The Sunshine and Dad

I have spent the last week and a half with my beloved dad. It’s the time of year when mom and dad become snow birds and migrate to sunny Florida. This year it is just dad though since we lost mom last November. Today would have been her birthday. She would have been a very young 87. 

Traveling with just dad has been a wonderful experience and a treasured one at that. sitting amiably in the car chatting or sitting quietly, he is a man of few words, we just get along well. We took our time and enjoyed our trip driving south through several states enjoying the changing scenery that makes up our beautiful land. We even stopped and shared a pecan waffle at the Wafflehouse in honor of mom, because no trip would be complete without a pecan waffle and a cup of tea in her humble opinion. 

Since arriving in the beautiful southwest part of the sunshine state, I’ve shopped and dad has taken care of things he needed to. I’ve helped him with all his technical issues and we have gotten him settled. We have eaten so well that when I get home, I probably shouldn’t eat for a month!  Life here is on a different pace. It’s as if everyone is on a permanent vacation where he lives. I suppose they are. It’s a slower, more relaxed pace where people have time for one another.

I’ve gone to the beach, of course, but I prefer the pool. Going to the pool each afternoon I find the same group of characters. I call it social hour. Everyone catches up with the latest goings-on in the community. It’s truly an amazing place to be and they have made me feel so welcome. Just today, I had a glass of wine by the pool with these fabulous people. Such fun. And boy was it good!

The shopping is always good here but I was hoping to find a few more things at my usual stores which I didn’t. Had I gone to my other usual stores I may have but I don’t want to spend all my money. I look for bargains only. That I found. There are loads of high end stores but I don’t want to spend everything when I don’t have to. 

There is nothing better than the sound of the waves hitting the shore, in my opinion. Stress melts away instantly while just sitting there listening to the lapping waves and the sounds of the sea birds. I went only one day this time to the beach, but my stress from the long drive instantly disappeared as I sat there enjoying the sights and sounds for an hour. It was a cloudy day so I had the beach pretty much to myself. What a joy and spectacle to behold. 

Soon it will be back to the Midwest for me. Not that it’s a bad thing to go home but I miss this place when I leave it. This is my favorite place on earth. The sun shines so brightly here and the temperature is always warm and delightful. Knowing that I’m going home is like a double edged sword. I miss my husband and kids, I miss my own bed, but I don’t miss the weather. I especially don’t look forward to the winter. But life is what it is and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to love a life down here. It is my dream. Someday. 

A Journey Back

It is that time of year again.  It’s time when the leaves are nearly off the trees aad the weather starts to get that chill in the air again. It is also time for the annual trek to the sunshine state with my parents, but this year I make this just with dad. So many times I’ve written about my mom’s death lately, but  this trip was always about time spent with both of my beloved parents. 

This year is so different, but so very much similar at the same time. Dad is my co-pilot while I do the driving. He’s amazing! he may be 86 but you would never know it. We spend some of the time chatting and yet, unlike when mom was with us, there is a lot more silence. He is a man who thinks and thinks a lot. A man of few words. Mom and I would solve all the problems of the world by the end of day one of our journey. Not so much with dad. He probably already solved them all but he’s not sharing the answers. Darn it anyway!

There is a bunch more room in the car because as dad says, mom packed everything but the kitchen sink and started a week ahead. Little does he know but that’s called being a mom. Must be prepared. I will say, however, he remembered to get bananas for our trip snack. It’s sort of a tradition. I do miss mom’s sandwiches though. 

We took the little car this trip which is strange to me, but it is brand new and really high tech. I sort of feel like I’m in a tiny space ship with all the buttons and gadgets. VErykah cool indeed to one who loves that stuff, like myself. 

I am so very blessed to have this time to spend with my dad. He is such an amazing and intelligent man. He exudes love and generosity. He takes care of his own and spent his entire life caring for others. There is no one quite like this patient, quiet man. Our trip may not be the same without mom, but it is such a special time for just the two of us. I’ve always been daddy’s little girl and I’m so glad I am because God gave me the very best father a girl could ask for. 

It’s About Time for Coffee

Good morning all! I’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning so far and am so glad you’ve made it here for coffee. I’ll admit, I started my coffee early this morning, as I seem to be awake very early these days. Hubs thinks I’m crazy to wake up as early as I do but he’s a VERY good sleeper in the early mornings. He doesn’t sleep well at night and needs his sleep. Me? I am out like a light these days. It’s nice for a change.

Coffee gets my motor running in the morning. I don’t need a pot. I just like my 1 or 2 cups unless I have company. Marz, my BFF neighbor, often shares coffee with me once the kids are at school. It’s wonderful. We can share the worries and joys of our world’s as well as solve all of the world’s problems all over a cup of joe. 

