I got to visit my Dad's restaurant this week. It was so nice to be there and it felt as if nothing had changed since the last time. The thing is, my Dad sold his restaurant just before he passed in 2001 and the building itself later burned down early in the morning on March 22, 2007. This was, of course, a dream I had earlier this week on the 22nd, the 17th anniversary of the fire. I just realized that synchronicity just now as I was researching this to write it down. Draw your own conclusions!
My father was a man of many ideas and with little, if any, ability to just rest and do nothing. The only time he truly relaxed was when he was at the beach. In his work life, he was happiest once he started being his own boss and made his dream a reality with the opening of the Buxton Inn in 1986.
"The Buxton" as we called it, was a historic home built by Captain Braley Buxton and his family back in the 1860's. The building was host to an accounting office, there were two apartments on the second floor and the basement was technically a Rathskellar. This was were the restaurant was situated. (Fun fact, a Rathskellar is an old timey word for a basement that includes a bar or restaurant.) On the floor with the accounting office was a large open space. My guess was this was the original family's living room or sitting room. My dad turned this space into many things over the years; it was a banquet room, a bakery and once, it was even a consignment store for crafts and antiques.
This consignment store was aptly named "Captain Buxton's Attic." The weekend it was set to open coincided with Easter. On that Saturday, my Dad had me stand on the side of Southwestern Boulevard dressed in an Easter Bunny costume waving at passers by to draw them into the shop. It was an unusually warm day for Easter weekend and I recall being very hot while waving at people in this full on fun fur costume. There were a lot of horn honks and embarrassment on my part, but I don't remember if anyone actually stopped because of my costume. I wish we had a picture of this moment.
My Dad had rented this costume and since it was a holiday, we still had the costume the following day. In spite of the warm weather Saturday, it snowed overnight. I recall quite vividly watching in both horror and amusement as my Dad put the costume on Easter Sunday morning to walk around the block in the snow in hopes that some child might see him and be filled with absolute wonder and delight.
This was the story I shared with Dave first thing this morning. I followed it with, "He was a character with some quirks." To which Dave replied, "Apple... tree," suggesting that my unique apple that is me, did not fall too far from the unique magical tree that was my dad.
So on this, his 75th birthday, I am wishing my Dad a big happy birthday and a thank you for inspiring a sense of wonder and magic in me and a wonderful example to follow my dreams. Thank you also for the nudge to tell this story by planting that dream in my brain earlier this week on that auspicious day.
And for those of you who wonder if your people see you and are around, my hope is this story will inspire you to see them in all the ways they arrive. We are all always connected and they are still right there with you.