La Grange Road that is no longer there, for breakfast. We sat at the counter stools and always had the same waitress, although I can’t recall her name. This is where I learned to order my eggs basted, well done. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time, but I can still see the inside of the restaurant.
A few years later my mom joined a bowling league that met on Wednesday nights. This was the start on the Wednesday night dinner with my dad and brother at Harvey’s, the restaurant the once stood where Boston Market is now at LaGrange Road and Plainfield Avenue. We always ordered the onion loaf, and recently I was dreaming about that delicious greasy delight. I have yet to find one that is as good as I remember at Harvey’s. If anyone knows a place that serves a great onion loaf, please let me know.
Golf was never in my future. This lefty was never allowed to play left-handed. “No daughter of mine is going to golf backwards.” I can hear my father repeating. Sorry, Dad, but those were your words. Golf is still in my life thanks to another routine, but this one was more recent.
When we lived in Florida we would visit my parents who lived in the area and my father would take my son, Alex, to the backyard to hit golf balls. They lived near a retention pond and they would work on his swing. They started hitting in the backyard from the time Alex could walk. When we moved out of state we would come in and visit and my father and Alex would go to the backyard and start hitting balls into the pond. My father gave Alex a golf swing that he will have for life. Alex played his first 18 holes of golf at the age of 13 and shot an 88. From that point forward, golf was life to Alex. Simple time spent swinging a golf club in the backyard developed into a future career for my son.
These recollections have taught me that even simple everyday events can lead to fond memories in the future. Who knew that I would look back and dream about eating a Harvey’s onion loaf after all these years or that I even remember why I order my eggs basted, well done.
Hopefully in the future, my sons will look back at some of the simple events in their lives with the same fondness and appreciation. I tend to think all they will remember is me telling them to flush the toilet because that is definitely an everyday event around here.