Daddy’s very fun. He taught me how to ride a bike. Something I miss very much (only crazy bike fanatics ride in the Bay). And he taught me how to make oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. He used to make those for breakfast for us before school when we were little. They’re still two of my favorite breakfast foods.
He also taught me how to walk away from a fight…. but that one wasn’t by example.
My favorite memories of Daddy come from two places: the breakfast table and family vacations. Daddy didn’t just make sure we ate breakfast before going to school; he made sure we were fully entertained as well. I don’t think he was actually trying to entertain us; he was just being Daddy. Everything from songs to reading bits of the newspaper to explaining things from whatever book he’d been reading lately, usually something about physics or the Civil War.
Family vacations were awesome! Daddy would start planning months in advance, ordering AAA books and visitor guides directly from cities and towns we would be visiting. He’d read to us the descriptions of museums we might see and blurbs about the towns’ histories, building anticipation for everything we’d see.
Every detail of the trip would be planned out, what time we’d leave home, when we’d arrive at museum A, when we go to zoo B, when we’d check into a hotel, when we’d have dinner. Every route would be mapped out in his mind, planned based on his studies of the AAA maps that would soon be piled in the glove compartment. Daddy always seemed to love planning those trips as much as we enjoyed actually going on them.
When it was finally time for the big adventure, we’d pile in the car with our carefully packed suitcases, cooler of snacks and busy bags for the back seats. We’d watch the scenery go by, play Cows in the Cemetery, Road Bingo, the Alphabet Game and all sorts of other silliness that Daddy so nicely put up with. And we’d sing!
We went so many interesting places. Old battlefields – while walking on the grounds of the battle of Tippecanoe, Daddy said to rather young me, “you know, people died where you’re walking,” – children’s zoos – the one in Fort Wayne, Indiana is awesome, – parks, houses some distant relative lived in, a town with my name, and museum after museum after museum. We learned so much on those vacations. One of my favorites was the Ball Glass museum in Munsee, Indiana, simply because it’s so ridiculous. It’s a room full of glass jars.
I love meeting people and asking them where their from and watching the priceless expression on their face when I say, “Oh, I’ve been there on vacation!” That’s thanks to Daddy. He rocks.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
More posts about how great Daddy is: