Here are just a few of my "dad" memories:
1. Anytime I had a problem, or needed advice I would wait until you were in the garage working on a project. I would sit on one of your stools and explain the situation. You were always a great listener and cautious to give advice until you knew whether that was what I was after or just a listening ear. Your advice was always very wise (even as a teenage I could recognize that) and most of the time you could share a similar story from your youth.
2. One particular story/bit of advice I can remember you telling me was about what to do in a situation when I did something to cause myself embarrassment. Someone had once told you that the "offender" always remembered the embarrassing situation more than anyone else. Everyone had their own problems to be worried about and weren't too worried about what you had done that was so embarrassing. So hold your head up and go back to school or work or wherever you caused your blunder and get on with it! I remember that advice still and think of it often as I tend be an embarrassment to myself frequently!! What great advice!
3. You were one of the most supportive dads I know. Being the father of girls, your kids tended to be involved in girly activities. Dance, gymnastics, cheer. That didn't matter to you. You were always at every performance. Every Performance! That meant a lot to me! You even got drug along on many a shopping trips and didn't complain too much. You did spend much of the time on "your bench" but were there none the less. (and you were always excited to see what special finds or purchases we got!)
4. You were not just at all these girly events you were there building cheer and drill team props, setting up for homecoming dances (ALL day) and then chaperoning them as well and cleaning up the next morning, wearing the high school colors and cheer/drill team dad t-shirts and buttons! You were the ultimate cheer dad!
5. You have a certain look, that Kim and Cindy and I call the "proud dad" look. It is a special look that is saved for special occasions. The cool part about the look though, is that almost any thing/time can be a special occasion and elicit "the look." I have seen the look at games where I cheered, my Junior Miss Pageant, when I got married, when I had my babies, , when I discipline my kids, when I play with my kids, when we are all at church together. Big events and little events alike! I LOVE that look.
6. One memory I have, I can appreciate now, but didn't when I was 16. This is something that would always occur after you had been at the high school for parent teacher conferences or the like. The next day I would go to school and I would always, no fail, have at least one teacher, tell me how handsome my father is! I agree now, and even did then, but I certainly did not want to hear it from my teachers! Geez!!
7. We always took great family vacations. I think my favorite were our Oregon Coast trips. Those were always so much fun. I love the cozy little cabins we found and stayed at more than once...The Viking was it? I know family vacations are a sacrifice and I appreciate it!
8. Remember the Science Fair things you used to do with us girls? You were always our team adult leader and we were lucky kids cause you are so smart. I remember the one you did with Kim that involved a door off it's hinges, bee bees, a mouse trap maybe? The memory of the project is very vague but I can remember watching in the garage and hoping that when I was big enough they still did this competition. Sure enough they did. The year my group did it, the challenge was to build the tallest free standing structure. Again, I'm not exactly sure what our project involved, I'm remembering masking tape? for some reason, straws and plastic cups maybe? You'll have to remind me. But I do remember that you taught us about the strength of using triangles in our structure during that competition.
9. It seems you were always building something. One very special project was "The Eagle's Nest" our tree house at the cabin. You involved all the kids in the building of the fort and we even built all the furniture. Remember the "open house" we had when it was finished?!?!? I wonder how the Eagles Nest is holding up these days?
10. Another great memory...climbing Mt. St. Helens. This memory is lots of memories in one. We spent so much time preparing for that climb. We hiked and hiked and hiked to prepare ourselves, bought new hiking boots, tested them out, thought of and packed any emergency item we could possibly need. (I think this was when I learned or understood for the first time what a "preparer" you are. Be Prepared. Scout Motto and Larry Bigelow Motto!) Then what a blast to actually climb the Volcano. I am pretty sure that each of us girls got the "proud look" at the top! That was such a blast! I still like to tell people that I've done that!
11. I loved all the time we spent out on the lake boating. Again, I know that activities like this take a lot of time before and after the event but it didn't stop you from taking your family most summer Saturdays! Remember the sneaky snake incident? Cookie Time? The time we hit the storm and had water up over the top of the boat?
Dad, these are just a few of the memories that I have of growing up. Mostly I just remember a feeling of being loved and being safe. I don't think you can ask for a whole lot more!
"After all these years from the day I first held a baby of my own in my arms, I would say that what a child needs most is knowing she is safe and loved, in a calm and peaceful home, with a parent who is happy and well--more than she needs a visit to see the Treasures of Tutankhamen exhibit at the museum or a made-from-scratch birthday cake in the shape of a stegosaurus." - Joyce Maynard
I love you Dad. You have done well!