Chess With My Dad At Panera Bread

16 Jul


So I decided that I needed to start blogging a little bit more about the things that I may not be able to blog about once Jonathan graduates from Navy boot camp and we move away from Hanford. Things like local happenings and trivial bits of nonsense that I may not have time to expound on with a baby in tow, but more importantly – time with my family here in the Central Valley.

Whenever we can, usually on the weekends, my dad and I will grab his chess board and head to Panera Bread where we’ll drink coffee, talk about anything and everything, and pretend like I actually stand a fighting chance of beating him at the game.


That’s my poppa! Handsome gent, no? I wonder if Tessa will inherit his blue eyes?! My brother got blue eyes while I got hazel. Anyway. See that scratch on his head? He says he got it by walking into a tree, but I secretly suspect that his dog bit him for being a dick and messing with her.

For those of you who don’t know, my dad is the chess guy. You know the guy. The Pixar-esque elder guy in the park that challenges anyone and everyone, including himself… and always wins. Except when my dad giggles to himself it’s not in an innocent bout of senselessness, it’s more like the sinister chuckle of a movie villain releasing the sharks with laser beams attached to their heads on his hapless prey.

My very earliest memories as a child was watching my dad play chess, and desperately longing to be able to play with him. In fact, I learned how to play chess by mimicking his every move, mirroring each step until I no longer could. Once he’d capture a piece and I found that I couldn’t do the same, I was forced to figure out what else to do, how the pieces moved, what the purpose of the game was. I’m still trying to figure that out, but that’s besides the point.


Like sea turtles, bedtime stories, spicy foods, daddy daughter dates, and playing loud music to piss off cranky old people – playing chess together over coffee is special to us. I don’t know where life will take me over the coming months and even years. But if it takes me away from the Central Valley (we could get stationed in Lemoore, after all) I am going to miss the random weekends at Panera Bread, and threatening my dad with all kinds of pain and torture while he demolishes me on the chess board. (Seriously, repetitive beatings of your child at chess should constitute child abuse, IMO.)

I am praying that we get stationed close to California for our first four years. I’ll be happy wherever God takes us, but it would be fantastic to have the support of family and close friends in this new parenthood venture. I love my poppa and I know he will be an amazing Grandpa. Tessa is already so spoiled rotten, and she doesn’t even know it yet. What a lucky little girl.


6 Responses to “Chess With My Dad At Panera Bread”

  1. ramblingjess July 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Sounds like a good time with your father!

  2. Chandler's Ghost July 17, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Nice post! I remember my dad kicking my butt at basketball. Have to give him a call tomorrow…

  3. Pip July 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi, dad!! 🙂

    I miss my father and it’s so wonderful that you have this chance to make all these memories with him (and the rest of your amazing family).

    • Pip July 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      My dad liked to play chess, too. 🙂

  4. angie July 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    How sweet! Enjoy the time you have being able to sit in peace playing a game of chess. 🙂 lol

  5. gpcox July 18, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I remember the times playing chess with my father too – those are great memories!! At my age, I’m always afraid dementia will come along and rob me of those flashes from the past. Great post.

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