My dad is turning 60 on Monday (May 10th).
It seems like just yesterday we were all (all 6 of us..dad, mom, my 2 sisters, and my brother & I) packed into that red maverick our family had, driving to Missouri for my grandparent's 40th wedding anniversary.
Last June was my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Now my dad is turning 60.
Favorite memories of my dad through the years:
taking hikes all over Virginia, visiting historic battlefields and walking through the woods, taking in the history of our land.
fishing at his friend's pond, and camping there. setting off fireworks when we were there during 4th of July. canoeing there on the pond. fishing at smith mountain lake, us riding on my grandpa's boat and tractor.
trying to set off Billy's rocket in the front yard at home..it didn't work but it was fun trying to get it to work.
playing baseball in the front yard at home. we had a makeshift baseball diamond in the front yard..with all of the bases and the home plate, too.
planting everything in the garden..playing in the dirt, tilling the soil, picking the veggies and flowers that we grew.
riding bikes..learning how to ride for the first time at smith mountain lake, where my mom's parents lived. and then riding in the neighborhood near our house..doing all sorts of bike tricks. parking near a bike trail and then riding the bike through the trail, all the way to carl's ice cream in downtown fredericksburg. then riding back to the trail and then back to the car.
learning to tie my shoes. my dad taught me how to do that. i also remember how to double knot-he took the time to show me that, and i remember the exact moment. he also taught me how to walk straight, instead of pigeon-toed. instead of making fun of me, he used to have me practice walking straight while we walked up and down the driveway.
the bus stop. when he was on late shift (going into work later in the morning), he would walk with us down to the bus stop, when we were kids. he'd hang out with us (me and my brother) down there until the bus got us. even on the cold mornings.
playing games..whether it be shooting hoops, playing catch/baseball/tee-ball, chess, monopoly.. he was so competitive at monopoly, which was funny because he wasn't really competitive at any of the other games.
my dad always mowing the grass... i remember waking up to the sound of the lawn mower on hot summer saturdays, and the smell of fresh cut grass.
bird houses. he always had birdhouses up at home, and birdseed out for the birds. at smith mountain lake, he always put up a purple martin house, and would check with my mom's parents to see how the birds were doing.
his grocery list when i lived at home was always so simple, but he always wrote it down..bananas, OJ, 100% whole wheat bread..
dancing to the beach boys at my wedding, one of his favorite bands.
there are so many other things i could list here. i may add to this throughout the rest of the week and the weekend. i have tons of good memories about him, and i hope to make even more. my great grandpa on my dad's side lived to be over 100. if that's any sign about our family, then i hope my dad does the same.