Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Birthday To My Dear Ol' Dad

Today is my dad's birthday.

The first photo you see here was taken in Arizona back in March of 2012, in a cafe in the town, if I remember right, named Superior. I do recollect, for certain, I had a very good cheeseburger at this cafe. That is not my mom sitting across from dad.  That is my favorite nephew's Christopher and Jeremy's mom, Jackie. Mom is hidden behind dad.

This would be the most recent photo I have taken of my dad. Let's go back in time and look at some other pictures of my dear ol' dad....

I do not know what dad is carrying in that bucket as he exits. He may be heading out to pick beans. I suspect this location is near Sumas, near the Canadian border in Whatcom County in Washington.

Dad's high school graduation photo. My dad was a basketball star at Nooksack High School. Dad passed on his athletic gifts to some of his children. But not me.

My dad looks like he is being a model in his graduation photo.

And then a few years after that graduation photo was taken, after a stint in the army, stationed in France, dad returned home to meet up with my mom in New York City and eventually make their way back to the west coast were eventually I was born.

That is me being a happy baby above, with my dad. This would have been in Eugene, Oregon, that being the location where I and my little brother, Spencer Jack's grandpa, Jake, were born.

Me and dad. I have no idea where this is, but I would guess it is somewhere in Oregon. A few months after the above photo was taken someone new entered the pictures.

That someone new was my little brother Jake, later to become the proud papa of Jason and Joey and grandpa of Spencer Jack. Who took this picture? I have no idea. It may have been taken during a trip north from Oregon, to Lynden, to visit our grandmas.

Again, I am guessing the below picture of dad playing with me and my brother was in Eugene, Oregon. That would be me on the left.  Little brother Jake was always a frisky little devil.

Below mom is holding Jake, likely to curtail that friskiness I previously mentioned.

We had a Radio Flyer wagon. I have long retained the memory of a Radio Flyer wagon but never knew it was a reality til I came across this photo proof. Many miles were rolled in that wagon. I recollect having fun pulling it. And pushing it with little brother Jake on board and steering.

Below we appear to be on a Washington State Ferry. Enjoying the Washington State Ferry system is something that is passed on from generation to generation in my family. For instance, Spencer Jack's dad, my favorite nephew Jason, built replicas of the entire Washington State Ferry system. That is a lot of boats.

Eventually the bliss of our family consisting of just mom and dad and me and my brother came to an end with the addition of a sister.

Above dad is holding that aforementioned sister, named Nancy. As you can see, Nancy was a handful, and continues to be.

And then apparently one sister was not enough. Another was added.

I am fairly certain above we are at Ocean Shores on the Washington Pacific coast. Dad is holding our latest little sister, Jackie, who later became the mom of my favorite nephews Christopher and Jeremy.

Ironically, I have no photo of dad holding my third sister, in a photo with all her siblings. That third sister was the most exciting event of all the incoming new siblings. I do not remember the arrival of my brother or my first sister. I do remember the arrival of sister Jackie. It was a big, exciting deal.

But the arrival of my littlest sister, Michele, that was an epic big deal. I was in high school when that occurred. I remember the morning Michele was born, I called the hospital to find out if it had happened yet. There was a crowd around me as I called. I got the news and shouted out "It's a girl!" There was a reaction which had the person on the other end of the call telling mom it sounded like I was calling from an assembly of a lot of people.

Over the years I have lost count of the number of times I have been told I grew up in a Leave it to Beaver Father Knows Best Ozzie and Harriet type upbringing. I recollect Elsie Hotpepper saying such to me and me indicating I had no idea what she was talking about.

But now I get it. It's true. Way too many are not so fortunate to have a mom and dad doing the mom and dad job as good as my mom  and dad did.

Happy Birthday Pa!!!!