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Ten Things of Thankful: Happy Father's Day Edition


Baby me, sitting on the floor, looks up at my dad sitting on the sofa, as he smiles down at me

I've been extremely fortunate in my life: my parents provided me and my siblings with a very stable childhood. We had a roof over our heads, food on the table, physical and emotional safety, books, music, and lots of love and laughter. 

Probably 3 or 4 year old me looks at a photo or small piece of paper with my dad

My parents are humble people, quickly giving credit to the contributions of others, and although they won't toot their own horn, they are amazing people. One of my dad's favorite lines is, "The best thing I ever did was marry your mother." While I agree with that, as today is Father's Day, I'm going to focus on some of the things I've learned from my dad. 

My dad taught me through example to dream big, work hard, and be responsible. Just because something is unusual doesn't mean it's impossible. 
  • As a junior high school science teacher, he was the advisor to an environmental club that won the national  Keep America Beautiful contest on 2 separate occasions in the early 1970s. The club built and operated a recycling center. 
  • Dad was an early adopter of solar energy, designing and building our earth-sheltered, passive solar heated home. 
While I have a healthy respect for venomous creatures (and I'm not exactly a big fan of spiders), I am not afraid of snakes, thanks to Dad's boa constrictor, Snake (Dad let me name it) and the other snakes that followed. 
  • Several times we ended up with animals that other parents didn't want in their homes--one of the perks of Dad being a junior high science teacher, I guess. Often our home was just a temporary layover for the animals while my dad found a more appropriate placement, but it was always exciting when the doorbell would ring and a student would be on the porch with a bucket of snakes or Dad would come home with a couple of ferrets, for example. 
  • Once each year, I would bring Dad (and a snake or two) for my elementary school class show and tell. I felt famous by association. 
Dad was always happy to teach me how to do things.
  • When he was completing a master's degree, he took my sister and I along with him on a camping trip to trap gophers. (He was helping his professor find and identify bacteria in gopher guts, if I have my information correct.) I remember learning how to find gopher hills so Dad could set the traps. (I realize that from an adult's perspective, identifying a gopher mound isn't really a difficult skill to master, but I felt very important and observant learning this information as a child.) Also on that trip, I heard coyotes howl for the first time. My dad has a vivid memory of two wide-eyed little girls popping their heads out of the tent at the sound of those coyotes. 
  • When home computers became accessible, Dad would sometimes bring one home from school to practice programming. I have good memories of dictating code to Dad while he entered it into the computer. Often, we would need to go back over the code, character by character, to find the typo that prevented the program from running correctly, but oh what satisfaction when the screen would finally show "Hello"! 
Dad did a great job putting aside his own preferences for the common good.
  • I was an adult before I realized that Dad hates beets. He loves beet greens, but he hates beets. I had no clue! 
  • Dad is not a fan of crowds, traffic, or big cities, yet I remember a few long road trips: twice to Disneyland and once to Salt Lake City. As a child, I didn't appreciate that Disneyland or Salt Lake City wasn't necessarily Dad's dream vacation. He chose those locations because he knew we kids and my mom would want to go there. 
One thing I'm pretty sure Dad and I were on the same page about was the need for a dog in the family. I remember him telling my sister and me one day that after dinner, we were going to go get a puppy, but that Mom didn't know so it would be a surprise. My chatty little sister managed to spill the beans during dinner, but nothing could ruin the happiness of bringing home a puppy! I remember attending puppy obedience classes with my dad and the new puppy, and feeling so accomplished because I got to help train the dog. 

For all those experiences and more, I'm thankful for my dad. Happy Father's Day to all the men out there who support, teach, encourage, and love. I'm thankful my kids have a wonderful dad, too, as well as terrific grandfathers. 

What are you thankful for today? Don't forget to read the other posts joining this blog hop, at the Ten Things of ThankfulTen Things of Thankful blog. 


  1. Your Dad was quite a man and father, I wish him, your husband, and your sons and sons-in-law who are fathers a blessed and beautiful Happy Father's Day!

  2. A bit ahead of the times, with the environmentalism and solar (I recall being totally fascinated by the concept of earth-sheltered homes. This being New England, they never quite caught on).
    Have a good 'Summer' (you know, when winter starts later this week. lol)


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