At 5:30 sharp we sat down to dinner, Dad at the head and the five of us kids scattered 
around. There was meatloaf with the Heinz ketchup brown sugar glaze and Mom’s
homemade scalloped potatoes creamy with milk, slivers of onion, grated cheddar cheese
dotted with butter.. Steamed fresh green beans. She always had three, a meat, starch, and
vegetable. Salad was lettuce, quartered bright red tomatoes, shiny green sticks of green
pepper from Dad’s backyard patch of garden.

Dinnertime was family time. After the blessing, the boys would wolf down  their food,
especially the meat. It was a race to grab the last piece of meat on the platter. Dad watched 
like a hawk, diving in for the kill piercing the meat with his fork. A collective groan emerged.

We were hungry, not in the mood for Dad’s barrage of questions. My friend Linda Lynn
gave it the moniker, 20 Questions after staying with us one summer which is a whole other
story. Dad chortled when she said it, something we would be sent to our room for even 
suggesting. He tried to connect and keep abreast of our lives, both academic and social.
Mom filled in the gaps, cushioned the bad, always the peacemaker. How was the math test?
 You mean the one you kept me up till 2am showing your engineering precision to my artsy 
brain? Who needs algebra anyway?

Pitting us against each other while he watched from the sidelines laughing. Aware
that he did it for amusement, we fell for it every time. He took time to know our 
triggers. Deep down we were glad.