Whenever my oldest BFF and I go shopping, we have to have one specialty coffee somewhere. This, again, allows us time to solve all the world’s problems over our special java. Since we’ve known each other nearly 30 years (scary thought) we’ve solved a lot of problems, dried many tears and laughed over many funny stories over coffee. It never gets old.

When I lived up north, I used to share coffee by the potfull. I had a beautiful sister-in-law, Amy. We were well known for spending many hours drinking our cafe with cookies on my old porch or her basement. It was just what we did. We went to a family restaurant to escape the world and drank carafe after carafe. Amy passed away 3 years ago and I miss her still. When I see butterflies, certain flowers and hummingbirds, I think of my dear friend. I miss those hours but treasure the memories deep within my heart. 

Coffee in our American society is a social gathering. It’s a means of friendship and communication. In my Irish family, we drink tea. Many hours were spent with my mom over a cup of tea and cookies or biscuits, as it were. I’m missing my mom and will be thinking about her a great deal over the coming months. 

Thursday. The 15th, would have been mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. It was the first one without her here. We all went to dinner with dad. He said he’s forgotten “that was today”. This week is his birthday and onward we go with birthdays and holidays. 

Family and friends should be cherished. Life is shorter than we think it is for we know not the time or place when this life will end. I’ve learned and relearned, assessed and reassessed things in my life over the last year and the one thing that is clearer than anything is that we truly need to love one another. Treat those people in your life gently and with care. Treasure them and tell them you love them each and every day or as often as you get a chance. Never let the opportunity go by to show them how much you care and appreciate them. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m doing my best. 

Fathers and Sons

When the kids drove your spouse crazy and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s like a bomb has gone off in your otherwise peaceful home. At least that’s what it feels like I’m mine. Life happens when things get crazy sometimes. My house is no different than anyone else’s. 

Tonight was one of those nights and my husband’s temper flared. All I know is that while I was in the bathtub, my 9 year old came and poked his nose in to tell me dad was mean and a big dummy. Meanwhile I heard more interesting comments coming from my husband’s direction aimed towards the boy. What is a mom to do? Well, calm the boy and yell that the hubs is not saying very nice things.

Lord give me strength to get through this. That’s my prayer for these little occasions and somehow I always find the strength to muddle through and figure out what happened. Tonight was different though. I enjoyed my bath and let them get through it without meddling too much. I have no idea what the madness was about and furthernore, I don’t care. I’m chalking it up to hubs being tired and therefore cranky and the boy, well, he’s just a typical 9 year old boy.

I suppose for many, myself included, it’s so difficult to be that strong parent with the golden touch when you’re tired. Some people are just naturally prone to being tired. Luckily, I’m usually not one of them, but I have my moments. Sometimes we’ve just had a bad day and unfortunately sometimes our kids just know which buttons to push. I know my 9 year old certainly does. Luckily though. He is resilient like most kids. The two resolved their issue without me which makes me so happy. Then move my hubs has for his son is immense. If only kids realized that love earlier. I think they get it sometimes, but it’s hard in this extraordinarily busy and crazy world we live in. 

The moral to my story? Well, I suppose as mom’s we try to fix everything. Its just what we do. Sometimes it’s okay to let them fix their problems all by themselves without getting involved. They can do it and it will strengthen their relationship in the long run.

Love and Care for your People

Ever worry about people you care about that don’t live with you? I do. Sometimes we don’t see those people all the time and if you’re like me, you worry. You worry needlessly, or perhaps because they need to be worried about because they do silly things like go on roofs to check them out at 80 years of age or go up 30 feet in the air on ladders to paint with no one to watch them while their up there the whole time. Regardless, I’m a worriwart. 

That’s where my faith comes in to help me out, but what about those who have no dai faith? What do they do? I have often wondered about this. I pray for my loved ones’ safety. I pray that God will watch them and keep them safe when I know I can’t. I used to be a home health nurse and drove hundreds of miles each week in all kinds of weather. I prayed each day to keep me safe so that I could come home and care for my family at the end of each day.

These are some of my rambling thoughts that come about due to several terrible accidents recently. One was of a nurse who was leaving for vacation with her husband and 3 year old daughter. I never knew her, but from what I was told, she was perfect. A lovely person, perfect mom and wife. She lost her life as their rv rolled over. Her husband and daughter walked away. 

Another terrible crash happened recently in our area when a semi truck and trailer rear ended a can killing the 2 small children in their car seats. The parents walked away. The van looked like it had been a sedan after the crash. Not a can at all. 

