My Dad just gave me 20 bucks!


I was sitting at my desk which sits in front of a huge paned window. The window looks out across my back garden. From my desk I can see the through 30 or so trees up into the snow covered mountain peaks reaching for patches of blue sky.
It is a rule in my house that if Mom, me, with her back to the door, is seen furiously typing away or conferencing on Skype, she is NOT to be disturbed. Sometimes as I type, face toward my lap top, sun streaming in, I feel as if I am truly in my own world, the words flow through my fingers on to the keyboard and it is those moments, lost in lap top reverie that my family knows not to interupt. Even so, I can always feel when someone has come up behind me hoping for a break in the conversation or the keys.
I usually know by instinct, who they are and what they may want. Remember the old saying “Mom has eyes in the back of her head?” my kids think I do. I let them think this though I can just tell by the shuffle of feet who it is that has entered from behind threatening to interrupt the flow of my work. I hate to be distracted when on a roll and will sadly often snap out, “Ask your father!” before they get within 3 feet of my chair. Some days they get a little closer and actually place a written note in front of me. One, from my daughter, was simply written, “Sleep over?, Kiersten’s, her parents will be home! Check if Yes!” As her note left out an option for a no, I checked. Approval more so, for her positive and respectful approach, rather really than the plan.
On this day I was so immersed in work that I did not sense or notice anyone beside me and when he spoke I was startled. My Dad lives in our basement apartment and often pops in during the day to check on happenings. Usually I am too busy typing away to pay him much notice. Often he will speak at me from the hall and if I don’t answer he gets the message that I am on a deadline and not to be disturbed.
Today was different, he said, “Working away?” and as that was obvious I felt both irritated and annoyed to be interrupted. Usually I ignore anyone who breaks the rule but for some reason on that day I gave in and partially turned round to see what he wanted, and when I did, he handed me $20 bucks.
Now I don’t know about anyone else but having my father hand me $20 bucks hasn’t happened in years. Suddenly, I was 16 again, hoping for the car keys and a little spending money.
Back then it was a tradition to go to Thrifty’s for ice cream. Thrifty’s was at the edge of an outdoor mall where I lived in California. Cones were a quarter and sometimes there were cute guys hanging around. Now Thrifty’s was only a mile or so away and in our pre-driving days had been content to walk. Yet now 16, some of us had our licenses and we felt we could not be seen walking, it was only fitting for us to drive!
Yet to drive required the privilege of keys. So we would call around to see who could get money and car keys out of their Father for an ice cream run. Each of us would hang up the phone and cautiously risk the wrath of Dad to ask for the keys and a few bucks. The person first victorious would ring the rest of us.
My father was an unpredictably tempered man and I would stall hoping for the phone to ring before I had to actually ask him. At my house we had one car, so keys were tough to get, but money was even tougher. My dad was an entrepreneur, molded by his hard-fought youth in the post war days of England, and cars and money were not something you availed yourself of lightly! So, with lead feet, I rarely made it to ask my father when with relief I would hear the phone ring. Usually, it would be Kathy, happily sharing that she had the keys and the money and the money as well. (Her family had two kids to our six kids and they had 2 cars as well.) Victorious, we would hop in to her parent’s huge van for 2 minute ride to get ice cream. Later that year we also took ice cream jaunts to the unapproved hour distance of the beach, but that is a different story, one with another ending.
With that history in mind you can understand why I asked “What’s this for?” about the unexpected gift of $20. My Dad said, “Just a little walking around money.”
Now my dad knows as well as I do, that aside from a weekly jaunt to the radio studio for my show and Sunday attendance at church, that I have become a hermit. I injured my knee in October and that injury and writing my “eMPowerment Series” books, there are 7 of them (finally available on http://www.powerstrategies.TV and, has left me glued to my desk the last many months. Pretty much my life revolves around my laptop and whatever can interrupt me from behind it.
I don’t why but I then did something I never do when someone interrupts me, and I turned completely around from my desk to talk with my father. I don’t know if it was the $20 bucks or the shock of it. Pleased he had my full attention, he told me he hadn’t been feeling well, pain on his side and then a welt on his leg, and I suddenly saw him for his age and his place in his life. He was no longer the dad of my 16th year, vibrant and edgy, but a more softened version with worries. He talked for a while, patted my on the shoulder (something he rarely does, the British are not renowned for their displays of affection) and said he was off!
Rather mystified at the encounter, I thanked him for the $20 bucks and turned back to my computer before he was gone. After he left, I didn’t get any work done. I sat with my hand on my chin and thought about life. How rapidly life moves. How my father had aged. How the years had passed since I had worried about interrupting him to ask for the hallowed funds and keys. 20 some odd years later , why had he just handed me $20 bucks?
Lost in thought, a short time later, I sensed my husband come up behind me. He was hesitant I think because without a call going or the keys tapping, he wondered if I was truly interruptible. He had never seen me just sitting at my desk before. I had a lot to do that day but I don’t think I had moved at all since my Dad had come in.
My husband cleared his throat, and said from behind me that he was going to pick up my daughter in town and he would be back. My husband, who has his desk on the other side of the house, is unlike me and will jump at any excuse to leave it. He has become the errand runner, the kid-picker upper, the driver, by his anxious-to-get-away-from-the-desk own choice. It works well for us!
Chad used to not getting an answer if I am busy, yet not wanting to interrupt me, yet perhaps worried about my stillness, jiggled his keys and then asked from behind me if I needed anything.
I suddenly turned from my desk, stood up and said, “I am going with you!” which shocked him! Then I added the ice water to his shock and said, “Let’s go get ice cream!! My dad just gave me $20 bucks!”


About bluebirdsisterhood

About Kim Power Stilson: TalkWorthy Talk Radio Show host on SiriusXM 143 weekdays at 3 pm Eastern, author of "Choose Surthrival! Are you ready to go from surviving to thriving with at 21st Century business?", digital media strategist for Power Strategies and writer for Puerto Vallarta Today magazine. Kim Power Stilson has helped position hundreds of people and their causes through e-media, PR, radio and TV. Hollywood celebrities, authors, United States Senators,corporations, non-profit organizations and home-based businesses alike have enjoyed success through the application of her strategies. A dual citizen, Kim divides her time between the United States, England & Ireland. Visit her at

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