Diary: Father’s Day, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Impastato Cellars. It looks as if all the women of all ages tried to express remorse their for not paying much attention to Father’s Day. This is particularly true for young adult women with not-quite-elderly fathers or husbands, who tend to treat the men involved as if having a special Sunday brunch were a parodies of the real holiday of Mother’s Day.

However, I could not accuse the Marys as having been among those slackers. I received a funny card with an audio track if you pushed the button. Mary Ann also gave me the kind of personal message that always makes me feel good about our twenty-nine-year marriage.

I was allowed to choose the dinner venue, which I did with a mind that knows I can’t choose a restaurant that is not amenable to the Mary’s tastes. We all like Impastato Cellars. That’s the Madisonville branch of Impastato’s in Metairie. We all know going in that the fettuccine alone will make up for any lack in the menu. The restaurant attenuated the menu so it will be able to take care of an expectedly large crowds. The way Impastato’s handles that is to run a limited menu with a colossal amount of food. A five-course dinner came with lots of pasta and shrimp for $45. Not bad, but not quite as good as on a normal Impastato menu.

When we get home, the Marys pack up for a trip to Meridian, Mississippi, where ML has to get back to early work tomorrow and the few days after. I cannot gainsay my daughter’s work ethic.

When MA arrives home, we have a pleasant conversation, one helped greatly by the absence of the late dog Susie. Although we miss our old dog already, we can’t ignore the quietude and peace. Nor do we want to.

Impastato Cellars. Madisonville: 240 Highway 22 E. 985-845-4445.

The peacefulness around the Cool Water Ranch continues into the day. Mary Ann has a plan. She will have lunch with me (my usual red beans and blackened catfish), after which she will drive to Meridian. There she will take her first look at the project Mary Leigh has worked on for many months. It’s a museum depicting the arts in that part of Mississippi, a much more beautiful area than one might imagine. Mary Leigh not only did a lot of the design work on the $60-million museum, but she performed much of the actual hands-on construction.

Late in the afternoon, MA calls to report that the museum–which she has not seen in any degree of completion–is thoroughly impressive. She says I ought to drop everything and come to see it. That would be tough to do, given that it’s at least a four-hour drive from New Orleans to Meridian. (Last time I went there, it was five hours on one of the fastest Amtrak trains in the country from New Orleans to Meridian.) MA says I ought to book the tickets, get on my dumb old train and and see this mind-blower of achievement from our multi-creative daughter (she also does pastry cheffing, among many other capabilities through her twenty years).

What a weekend this humble Father’s Day has been!

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