the earliest memory i have of my dad is the view from atop his shoulders. in my memory, i can see the top of his black and white striped railway cap that he always wore. my little hands are on top of his hat, my knees are firmly grasped in his hands, and we are walking down some sort of path with grass and trees on either side. i think we're on a bit of a hike.
finding a father's day card in the store for my dad has always been a challenge. there are dozens of cards about golfing. my dad doesn't golf. there are dozens of cards about drinking beer and watching the game. my dad has never had beer in his life and watching the game is not something he'd ever choose to do. there are dozens of cards about grilling, mowing the lawn, fixing cars, etc. that my dad does do from time to time, but he's not really INTO any of that stuff. too bad they don't make father's day cards about building your own giant telescope. or how about a card for the avid gardener and nature lover? there's got to be at least one humorous card out there made for huge "Battlestar Galactica" fans.
the truth is, my dad is a very different dad from anyone i've ever met. he watched casablanca with me when i was only 7 years old. he is a master of the grapevine, with nearly a mini vineyard in his own backyard and no one who tastes his grape juice can deny that he has a gift. he loves to go on walks and hikes and if you happen to find a certain plant or bird that he cannot name, he will look it up and let you know that same day. (the chances, of course, of finding such a plant or bird are minute.) he's wicked good at playing hearts and scrabble. i've beaten him only once at scrabble. his second love (my mom was his first love) is the night sky and he adores going out with his scope on clear nights and gazing to his heart's content. he is a very gifted writer and often emails me articles that he writes for his astronomical society newsletter. (i've told him he needs to start his own blog, but so far no luck). he can fix pretty much anything, and if it can't be fixed, he'll at least tell you what's wrong with it. he is extremely thrifty and inventive and creates these little gadgets that are pretty cool, like the portable night lights that he fashions using mainly a large battery, some wires, and a mini light bulb. when i was a kid, he used to take me out on little "dates" where he'd open my door for me and drive me to vancouver and we'd do something that i would like together and go out for dinner, just him and i. i remember him sitting through "the land before time" with me in the theater.
my dad has been a hardworking railroad man all of his life and, in less than 7 months, he will officially be retired! he dreams of buying a pickup truck and a little camper and taking my mom and his scope down here for longer visits with me and my family as well as with the southern sky. dad, i just want you to know how much i appreciate all you have done to provide for me in your life. i love you so much. happy father's day.