Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Dad, The Dreamer

Me and my Dad

(Dad is reading one of his textbooks for his Master's Degree in Philosophy and Religion at the University of Chicago. The future blogger is working on her keyboarding skills!)

My dad has always been a dreamer. He is one of the only people I know who has retained his idealism despite the hard knocks of life. When Dad was about 50 years old, he decided he wanted to live to be 150 years old. He figured with all the advances in medical science, it might be possible. He thought, "If I want to live 100 more years, I will have to age only one year for every two years I live from now on." And if you saw him, you would believe he has done it. He is now 71 and he looks and moves like someone who is barely 60. He exercises a little bit, eats whatever he wants moderately, and simply doesn't stress out about anything.

My favorite memory from my youth is when we were on a car trip to visit my grandparents in Ohio. We drove one of those old station wagons with the faux wood panel on the side. As dusk fell, my dad suddenly swerved onto the side of the road and stopped. He jumped out of the car and we all looked out at the open field before us. There were thousands of fireflies lighting up the night. Dad rummaged in the trunk and found two glass jars. We spent a couple of hours romping in the field catching fireflies.

Our family wasn't LDS, but every night at our home was family home evening. After dinner we always did something together, and it wasn't TV. We played lots of card games--Pit was one of our favorites. We played board games--Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders gave way to Chess, Monopoly and Battleship as we got older. Outside on summer nights we played Hide and Go Seek and Kick the Can, or we went to the community pool for the 5-7pm Family Swim. In the winter, we went ice skating on a homemade rink in the back yard, then came in for steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

My dad dreamed of having the same kind of family he grew up with. His was a "Leave It To Beaver" family--His father had the same job at General Motors his whole life, his mom was a part-time Kindergarten teacher, and there were two boys. There were many things which occurred in the 1960's and '70s that stretched our family and pulled it in different directions. There were "family secrets" we had to deal with. The times were changing. But through it all, our dad loved his family and had fun with us.

My wish for you this Father's Day is that you will remember all the happy times with your dad, and that you will take the time to make memories with your children that they will treasure.

I love my Dad. Happy Father's Day!


Mark IV said...


What a wonderful tribute to your father, and what a great picture! I think it says a lot about his character, concentration, and patience to allow a toddler to play on his lap while he studies.

My family played Pit all the time, too. I was second to youngest in the family, and my siblings were always tricking me into making bad trades. But Dad always had mercy on me and slipped me cards under the table that he knew I needed so I could win my share of hands. He died unexpectedly 16 years ago, and I still think about him every day.

As I type this comment, I can look out across the backyard and see fireflies.

ZD Eve said...

BinV, Great post.

I didn't see a firefly until I was in my late twenties and finally moved out of the desert. They're absolutely enchanting.

I just love the picture of you typing. (Now, you realize, this is the picture that's going to come to mind when I imagine you sitting at your computer putting up posts or making comments....)

Ann said...

Great post, BiV. I love, love, love the photo.

I'm from Ohio. Did you ever live there?

Bored in Vernal said...

I was born in Ohio but we didn't live there very long.

Téa said...

I've come to this post so many times to comment and couldn't come up with anything that sounded right.

An awesome post, helping me to remember and appreciate my father.

Do you have all of your older photographs digitized at this point?

SteveP said...

What a wonderful tribute. Thanks for writing this. It reminded my of my own growing up--complete with woodside-panel stationwagon!

Bored in Vernal said...

That doesn't date us at all, does it SteveP?