I know this is a depressing post, but love your loved ones and hold them close. Only God knows the day He will call them home. Also, don’t let them do dumb things alone. My dad will be 86 next week and hasn’t been on any roofs lately that I know of, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing silly things. He lives alone and is rather cryptic sometimes in what he’s been up to.  So, love them, visit them and talk to them. That’s my advice for today!

Gratefulness for Fathers

I sometimes think what my life would have been like if I had not been adopted.  What would life been like for me if I had remained with my birth mother instead of been adopted by two of the most loving, hardworking parents I have ever known.  Would she have been a single mom raising me without a father in the picture? It could have been that way, but she wasn’t thinking of herself when she signed those papers.  She was only thinking about how much she loved me and couldn’t give me the things she wanted me to have in this life.  One of those things, may have been, a dad.

My dad is a gentle, quiet soul.  He is an Irishman from the old country.  As he ages, he becomes more like my grandfather in many ways.  I was blessed to have my grandparents in my life while they were here.  My grandfather W, died at the tender age of 91 in 1981.  I remember this because I was in 6th grade and I must have had an unusual pained expression on my face instead of my normal smile.  I loved my grandpa and have great memories of him.  He was a peaceful man, like my dad.  Just don’t get them upset.

My dad is very peaceful as well.  He is slow to speak about much of anything, but his mind is always at work.  His hands are always busy and and his heart is always full.  He is one to says very little, but when you get him going, watch out! He can amuse you with many stories and anecdotes from times gone by. I could sit and listen to his stories for hours, even days, if that ever happened!

My father is the most generous man I’ve ever known.  He helps out everyone in need.  If a family member needs something and he can help, he does.  He’s always there to offer advice, but will never give it unsolicited.  If he judges you, he will only tell you if he thinks if will help you.  He and my mom had such a perfect love story.  Some of you have read about their love before.  It was a love that transcended time.  It was a love that began many years ago and drew through 55 years of wedded bliss.   Now, dad is stuck with just us crazy kids, but he’s still the happy person he’s always been.  He always has been able to maintain his composure.  But that’s just my daddy.  I love you to the moon and back daddy.  I just wish I could show you more or tell you more often just how much I appreciate you.

The other most important dad in my life is my Hubs, of course.  He took on this job when I was a single mom with 3 young girls.  Not only that, but although my girls known him for their whole lives, they were a little leery having someone take over their dad’s job.  In time, they grew to love him very much and we have all grown to rely on him in our lives.  When we were young, I used to write in my diary that I would marry him.  I was 12 at the time.  I had the only diary I ever had.  I still have that diary.  I never dreamed that it would take us so long to get married, but I thank God every day that we found each other again.

When I asked this man to just date me, he knew I had baggage.  He knew I was just divorced and that he and I would have to get to really know each other again.  Yes, we had remained friends for 15 years, but it was a very simple, carefree and innocent friendship.  In fact, I was trying to help him date other girls during that time and trying to give him hints and courage to ask them out.  I’ve never been so happy that he didn’t bother, or that they said no.

When he entered our home and my life through marriage, he ultimately changed my world.  There have been times I was not as grateful as I should have been, but those days, luckily, are long gone.  Over the years, he has grown into a man who serves God and his family.  He has stayed up with the kids until way past the bewitching hour to work on projects, he has gone out at strange hours of the night to get some ice cream, chocolate, sanitary pads, school supplies, etc, for all of us.  He is, in one word, amazing.

I couldn’t go through my life without my husband by my side.  My children with grow and start their own lives.  That is what I want for them.  I just need my husband by my side.  He is my everything.  He is the love of my life.

I am so grateful for these two men.  I am filled with thoughts of love when I think of how they have made my life better.  They have shaped my life and given me so much to be grateful for.  They have impacted my children’s lives and made them better people too, even though they may not realize it just yet.  I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

And Of These Roots…

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Our family circa about 1978 or so at Mackinac Island Grand Hotel

Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country.  They had known each other in the old country.  In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12.  The old country I speak of is Ireland.  The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family.  I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into.  It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.

My mother came from the midlands of Ireland.  Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland.  She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys.  My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty.  She had the hardest time sitting still.  In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.

Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder.  With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was.  Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house?  Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height.  Good bones.  No osteoporosis for her!  Man do I wish I shared her genes.  We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much.  I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.

Dad grew up in the west of Ireland.  Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12.  It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other.  Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age.  Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot.  He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.

Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say.  Always studying, studying, studying.  Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes.  He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos.  Such a cutie patootie.

Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though.  I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree.  My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12.  He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes.  Kind of strange, isn’t it!

