Oh, I've Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates...

Seriously, I have the best dad. Ever. Let me share with you just a few of the many reasons I find him so amazing.
Surprise!! He found himself a dad at the ripe old age of 18. Fresh from high school (my mom went back and finished up her senior year once I arrived) he immediately took on the role of provider, while at the same time learning this whole father business. Here I am, just a couple of days old. I was followed by a sister, a brother and then another sister.
He is an avid reader, always in the middle of at least two books! In fact, that is how he spent much of his Father's Day this year, reading on the porch, enjoying a gorgeous late spring day. He went back as an adult and received his college degree, toying around with the idea of becoming a history teacher. You don't ever want to play him in a game of trivial pursuit. I swear, he knows every single answer to every single question. His pie is filled long before I've even managed to get that first piece in place, slightly discouraging for the rest of us. ;)
I may have inherited my love of nature from him. He spent his boyhood camping, fishing and hunting ~ anything outdoors. This love persists. Two years ago he hiked the Grand Canyon, and he and my husband are hiking Mt. Katahdin this summer. They hiked Mt Washington a couple of years ago, I believe he had a torn ligament, or muscle in his leg... did it anyway! Did I mentioned his stubborn streak? This is him with my two sisters in the 'meat hen' pen. We raised much of our meat for years growing up; chickens, pigs, turkeys, rabbits... he built all of the enclosures himself and learned as he went. I'd say we did alright. :)
He is a jokster, through and through. He loves a good belly laugh, our gatherings most often include a round of laughter so consuming you can't breath for a time! His grandkids adore his sense of humor, and his sense of fun. Always ready for a nerf-ball war, this is a big hit with kids of all ages. A timeless game of his is 'traps'. He comes up with some way to ensnare you, and then the fun is in trying to escape. A classic ~ he pretends to be sleeping while you try to quietly step over him... SNAP! An ankle caught in his iron grip with no way out. We never learned, and each time around brought up new and inventive versions of the game. My least favorite? The tickle trap ~ pure torture!!

Here he is with my sister and brother at the kitchen table. He got home from work everyday and was always famished, so dinner was served around 4:30. Fine by us, and to be  honest, I still usually eat at this hour! ;) He still watches the nightly news every evening at 6:30. It has been this way for as long as I can remember, and I can't imagine how many years he's had that subscription to Newsweek!

Family comes first with Dad. I'm very careful not to ask him too often for favors because he will always say yes, even to his own detriment! He makes time for the girls; kayaking, walking, bonfires, just the other night was a sleepover with most all of the grandkids. My girls will talk about this adventure for weeks, and remember new things to tell me daily. Things he said, or games they played, or stories he told. He is a mesmerizing storyteller. I wish he'd write a book about his antics as a boy growing up in the fifties. I could listen to those stories over and over again. It's amazing he made it to adulthood. ;)

Strange and unusual things happen to and around Dad all the time. I'll tell you one quick story because it happened recently and still gives me tingles... He and his wife, Ginger, were having a yardsale just a couple of weekends ago. An older couple who live just up the road, stopped and was making small talk with Ginger. Come to find out, this man knew my grandfather once upon a time, which is really strange in and of itself since we live over an hour from where my grandmother still lives, (and it was even futher when he knew my grandpa.) It reminded me of how our lives are so entertwined, and often we aren't even aware of the connections. Shortly after, the telephone rang in the house and Dad went to answer. My grandfather's name appeared on the caller ID. Not strange, unless you factor in the info that Grampa has been gone for 7 years now, and his name hasn't appeared anywhere for quite some time. Dad answered "Hello?". Nothing. "Hello?" Still nothing. A third 'hello' and the connection was lost. Later when we were all sitting around marveling over this, chills broke out all around as we came to the realization that it was Grampa's birthday. He decided to give us a gift that day. :) These kinds of things happen to my dad all the time.
Wonderfully, we live right next door to my dad. Whenever the girls want to say hello, they can. Whenever we need to borrow a tool, or a book, we can. Got a question? Be right back, I'm running over to Dad's for a minute..

So, this is my tribute to a most amazing man. He is an integral part of our family, a true blessing. I love him dearly and am grateful for him everyday.

For awhile he was coming over for weekly dinners, and once done eating he would throw out songs from his childhood and have the girls find them on YouTube. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Year 2525. Yesterday When I Was Young. There is one particular favorite, Brand New Key. I can't remember who it's by, Melissa? Melanie? Be right back, I'll go ask Dad...

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Peace ~ Melinda