Tag Archive for from memory to memoir to realistic fiction

Entenmann’s & Dad: Part 2, from memory to realistic fiction

In a previous post, I wrote about memories of my father, specifically the kinds of food he used to buy when grocery shopping.

Scroll down or click here to backtrack to it.

I’ll wait.

Now let’s see how that family memory — from memory to memoir to creative fiction — played out in Jigsaw Jones #28: The Case of the Food Fight.

Note: Growing up, we always had to help our father bring in the packages. It was one of the few rules I can remember. This scene, from chapter 1, picks up at that point. The Jones boys, Daniel, Nick, and Jigsaw, hauling in the shopping bags. I’ll let Jigsaw pull the thread from here . . .

My mom buys healthy things, food that is good for us. If that sounds boring, you should try eating it. But sometimes my dad shops. He buys stuff that my mother would never touch.

Dad, you see, has a sweet tooth.

A big one.

We might not have liked carrying the heavy bags, but we liked checking out all the tasty treats.

“Wow,” Nick said. “This cereal is totally awesome. It’s mini chocolate chip cookies . . .”

“. . . that are frosted with sugar!” Daniel exclaimed.

“And they come with rainbow-colored marshmallows!” I cheered.

“Hey, look at this,” Daniel gushed. “A whole bag of Snickers bars!”

“That stuff’s expensive,” my father said. “So take it easy, boys. Prices are going through the roof.”

“Sure, Dad, whatever,” Nick said. “Now let’s chow down on some of this junk food before Mom gets back from her trip.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE BACKGROUND INFO ON THIS BOOK.

Entenmann’s & Dad: Part 1, from memory to realistic fiction

Though sudden, it didn’t feel traumatic when my father died a few years back. He was in his 80’s and, well, it seemed about right. He went the way he wanted to go, puttering around in the yard. Then gone. I had the honor of giving the eulogy.

I find that I miss him more than I expected. Or, no, that’s not quite it. I find that I miss him more, now, and that’s not what I expected. I figured that the pain, or loss, would lesson over time. I’d get used to it. Dad’s gone. Okay.

And it is okay — but I keep thinking about him, remembering things, expressions he used, his odd habits. The memories have gotten sharper, more frequent. I do what I can to keep them coming. And I cling to them.

Growing up, my mother did not drive. Unusual, yes, but I simply saw her as a rare lady who did not drive a car. The roads were safer, I was sure. So my father always did the grocery shopping. And he did it with flair; he had a sweet tooth and made poor nutritional choices, week after week, year after year. Soda, peanut butter cups, sugary cereals!

Because of that, I can’t wheel past a supermarket display of Entenmann’s breakfast cakes without thinking of him. Dad was a sucker for Entenmann’s. I guess I inherited my father’s sweet tooth.

I submit to you: the raspberry danish . . .

. . . as constructed by the friendly folks at Entenmann’s.

These days, my wife Lisa is all about local produce, organic this, free range that, healthy choices, blah blah blah. I get it. She’s smart, she’s good to us, she’s doing the right thing.

Infrequently, I do the shopping. The way these things work, of course, is that I’ve become my father. I’m dad pushing the cart. I eye that Entenmann’s display and ask myself, WWDD? What Would Dad Do? So I toss that raspberry danish into the cart and roll on, pleased, full of good cheer. It drives Lisa a little crazy, how I undermine her best efforts. The kids don’t seem to mind. Mostly, it’s just a dance we do. When dad goes shopping, everybody knows he’s going to come home with a couple of things mom would never buy. It’s not really about Lisa, or me, or even the kids. It’s about my father, and keeping some things — even the silly stuff that seems to have no meaning at all — alive in our hearts and our kitchens and even our books.

And honestly, the danish is delicious.

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2, WHEN I SHARE HOW I USED THESE MEMORIES IN JIGSAW JONES #28: THE CASE OF THE FOOD FIGHT.