So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”.  The thing is, education came first for both of them.  Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing.  She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies.  I loved listening to those stories so much.  Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction.  He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.

Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin.  Yes, another similarity.  Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men.  They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy.  Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.  I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice.  I have similar taste to my mom.  That was all I was implying.  Seriously!

Mom and dad were married much later than one would think.  Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question.  They were married at the tender age of nearly 30.  Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether.  They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.

Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them?  That’s what my dad had to go through last November.  He did it with grace and peace like he  does everything in life.  He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband.  He taught me so many things in my life.  It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today.  I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well.  I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me.  It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman.  I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.

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Hubs and me aged 19 and 17.  Oh, those were the days!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com.  We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence.  Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!

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Saga: The Family of Us

 

We all have a saga when you come to think about it.  The very word saga is an epic tale about something.  A twisted course of events detailing so many things in the lives of it’s inhabitants.

Saga | Definition of Saga by Merriam-Webster

a long and complicated story with many details. : a long and complicated series of events.

Given this definition, isn’t that what our families are all about?  Take my family for example.  First there are the characters.  There are my Hubs and I, AKA, the parents.  The kids, we will refer to them as Boo, Bear, Bug and Boy.  This is my immediate family.  We each have our own lives outside of our home as well as the life we share when we are gathered together.  Our characters each have personalizations that make them each unique to who they are, but to complicate that, when they are with different people, they have different personality quirks or traits that they may not have with others.
When you filter in more characters, such as in extended family, which there are grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, dad for Boo, Bear and Bug, as well as Stepmom, and Step family for them, the saga instantly becomes that much more confusing and entertaining as well as epically more interesting.  You see, every family has a story.  Each family’s story is unique.  I will make my family’s story as simple as I can and try to simply give you the bare facts so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the details.  My Hubs always says he needs a flowchart for my extended family, so I’m afraid with 37 first cousins, not including their spouses, I will have to leave them out.  Just hope they all know how much each of them knows how much they mean to me and how much I love them.
Many years ago, on my mother’s side, her parents met, fell in love and had her first.  She was followed by 3 boys and another little girl.  Mom met dad when her family moved from the midlands of Ireland to the west of Ireland at age 12. Both mom and dad’s fathers, had some business together so that’s how my parents met.  Mom started going out to to dad’s for holidays when she was young.  She grew fond of dad and his family over that time.  Dad was one of 8 children.  He was always a student and so was she.  At 18, they each went off to school. Mom went to England to study nursing and dad went to University to study medicine.  They kept in touch and mom found him a job for his summer leave from school in England.  With me so far?  I told you this is the simplified version.
Mom and dad finally married at the tender age of 29 and mom got to move where dad already was. The United States.  He had become a Yank.  6 weeks after their marriage, she was able to join him in Illinois where they could finally start a life together and a week later, she turned 30.  Imagine leaving everything you had ever known to go to a whole new world.  Her initial reaction was amazement at how large everything was.  Three years later, my brother was born.  Six years after my brother, they adopted me.
My brother and I had a wonderful childhood.  My brother was the perfect son with perfect grades.  Then there was me.   I was the artsy one.  The musical one.  The one not interested in the books.  I luckily grew out of that in time.  My brother was the tennis player, the book worm, the amazing student.  He was understood by them.  I was the sunshine in the house, but I was also the one that could try the patience of a saint.
I had a long time boyfriend from the time I was 12.  That would be Hubs.  Yes, I thought the sun rose and set with him.  Lucky for both of us, I still do.  Unlucky for him, I broke up with him after many years of dating him.  I was young and thought he didn’t love me.  How dumb was I!  I also had never dated anyone else.  I wanted to see my other options, I suppose.  I was a young and naive 19 year old.  Regardless, I broke his heart and dated several others until I found the one that made my heart soar. My first husband.  The father of my girls.
Seasons change and so do we.  First Husband and I grew in completely different directions, but we still get along.  We do have 3 amazingly talented and beautiful girls together.  We dated for 19 months, engaged 9 months and married for 13 years.  Even the divorce was amicable except for the feeling of having my heart ripped and shredded from my body.  I think that’s just what divorce does though.  I vowed that would never happen again.
I married my better half, my soulmate July, 2006.  Yep, that’s Hubs.  The same one I wrote in my diary about at age 12.  The same one I broke up with at 19.  He was at my first wedding, but more importantly, he was in his proper place at wedding number 2.  He was my gorgeous groom.  He and I were always meant to be together.  We do complete each other.  We compliment each other without a doubt.  Today, for example, he calmed me like no one else can during my panic attack.  He knows if he sees tears welling in my eyes, I need him.  He puts me first and cares for me always.  I often tell him I don’t deserve him.
We create new chapters in our saga each day.  Writing them down is an amazing tool to share with your family and close friends.  You have the completely and utterly abridged version here, but I am working on a version for my family that has many more details.  They’ve asked and I’m working on it.  I challenge each of you to think about and possibly write down some of your own family saga.  Is it an epic tale of love and surprise? Perhaps your family had more pain and suffering, or a life with privilege, or mental illness, or physical disabilities  to overcome.  Whatever your story is, it is a saga and no one else has the same saga.  Keep it to share with future generations.  We get one chance to make this life, and one chance to write it out. Do it today.

