Here he is in his mom's arms with her parents.
I'm not sure about his age here. He looks so darn cute in his overalls!
When it was bedtime for us, Dad would tell stories of growing up in the fifties. There were some neighbors that had 3 boys around his age that lived about a mile away. The boys spent a lot of time together. Their parents would let them go camping on the creek and they would take their horses and a frying pan and have a great time catching fish and frogs to cook up for supper. They did a lot of exploring and I'm sure there are tales that he was unwilling to share with his kids for fear of us doing the same thing!
Can you see his freckles in this one?
Here's Dad as a teenager, hanging out with his brother, his paternal grandparents and his dad.
My dad's a hard worker and taught us to work hard too. I know I complained about going with him to move irrigation pipe, but it always turned out to be fun because Dad taught me to notice the little things around us. While moving pipe, we'd find baby mice and rabbits. He was always quick to point out the coyote across the pasture or the deer hiding in the woods. When I was learning to drive the tractor, we watched for hawks swooping down on the babies we uncovered or nests of ground nesting birds.
He taught us to ride a horse, work calves and pigs, drive the tractor, jump a fence (I'm not that agile!) herd cattle and shear sheep. He also taught us how to play pitch, drive a boat, bait a hook, and clean fish.
The most important lesson about life I've learned from my dad was through playing cards: You can only play the card once, so do the best you can with what you've got.
You know, you never outgrow needing your daddy. A few years ago, we were fishing at a small lake near my parents house. The fish weren't biting so we were wandering along the bank to 'see what we could see.' I spotted a crawfish and reached down to catch it. It darted away (I was really kinda scared anyway) and I said "Daddy, catch it, catch it!" And then I looked at him and said, "Did I just call you Daddy?" I thought how funny that in times of great excitement, I still thought of him that way, even though I haven't called him that in years!
My favorite memories of my Dad when I was growing up revolve around outdoors. He took us fishing and hiking and whenever anyone was too tired, that child would get swung up to ride in his arms or on his shoulders.
We're all too big for that now, but I know that Dad is still carrying us when we need it! He and my mom pray for us daily and are always ready to listen.
It's so great to know that my Dad's always there and that he loves us, no matter what.
Happy Birthday Dad.
You're the Best!
You're the Best!