i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

My father was a writer. I am a writer.


My father's pipe

My father’s pipe.

My father sat in his black leather armchair after supper and wrote in his notebook.  The varnish on the wooden arms was worn off from him resting his arms on them when he wrote. No one else sat in his chair. Ever.

His chair was beside the television set. The television was on.

My mother and I sat on the sofa facing the television and my brother sat in another armchair facing my father. We each had our own tv tray. The trays were lining up beside the kitchen before dinner was served, and each place setting was set on a tray. When the food was served, I carried my father’s tv tray to him.

Supper was served at exactly five  o’clock, every night. The television was on.

He always wanted salt and pepper on his tray, and pickles.

He would ask, “Where are the pickles?”

We always forgot the pickles. Then my brother would have to go and get a jar of his mother’s home-made pickles from the basement and give him one.

My father lit his pipe when the meal was over. His notebook was on a table beside his chair.

My brother and I carried the five tv trays from the living room to the kitchen and carried all the dishes to the sink. My mother washed the dishes, and my brother and I dried the dishes.

While we were in the kitchen, my father sat in his chair and wrote poetry. His poems were numbered, each day had an entry, #42 and then #43, until he filled the book. The television was on.

When my father’s poems were written in rhyming couplets, my poetry was written in rhyming couplets.

When he started to write in free verse, my poetry was written in free verse.

When he started to write stories about his life, I wrote stories about my life.

My father died on March 18, 1998.

When my father died, his words died.

My step-mother sold my father’s chair at a yard sale. She gave me his pipe.

The pickles I eat are bought at the grocery store. I eat dinner, not supper, at the kitchen table with my husband and three children. We don’t own tv trays. We don’t eat at the same time every night. The television is turned off.

I write in the morning, not in the evening. My black office chair  has 5 wheels. I sit at a table and type on a  computer, not in  a notebook. I write stories about my life.

I don’t smoke a pipe.

My father’s pipe is on the table beside my computer.

The television is turned off.

My father was a writer.

I am a writer.


I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer. Tomorrow is the last day to enter the contest.



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Elise White

    This was a nice read. I could really visualize your childhood and seeing your dad’s writing routine.

  • Pamela,
    I was there watching the scene unfold. I can imagine your dad with his pipe and his notebook, the TV and eating on a TV tray, my husband’s parents still own them and do the same things…60 years on… eating at 6pm sharp, get up at 4:45 am sharp, do housework on Monday, Tuesday is bible study, Wednesday is gardening, Thursday is laundry, Friday shopping. For 60 years the same schedule. Do you still have his notebooks?
    He taught you to write…he did well.
    You are a writer.

    • Wow, the same schedule for 60 years. I can barely eat supper at the same time two days in a row.
      I don’t have his notebooks, but I have the poetry he wrote for my on the back of the letters he mailed me when I lived in Japan. My step-mother has his ashes and I don’t know what she did with his notebooks.
      Thank you Patricia.

  • I love this.

  • Rebecca Hayes Ufford

    I love how you show us that you can find wonderful things to admire and emulate in a person that has other characteristics you choose not to follow. Thank you, Pamela. You are a beautiful writer and I love how you share with us so transparently.

    • Rebecca your encouragement is like a warm cup of tea on a cold day. Thank you, my friend who took the time to teach me about Jesus.

  • I’m glad you are a writer. I guess it was always your destiny. Your father would be so proud of you.

    • Can you brag in heaven? He use to tell his friends how proud he was of me when I learned how to skin animals. I found out after he died.

  • Love it, Pamela and the peek you gave us into your life.

  • Terje

    I like how you look at “then and now” and finish with what is common.

  • I love this look into your childhood, Pamela. Your are an amazing writer.

  • Christa Sterken

    Great entry Pamela!