“The best style is the style you don’t notice.” – Somerset Maugham

The below was originally posted in “Cancer … We “CAN” Beat This!”

The Cheney family is comprised of five units; Bonnie, Paul, Taylor, Logan and LuLu.  At the dawn of each new football season we start the BPTL football pool which is a running total of wins each week through the course of the season.  It’s very high-tech mathematics (not) and very enjoyable to see who comes out on top each year.  It’s also enjoyable to be beaten by any member of the family since being the only male in the house would presumably give me an edge.  I have no edge in this house and this has been made clear to me from the day I tried to play a prank on our oldest daughter when she was four years old by answering the question “Daddy, who were you on the phone with?” My response … “that was my girlfriend and there’s no reason to tell Mom, okay?” Crossing that imaginary boundary with her was immediately realized but once a prank is started it must run its course.  No sooner had we gathered Mom at work and started for the car did my little one provide her mother with some pretty juicy details; “Mommy, do you know who Daddy was on the phone with this afternoon?  His GIRLFRIEND!”  I knew from that moment on there was little, to no, room for error.  Of course I was not lying … it was Bonnie I was on the phone with earlier, though in the end it was the prankster of the house who had been punked.

At the time of this post that same little girl is on a transatlantic flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to San Francisco International putting an end to her junior year in college and I have taken a rare day off from work to prepare for her arrival.  Many years ago our daughters, and their friends, collectively nicknamed me “Papa Paul” for the meals I would prepare for them after one of their many sleepovers and the moniker has remained to this day.  In keeping with tradition (not pranking) I have added a new item to the menu by preparing some Papa Paul Pretzels earlier this morning upon awaking. They have been coated and are resting in the refrigerator at this moment, so after fifteen minutes in the oven, we can sit down this evening and learn all about Taylor’s travels across the United Kingdom, Africa, Italy, Spain and Ireland.

Being a father is a truly rewarding experience and as you may have read in prior posts, you’ll have realized the priorities Bonnie and I place on our girls.  The pranking still continues mind you and it’s highly unlikely that part of me will ever go away, though there’s no joke regarding the wait we both have in our hearts to see her alive and well at the international terminal later this afternoon.  Thank you to the staff at the University of Leeds and thank you to Taylor’s flat-mates this past semester for teaching her a few worldly things.  I suspect to have an entirely new appreciation for witnessing the arrival of our young adult this afternoon.

Now if I could only think of a good beverage to serve with these soft pretzels later this afternoon … hmmm … what goes good with salty soft pretzels?  Your thoughts and comments, as always are welcome.

Peace,

Papa