If We Were Having Coffee

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If we were having coffee today, I’d hope to meet at my favorite coffee place here in town..not only for great coffee, but tasty treats, too! We would catch up on what the kids have been up to this week.

All my kids are out of school. It’s hard to believe another school year is over. I now have a 4th grader, a sophomore and my 2 oldest girls will both be out of the house in college next fall. Where has the time gone? My second daughter graduates tomorrow from high school. I can hardly believe it.

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I would tell you how the kindness challenge is going well. I’m enjoying the changes I’m seeing in my life as a result. I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks now and I love it. I can’t say much more accept that it’s awesome and everyone can join.  revofkindness.jpg

I would share with you the absolute joy that I was nominated for the Liebster Award. Yes, me! Can you believe it? Someone thinks my writing is good! Good enough that I should get an award! Exhilarating for me! I never win anything or receive any accolades for anything I do so what a highlight to my week!

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Dad also got his driver’s license back. His eye surgery was a success so far and the full recovery isn’t even complete! He had let his license lapse several years ago due to his sight, but he is a realist. He knows his limits. This week, he passed his test and bought a car. I’m so proud of him! Watch out though if you see him. He was always a bit wild!

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Lastly, I would have to tell you I’m really disappointed in the last two games my St Louis Blues have played in the Conference Finals.  I mean, really, they are playing The San Jose Sharks game instead of making the Sharks’ play the Blues’ game.  C’mon guys, don’t fail us now!  We are so close.  Your fans can taste it!  We have another game tonight and we are counting on you.  If there isn’t a turn around tonight, I am afraid this season is over for us.  I am a Blues fan.  I have my jersey, my t-shirt, my blanket, my garden flag, my van sticker, etc.  They’ve come so far, we are so close, but these last two games this week, well, they choked.  No goals scored in two games.  I know in my heart they can do it.  They are sort of like the Cubs of the NHL. We can’t go 100 years without the beautiful Stanley cup.  We deserve it this year.

daffodils and coffee

So what’s new with you this week? What new with the family? The writing? Anything fascinating or simply ordinary happen? You know me, I love our coffee weekends together! I never want our time together to end!

My Dad’s Apple Pie

wp-1462056657340.jpgThis gorgeous masterpiece is my dad’s apple pie.  Yes, my dad!  Never did I imagine that he would be making beautiful pies like this at 85 years young.  In fact, a month ago, he didn’t know how to make one.  He has learned to cook so much in the last 5 months and I am so very proud of him.  He never ceases to amaze me with his ability to learn new things.  He is the most awesome role model for our family. That being said, I never thought he would become such a good chef.  I guess I also didn’t want to think about that possibility.

Mom was an extraordinary cook.  Ask anyone and they will agree.  When mom had her knee replacement, she was unable to do the cooking so dad had to learn.  They were never big on take out or even going out to dinner.  Who would when mom could cook so well! You’d have to be mad to say no to her cooking.  I miss her cooking and I know dad does too, but he is learning. He’s come a long way in these last 5 months.

20141107_163830_HDRI showed dad how to make his favorite pie just once.  He ate the whole thing.  I didn’t even get a bite and I was a bit disappointed about it!  It looked so good coming out of the oven.  We talked about the kinds of apples, and dad assisted in the preparation of the first pie.  Since that pie a few weeks ago, he’s apparently made several.  Did I mention that he really loves apple pie?  Let me tell you, he’s becoming an expert.  This man can do anything!

We talk about food now among everything else.  He’s come a long way from asking if he should use the bake of broil setting on the oven. He cooks all his own meals and does a fantastic job.  His specialty is potatoes, but he’s an Irishman.  If he doesn’t have a potato for his supper, he hasn’t eaten yet. Perhaps we will take on pound cake next if the notion hits him.  Yes, the most delicious pound cake from scratch.  Life is always an adventure with dad and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He is the greatest dad a girl could ever ask for.  I thank God every day for blessing me with such a wonderful dad and role model.  And dad, if you do happen to read this, I love you with my whole heart, always.