Happy Birthday Dad!

January 7, 2010 at 2:44 am 2 comments

Tomorrow is my father’s birthday.  He’s shown here on one of the farm tractors, and as we so often see him, he’s smiling.  He’s a pretty optimistic guy, generally, and he’s also been a loving and attentive father.

When I was just a small child, my father built a sandbox outdoors for my sisters and me to play in. He also welded a frame together and built a swing set, and a  teeter-totter (that some folks call a see saw). My sisters and I spent hours outdoors playing  on that equipment, and more hours filling that sandbox with water and making mudpies and lakes and valleys. He knew what would make us happy.

In May, about Mother’s Day, Dad liked to take us on a walk to the bush lot at the back of the farm. It was quite a trek across the ploughed field to get there, but the walk was always worthwhile, for that’s where we saw the trilliums blooming, the mayapples, moss on rocks in dark corners, and the jack-in-the-pulpit.  We learned the names of trees, plants, and saw tracks of deer. We carried bunches of  dogtooth violets in our hands, and burdocks on our sweaters, even when we tried to avoid them. Dad was there with us, teaching and guiding us, and loving  us.

Dad made sure we had skates for the winter.  At one time, before the field was tiled, we had ice patches in the corn field to skate on. Dad brought bales of straw out from the barn so we had a place to sit and rest or change from skates to boots and back.  Sometimes, our parents took us to the arena in town so we could go skating on a Sunday afternoon.  Dad always skated with us. Much later, he built a rink in our yard, putting in hours on a cold winter night, scraping off snow from the surface and flooding the packed snow (that we girls stomped down). He flooded it until we had a good surface. It was cold work, but he did it because we’d have a place to skate and play hockey.  When chores were done, he often came out and skated with us.

In summer, we had a ball diamond. Our parents supplied us with ball and bats and we learned to play catch first, then how to play baseball. Having played on a league,  Dad eventually had his own ball team to train. Not quite enough for a team, but when we got together with family or friends, we played baseball together, Dad in there batting and catching too.

When we were old enough, he taught us how to drive tractor, mow lawn, gather eggs from the henhouse. We worked at harvest together, and in evenings or on weekends, we played together,  board games, sports, puzzles. We went for drives in the car or visiting with friends and family. A hard worker, Dad  knew that it was important for all of us to have some fun. Maybe not so much on harvest days when there was a lot of work to be done.

Dad taught us how to drive,  let us practise (parallel) parking between bales of hay or straw, taught us how to change tires, check oil and how to care for the car. He  and Mom were there at the end of the day when we came home from school, and we sat around the supper table together, talking and eating.

When Dad walked me down the aisle on my wedding day, I appreciated all he had done and been for me. I still do.

Dad, I’ll just remind you once again how blessed I’ve been to have you. Happy birthday and may your day be a happy one. With love.


Entry filed under: relationships, writing family stories. Tags: .

Sir Cliff Richard singing “The Millenium Prayer” Paw prints in the snow…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. violet  |  January 8, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Happy New Year’s, Carolyn!

    And what a sweet dad. Happy Birthday to him!

    • 2. storygal  |  January 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks Violet. I’ll pass along your best wishes.


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