My dad has the weirdest sense of humor. I love him for it. And I think I inherited it. It's because of him that I appreciate Monty Python, and I can never watch The Great Muppet Caper, in particular the part where Miss Piggy is climbing up the side of John Cleese's house, without thinking of him. Whenever I'm faced with a buffet, I always imagine him quoting Hyacinth Bucket: "Garden party with finger boo-fay", and I laugh. Thanks, Dad.
This was one of my dad's birthdays. You can tell because of the obligatory can of Planter's peanuts in the right-hand corner. In hindsight, that probably isn't the best birthday present year after year, huh, Dad?
When I was little, he would make up silly songs about the things I was doing. I still remember, "Oh, Allison went down to the beach to play. She found a crab and she stayed all day." I'm not sure I ever actually played with a crab on the beach, but the song always made me giggle. Thanks, Dad.
At my baptism.
Because of my dad, I appreciate a variety of music styles. Marty Robbins, Air Supply, and Merle Haggard will always be road trip music to me. But I also learned to enjoy Celine Dion, Clint Black, and Julio Iglesias from my dad. I'm not necessarily saying I enjoy all those singers now, of course, but without my dad I may never even have known who they were. Thanks, Dad.
Running a three-legged race at a church picnic. We made a good team.
My dad is fearless. When we lived in England, he decided we should become cultured, so he took us on trips to see places like Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Edinburgh. Imagine the bravery (or possibly insanity...hmmmm...) it takes to drag four unwilling children around Europe. I never heard him complain about our behavior, even though I'm sure the whining at times would have driven weaker men to drastic measures. I wish I appreciated those places more when we were there, but at least I can say I've been there, and I have the (very unflattering) pictures to prove it. Thanks, Dad.
Paris. Yes, I'm wearing a fanny pack.
My dad rented this scooter and took each of us kids out for a ride around Rome. How awesome is that?
I learned to drive in a crash course (ha) while spending a month in the States one summer. Then we went back to England, where I had to forget most of what I'd learned and start over on the wrong side of the road. I made my mom incredibly nervous (it was mutual), but my dad was always calm while I was driving, even when I drove right over the top of a mini-roundabout. I don't know whether I ever told him how much I appreciated his patience, but I sure hope I'm like him when it comes time for the girls to start driving. Thanks, Dad.
When I went away to college, my dad drove the 4 hours between our home and Rexburg, ID to bring me more stuff. He also came up to bring me home for breaks and the occasional weekend. Then he drove me back again when the break was over. He helped me with my taxes when I got a job, and carted me to and from work because I didn't have a car. He was always there with advice when I needed help, but he never pushed anything on me. Thanks, Dad.
Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park. This was our last family vacation before I went away to college.
He's an awesome grandpa. The girls love playing with him. He likes to tease, and since my kids know how to dish it out, he puts up with their teasing in return. Thanks, Dad.
My dad has a dog named Riff (pictured above.) The girls call the dog Uncle Riff. I'm pretty sure my dad loves this dog more than his own children (but, really, who can blame him? Riff is a lot cuter and a lot more obedient than we ever were.) But even though he'd give the dog anything, he's already given me everything a father could. He taught me about love, and patience, and service, and I appreciate him more now as a parent myself than I ever did when he truly deserved it. Thanks, Dad.
Happy Birthday today, and here's to a whole bunch more! Love you!