I remember being a kid and going outside with my Dad. Watching in awe as he would prune fruit trees, chop wood, water the garden, feed all the animals, move irrigation pipes, and a long list of other chores that are required of living on 40+ acres. Although I didn't realize it then, I now look back and know that I was blessed to live on a corner of heaven right here on earth. I loved watching my Dad work (and still do, actually). He seemed to do every task with amazing ease even though beads of sweat were running down his face. I can still remember the sound (and smell) of the chainsaw and what the flecks of wood looked like as they were rushing out from between the teeth into the air, at last landing on the ground all around him. I remember sitting on the top rail of a fence, swinging my feet back and forth asking a million questions met with thought out answers while he was repairing a broken gate. I remember him teaching me how to saddle my horse and then how to walk her up to a stump to hop on bareback for a quick ride. I remember being read to at night, all four of us kids sitting around the smallest room of the house by the wood stove, listening to Dad's voice read Bible stories out of a big worn out red book that had frayed edges and a soft cover.
I love that because of my Dad's love for the Native American culture, Carter is so intent on learning all there is to know about it and can't wait to sleep in Grandpa's teepee this summer. I love that the kids look forward to canoe trips with my Dad and doing the little things like looking for snakes under the tarps in the garden and getting to hold all the baby pigeons in the bird barn. I love that they like to go into the woods and "help" chop wood with Grandpa and I love that he always lets them carry the kindling and set it up to be lit in the wood stove. It's all of these little things that make this man so special. I'm honored to call him Dad and so very thankful that my children have the priveledge of calling him Grandpa.
Happy Birthday, Dad. You are loved more than words can say.