March 23rd is my Dad's birthday. Every year, this date freaks me out more than I ever plan for it to. Especially the days leading up for it, for some reason. I always want to honor the day for what it is, but that usually means I try to not plan anything for it, and the day of, all I do is pout and cry. But not this year.

Today I am going to Ohio to visit Rebecca Rine-Stone for the night. It's a 5 hour drive, and I am coming back in the morning on the 23rd. Here's why this is great:

1) I love Rebecca, and I rarely get to see her since she moved to Ohio. I am so excited to see her, I could cry--in a good way--and I probably will.

2) I love roadtrips, and we've been under so much stress and sadness in the Gerdes house lately, that I am looking forward to clearing my head on the road blasting my tunes.

3) This is an excellent way to honor the memory of my father.

Dad had to travel a lot for his work, so he was always on the road in MS in his big work van. He would get a bag of David Sunflower seeds--the man loved sunflower seeds and that brand specifically--and would spit the shells into the floorboards of his van. In the driveway of the house we grew up in, there were mounds of seed shells from where he kicked them out of the van. And he ate so many of them, he cashed in the UPC symbols for free frisbees. They were good frisbees, and he got a lot of them. My dad was a sucker for any kind of frisbee game or frisbee golf. He also used to puff on cigars to keep him awake. When we were older, in college and on after I moved to Chicago, Dad would call us from his cell phone while he was driving, because it kept him company, it kept him awake, and it was a nice way to talk to him without any distractions. I cherished those phone calls.

When I talked to Christopher this week, and told him that I was roadtripping on dad's bday, the first thing he said was "you should get some sunflower seeds and a cigar." I love that.

The other nice thing is that I am coming home to a staged reading for a musical I am choreographing. I promised my dad that I was going to keep doing weird and wacky comedy, so I am glad that I am coming home to an artistic project on his bday.

And for the first time in the 5 years since he's been gone, I am not scared about the day.

David Reid Senior Portrait 1972

David Reid Senior Portrait, 1972


Beautiful. And we'll see you tomorrow. Smooches love!

Hope you had a nice road trip today and that the roof of your mouth is a little rough from all the sunflower seeds. Wait. Was that weird of me? Let me change my blessing for you- may your trip be kind and your floorboard be littered with sunflower shells. May you have cigar burns in your seat and sweet memories in your head.


Ah, this is beautiful. Love to you!