While the rest of the family is still getting dressed, my father has already walked around the motel parking lot for exercise. Popping back in the door, he says, “Rise and shine; the weather’s fine.”
We already know the weather isn’t fine because we heard the thunder last night and can hear rain pattering on the pavement. “It’s clearing in the east,” Dad says.
The sky looks gray in every direction as I climb in the car—and the only sunny side I believe in is the eggs I’m going to order for breakfast. It’s raining harder when we leave the restaurant but my father is undaunted. “Clearing in the west,” he says.
“You said east,” I say. Dad laughs and holds the umbrella for us. “Sunny by noon,” he says, and in spite of myself, I feel better.
Something magic happens to my dad on vacation. Suddenly he is making jokes and admiring the view and spending money without worrying. And what I wish for—even more than better weather—is that this cheerful person would come home with us because he doesn’t resemble the stern, distant person who is my father the rest of the time.
I don’t know which way is east, but there’s a bright line along the horizon. “By noon,” he says, “You’ll see.”