Father’s Day, 2012
1. He can make anything out of wood. I grew up playing with the amazing toys that he built for us – a dollhouse, barn, post office, marble roll, desk. As I got older, he built me shelves and tables, all with incredible precision and an eye for beauty.
2. Along the same lines, he designed and built the home I grew up in. Everything, from the siding and floors to the shingles and tile work, he did it himself.
3. He draws the greatest cartoon characters on the birthday banners I used to get as a kid. His specialty is Snoopy.
4. He loves reading local history books about pioneer life and bush craft. He can spout fascinating tales and facts about our area that, otherwise, I’d never know about.
5. He can chop firewood like nobody’s business. His impressive collection of axes and mauls is actually put to good use on a regular basis.
6. He is very, very patient. He handles the most stressful situations with an attitude of total calm and rationality.
7. He was the parent my sister and I went to whenever we wanted a treat. Any donuts or burgers we got were thanks to his intervention, as well as the rare purchase of potato chips. Without him, I fear I would have grown up without knowing what any of those decadent delicacies are!
8. He’s active. Though he’s always hiked and canoed and snowshoed, he now takes his physical activity very seriously. He bikes 7 km to work each way and works out at the gym. It makes me proud.
9. He is a fabulous grandfather whose older grandson (the other is too young to understand) adores him.
10. He used to get down on the floor and play rough-and-tumble games with me and my sister, many of which were our own inventions. The best were ‘Elephant’ and ‘Be My Pillow’ and ‘Monster in the Dark.’ We would shriek with terror and laugh hysterically until it was bedtime.
11. He always read us our bedtime stories and provided any necessary background sounds. My favourite was his take on the “wild rumpus” part of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.”
12. He is the breakfast king. Waffles, pancakes, eggs and bacon, you name it, and my dad can whip it up in no time flat. Along with that goes the familiar sound of his coffee grinder – the sound that woke me up for years.
13. He always has time to talk to me when I call. Even if he’s busy at work, he can always spare a few minutes to chat, and I appreciate that immensely.
14. He was a chemist before becoming a home builder, which means that he has this wonderful scientific and mathematical mind that can explain almost any problem. He does it with such clarity and simplicity that he was always the person I went to for help with homework.
15. He loves me deeply, no matter what sort of trouble I’ve caused over the years! It’s truly a wonderful feeling to know that he’s always there for me, and that I can count on him to support and believe in me, no matter what.