Saturday, October 28, 2006

Birthday Boy

Today, my wonderful Daddy celebrates 68 years of living life to the fullest. This is a man who has been a teacher, a firefighter, an EMT, a school principal, a stained glass artist, a handyman of the highest order and now spends his retirement renovating churches, schools and homes on a volunteer basis.

My Daddy is a quiet man. He's never had much to say, but he's also never missed a chance to lead by example. He works hard and plays hard, and has never, ever made me feel like an afterthought.

When I was a little girl, too young to read, he would read the comics to me over breakfast, describing the pictures and then telling me what the word bubbles said. Later, in high school, he and I ate breakfast together every morning. I don't remember what we talked about, or even if we talked at all, but he was always there.

In middle school, we rode the Cycle Across Maryland tour twice - once on separate bikes and once on a tandem. Even though he was (and still is) an excellent bicyclist, he never left me behind so that he could ride with the faster guys and finish at the head of the pack. He rode beside me every minute of every mile, encouraging me when I was tired or walking beside me when I had to push my bike up a hill. The year we rode the tandem we had these really fun tie-die bicycle shirts, and we made quite a pair. I think riding across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the back of that tandem is still one of my favorite memories of all time.

A couple of years ago, he rebuilt my kitchen for me, including making custom counter tops. Let me tell you, it was so much fun to see how he did that. I had no idea how counter tops are made. It is not easy or quick. My kitchen is now perfect and amazing, and there is no way I could have done it without him. (Or mom, or SuperHubby, or the rest of the team, for that matter. But Dad did most of the manual labor himself.) Here are some before and after shots of the great work Daddy did in the kitchen. (Note: the decorations in the before pictures are not ours - they are what the house looked like when we purchased it, with the previous owners' stuff still in it.)







So, happy birthday, Dad. You are a fantastic dad and a wonderful Pops. I love you very much.


mommaladybug said...

What a wonderful post! Your dad is such a great guy. I'm really glad that I know him.

Judy said...

It was nice to meet your dad through your blog!

Jess said...

This is such a nice tribute to your dad! And your kitchen is lovely; I'm envious.

On a side note, I see that you're participating in NaBloPoMo. Yay! I can't wait to read all your posts.

Jen B said...

wow, this is a great thing you wrote about your dad! so sweet! tell him happy birthday for me!

Chilihead2 said...

That is unbelievable! You have a wonderful dad. That was a really great post.

(BTW, you really do have a perfect kitchen now! Yay!)

Heth said...

Oooh, your dad does beautiful work! Happy birthday to him!

Thursdayschild said...

You are one special lady to honor your dad in such a special way. Made me cry!