When I was a little kid, a father was like the light in the refrigerator. Every house had one, but no one really knew what either of them did once the door was shut.
My dad left the house every morning and always seemed glad to see everyone again at night. He opened the jar of pickles (腌菜) when no one else at home could. He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to go into the basement (地下室) by himself.
He cut himself shaving (剃胡须), but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood that whenever it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription (处方,药方) filled.
He kept busy enough. He set mousetraps (捕鼠夹). He cut back roses so the thorns (刺,棘刺) wouldn't snag (使钩破,是戳破) you when you came to the front door. He oiled1 my roller skates (旱冰鞋), and they went faster. When I got my bike, he ran alongside me for at least a thousand miles until I got the hang of it.
He signed all my report (成绩报告单) cards. He took a lot of pictures, but was never in them. He tightened up mother's sagging2 clothesline every week or so (…左右). I was afraid of everyone else's father, but not my own. ......