My father is sometimes a man of contradictions. By nature a very conservative dresser, he has one favorite Halloween costume that has donned every few years since I was around 10. It's his "flasher" costume: a full set of long underwear (that concealed EVERYTHING below the neck), covered by boots, a long overcoat, and a hat. I remember he first wore it when I was around 10, and used it to take my sister and I out trick or treating. He didn't actually "flash" anyone except a couple parents he knew very well, but if I was any older I probably would have been tremendously mortified.
My Dad is also a man with projects. Many of them are very useful, like the re-grading he did along one side of the house this summer to reduce water leaking into the basement during the rest of the year. Other projects are decidedly less so. My parents have a "Victorian eclectic" home built in 1919. It has a lovely tiled fireplace with elaborate cast iron grilles and grates and a quarter sawed white oak mantle. My parents never use this fireplace because it gets sooty dust all over the living room. My Dad is evidently dissatisfied with this state of affairs, and has taken to designing his own "electric fireplace" out of old C-9 outdoor Christmas lights and a small electric fan placed behind all the other grill work.
It also appears that my Dad is taking up poetry in his old age. He likes Haiku. He hasn't mentioned many of them to me, but the one that will always stick with me is about my nephew's tendency to want to remain unclothed and run around the house as a toddler.
I bring this up because my Dad likes to send out monthly e-mails that he calls his "newsletter" to people to let them know what he and my Mom have been up to. I got the one for the month of October yesterday. It mentions visiting a costume party in a neighboring township in his flasher costume. He then talks about getting home and enjoying his electric fireplace. Finally, the electric fireplace has overwhelmed him, and inspired a haiku.
This seemed to be a lot to squeeze into a paragraph and a half.
on 2008-10-30 at 4:49 p.m.
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