Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad! Here are a few of my favorite things about you...

You took us on lots of fun hikes out in the backcountry. You taught us how to hunt for dinosaur bones and identify native plants and other critters.

You drove me home from the hospital in a Volkeswagon bug covered in Mt. St. Helens ash. And you didn't name me Dusty or Helen. Thanks. I appreciate it very much.

After saving my dollar-a-month allowance for a few months in order to buy a fish and a fishbowl, you sprung for the fish food so I wouldn't have to wait another month to get the fish.

You paid me to quit playing softball, saying I was good at a lot of things but not at softball. At ten or twenty bucks, that was a lot of allowance! What you really did was pay my to quit making a fool out of myself in front of my fellow classmates. Thanks.

You told stories of us from the pulpit, until the creepy old guy started bothering us and calling me 'hot foot.'

You took us on fun (real) camping trips involving tents, mud, picking mass quantities of choke cherries, roasting marshmallows, etc.

You planted a box of flowers with James, and let him watch them grow.

You used to play 'Doo-Ah-Diddy-Diddy-Dum-Diddy-Do' on your trombone, and sing the outhouse song with your guitar. You also made a big deal out of teaching me a song on the guitar. 'George Washington Bridge' and jailbreak were not exactly what I had in mind, but oh, well.

My kids love you.

You taught James how to say 'I'm shooting buzzards!'

Anything you cook is tasty and expeditious.

You used to write fun stories with us on the old black-and-green-screen dinosaur computer.

You made sure I had the best, most cool cars to drive when I was a teenager. I mean, who wouldn't want to drive a full-size '73 Ford Van, brown and mustard colored, with no power steering? There was a reason that Rachel refused to ride in it unless she was lying flat on the floor, safely out of view. The kids at school used to scream, 'There goes the shaggin' wagon!' And then, you chose for me my beloved '89 (?) Mercury Linx station wagon in gold. Oh, was that thing ever a beauty. In all its electrical-glitched glory, its a wonder I ever found myself a husband. (For those of you who haven't heard about my first car, one of the many quirks was that the horn would honk at times when I would shift gears, or bump the turn signal the wrong way. It would never happen at the right time!) Hey, Dad, you were right. At least no one ever stole it. I tried. I left the keys in the ignition many a time and no one ever took the bait. Maybe I should have taped a $50 bill to the steering wheel!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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