Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad.

Raise your hand if you have the coolest dad!

Put your hand down because I have the raddest Dad. Sorry. But it's true.

March 9th is my Dad's Birthday.

To show him how much I love and miss him (and because I love making lists), I came up with 5 Favorite Memories with Dad. I'm sure there will be many more, but here they are in no particular order:

1. Beauty Parlor. When my siblings and I were small we had unbelievable convincing powers when it came to Dad (Mom was much harder to crack. Unless it involved shopping). We could make him do just about anything... including playing Beauty Parlor. This involved taking out an empty baby wipe box (that had instead been filled with ribbons, hair ties and barrettes... a little something to match every outfit we owned). We would sit Dad down, brush his hair (making sure to comment on how little he had) and go to town clasping, crimping, and twirling it until he became presentable. I'm sure my Dad loved this, but I think Molly and I loved it even more.

2. My First Packer Game. I attended my first Packer Game as a 25-year-old. I had mentioned to my dad that I had never been to one before (and if you are from Wisconsin, you pretty much know this is a sin). He managed to find someone who knew someone who knew someone to secure us tickets. I don't even remember who played the Packers that day, I was just thinking about how lucky I was to spend it with my dad.


3. The Bear Protector. I referenced fishing trips with my dad in this post, but really they are some of my favorite times with him. The man knows how to fish and gets into "the zone" whenever he is near open water. I'd like to think that fishing for my dad is what yoga is for my mom. It's his zen. I should mention that he is normally a "catch-and-release" type fellow, too. When I was younger (I can't remember the exact year), Dad took the entire family up to his special piece of land in Springbrook, Wisconsin. We were playing around in the woods and Mom and Dad decided that they would go on a romantic mini-fishing trip out on the pond. They got into their row boat and were off. By this time I was old enough to babysit, so the sister and brother were left in my care. The only place to use the bathroom was an outhouse. The sister decided she needed to use it. She opened the door and balancing on the toilet seat was a fake snake...orsoshethought. (Update: Molly, the sister, says it actually was a mother snake and 20 of her babies). She went to grab it, thinking that it was one of my brother's toys and the snake lunged at her. Screaming like a banshee, she came running down to the waterfront where I was skipping rocks. At this point she's crying because the snake "almost bit her". And because I am squeamish of creepy crawly or squirmy wormy things, I refuse to go up and take care of it. The brother, of course, wants to see it. Not knowing the poisonous snake situation in Wisconsin, I thought the best response was to call Mom and Dad over. At this point they are clear across the pond so I start shouting "There's a snake! There's a snake!" which when bouncing across the water obviously translates to "There's a bear! There's a bear!" (Erhm. Bear and snake don't even sound alike, Mandy. Yeah, I know.) I've never seen my dad move so fast. In one swift move, he throws down the fishing pole, grabs the oar and starts hauling @$$ to get to our side. Minutes later, he is out of breath and panting, "Bear? Where's the bear?" to which I respond "Bear? ... Dad. I said snake." I'm not sure what even happened to the snake, but I do remember laughing really really hard. Dad didn't laugh.


4. Wrapping for Mom. Dad's gifts could not be classified as artistic... in any way, shape or form. While Pops can bait a hook like nobody's business, he cannot wrap presents. When I was in the seventh grade and started to master this art form (don't pretend like it isn't one), Dad paid attention and I suddenly became the wrapper of Mom's Birthday and Christmas presents. I have maintained this job for the last 16 years and don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. Dad would hide Mom's presents around the house and on December 24th about an hour before present opening time, he and I would sneak into the guest bedroom and I would wrap all of Mom's gifts finishing in just enough time to curl my hair and put on my green velour dress.

5. Springbrook. A few years ago my Dad and I took a trip - just the two of us - to visit my grandparents in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. We spent a weekend hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa and exploring Northwestern Wisconsin. One of my favorite memories from the weekend was when he and I went to the Springbrook land (referenced in #3) and "fixed tree stands". I don't remember a lot of fixing getting done, but I do remember spending the late fall day hiking through the woods with Dad pointing out all the rut marks (I think that is the right term) the deer had made on the trees the previous year. He taught me how to tell if they were fresh or old and about different animal tracks found in the woods and we spent the afternoon chatting about life. Sometimes I think my dad is somehow related to John Muir. He knows nature.



Thanks for being a super dad! Love you Dad! Can't wait to see you in June! Maybe we could play Beauty Parlor for Molly's wedding? Whaddya think?


1 comment:

  1. Mandy, I have never been to a Packer game. Ever. And one of my best friends lives only a few scant miles from Lambeau. ::sigh::

    We *almost* got tickets to the playoff game where the Packers played the Niners.

    Alas, now we have to be Niners fans.