As I pack up our apartment in anticipation of our move next week, I'm coming across - and getting totally distracted by - lots of things. Fancy glass salad bowls that I'm pretty sure I haven't seen in seven years, my archaeology textbooks, my basketball card collection from elementary school and most importantly - old photo albums. And that's when I realized that I want you to meet my dad.
His name was Fred. He was born in 1943 in Kansas City, Mo, and he died about five years ago. He had a very interesting life. Among other things, he served as a morse code specialist in Thailand in the mid-60s (my brother and I loved to make him say our names in morse code when we were little - dah dit dit dah . . . ), he got a Ph.D. in elementary education and had a long career as a professor and reading specialist, he enjoyed photography, he played Chopin, he loved Kurt Vonnegut novels and old films, and he had a goofy sense of humor.
One of his names for me was Jean Jean, since my middle name is Jean. When he died, my sweet nickname was lost with him and I've been missing it (and him) terribly ever since. It is kind of always in my head, though, and it surfaced when I was thinking of names for my shop. I think it is perfect. It's a way for me to include my dad in a little way, every day, in this new part of my life. I think he would be pretty excited for me and my new adventure if he were still around.