My pop is an artist. His medium is cereal. Cold cereal. He layers together high terrariums of flakes and nuggets and mini-biscuits. Masterpieces in glass bowls.
My father's most productive time is in morning. He starts by flinging open the doors of two cabinets entirely packed with cereal boxes. He squintily eyeballs his vast palette of shapes, colors, textures and sizes of pressed grain and dried fruit. He carefully selects the most inspiring for his chunky canvas. Sometimes he pre-blends a concoction of granola and raw oatmeal and flaxseed into a large plastic container. He uses this like primer. For foundation purposes. Flattening it out in the bottom of the bowl.
Clean kitchen counters are not a priority for pop. He loses himself in the process of creation. He takes into account density, mass and buoyancy. He works for varied texture, coordinated color and structural integrity. When the milk and/or applesauce is layered in, the design must stand up to the rapid liquidation.
Pop is a frugal craftsman. He pilgrimages to Lancaster on buying trips, visiting the horse and buggie drivers who trade in expired cereal at steep discounts. He is a fanatical collector of coupons and one time mom had to page him in Big Lots because he became so engrossed unit pricing Cheerios he lost track of time.
Happy Father's Day, D!