This weeks theme is Top Ten Reasons I love X…could be ANYTHING book related or not. And let me tell you…this is tough to narrow down to one topic. I have bounced around with doing a book theme, such as why I love a particular genre or character. I have thought about doing non-book things that I love, because even with reading being a big thing about me it’s not the ONLY thing about me. I have gone back and forth, and decided to do something a bit more personal. So please, bear with me. I want to keep it light and fun. I want to make this something to bring a smile to your face.
Today would have been my dad’s birthday. And I have been having a hard time with a lot of things, and missing him has been huge lately. So today I want to concentrate on the positive. So this week I am going to share ten memories of my dad.
- Twins Game: 14 years ago today I went to my very first Twins game with my dad. He was a pretty big fan of the team but had never actually taken us to a game. On this day, his birthday, he decide to share that love with us. A love that has definitely stuck with me. I remember him being excited to show us around the Metrodome (RIP) and to cheer along with us as the Twins closed out an awesome victory with one of the best lineups I can remember. We walked out and I remember him shouting “Twins win!” to people as they drove past; his happiness was contagious. Because of him I am the avid Twins fan that I am today (and a heartbroken one these days…). They always make me think of him, even though no one on the roster was on the team when he was alive (though good old Eddie Guardado is back there coaching that bullpen).
- Minnesota Vikings: Shocker, another sports team makes the list right? And don’t you dare laugh at my love for my home teams. The year…1998-1999. The team…unstoppable. We made it a tradition to watch Vikings football every single week. We would make pigs in a blanket and all of us would find a spot in our small TV room so that we could cheer our team on to victory. My cheering now may be a little more in line with my grandma’s than my dad’s, but it all definitely started with him. We won’t talk about the heartache when good old Gary Anderson missed that field goal that would have gotten us in the Superbowl. It’s where I learned to not let defeat get to me too much (especially when your neighbors team…the Denver Broncos…won their game and made it to the Superbowl and didn’t hide their excitement).
- Softball: Yes, the game I quite after my 8th grade year. I had been playing softball since I was a child. My dad signed me up for tee-ball and it just kept going. Every summer I knew that I would be on that field learning how to be a decent player, and I did become a pretty solid hitter. When I got to play in competitive softball my dad never missed a game. I could always count on him to make it to a game, even when he got sick. His love of the game was obvious from the stands, and I could always count on him to cheer me on. He would celebrate in my successes and teach me in my failures. This is the sport that got too difficult emotionally to play. That 8th grade year…that was tough. But I still cherish those memories of him driving all over with my traveling league, of him leaving work early, just to watch me play. I know he would have done the same for my siblings. He supported us in whatever we did.
- Mini golf: As a kid, my brother had an obsession with mini golf. It got to the point where my sister and I would have to distract him if we saw mini golf course coming up because we would never hear the end of it if he saw it. Bit when we went on vacation we always made sure we would at least take one day to play. And my dad…he didn’t hold back. He kicked our butts every single time. We always had a good laugh even though we were being destroyed. Today I am glad my brother had that annoying obsession.
- The day he faced his fears: The summer before my dad was diagnosed we went camping just like every other summer. We went to this water-park because my parents knew that us kids would love it. My dad was afraid of water and couldn’t swim. He would maybe stick his feet in, but he mostly would just watch us enjoy it. Well there was the water-slide that we discovered where it like went down, plateaued, went down a little more, plateaued, etc. We spent HOURS on that thing. My mom even came on it with us. And then my dad decided to give it a try. I like to think he kind of enjoyed it even though the fact that he couldn’t swim was probably on his mind. I do remember some laughter at some point. Even if he didn’t enjoy it, I hope that he knew just how much it made our day. Heck, it made my summer.
- Summer camping trips: Every summer we went on a week long camping trip. Now, just know this…we weren’t really roughing it. There were showers and toilets with running water nearby. We went all over the place. South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, all over Minnesota, etc. A lot of the time we would stay in state parks where my siblings and I would work on becoming Jr. Park Rangers (oh my gosh nerds right?). We took classes like campfire cooking (I remember that campfire pizza guys. It was so good) and did nature walks and things like that. We would take hikes and go to touristy places, but mostly we would hang out together. I, of course, had my stack of reading material that I would read during down time. We would play games and just enjoy being together as a family away from everything. I definitely miss that. That was my favorite part of the summer.
- Pearl: Oh, my dear Pearlie. My first dog. As a kid I was terrified of dogs. To the point where I wouldn’t even go near dogs. I was chased by a doberman as a child, and I remember it had a look in its eye and I still will not go too close to that particular breed, which is bad I know but one bad dog can ruin it all. My parents decided that in order to cure that they needed to get a puppy. And this is where I got the world’s sweetest black lab. She was our guard dog. She was there to help us feel better when we were sick. She absolutely loved my dad. She was a happy reminder of him for so long after he passed.
- Malt-O-Meal and perfectly buttered toast: This was the only meal my dad could cook. And honestly, I don’t even remember if he could really cook the Malt-O-Meal. The toast was his specialty, and I never did it right as a child. First you had to have the butter softened JUST right so that it spread. It should be SOFTENED not melted (this is where I failed big time. There was a process of like flipping after so many seconds and I was impatient). Then the toast…every square inch of the toast had to be buttered. You think I’m lying, but I’m not. Every. Square. Inch. He was so into how it had to be that normally he took over for us (I guess if it’s the one aspect of cooking that you’re good at you might as well do it right?). He tried other meals…but the mac and cheese was still crunchy or else he decided not to drain the water…so he stuck with sandwiches, frozen pizza, and Malt-O-Meal with perfectly buttered toast.
- Music: I would like to think I got a part of my love for music from my dad. He had a love for what we now call the classics, but also Christian Rock. He always had a perfectly planned mixed tape for our road trips (which I am sure my mom REALLY appreciated) and it just was always a part of our lives. I may not be as talented with the guitar as he was, but I could be I suppose if I tried. There are certain songs that make me think of him. Sadly…Ice, Ice, Baby is one of them (apparently I loved that song as a kid? I think I still do the same dance move that I did back then whenever I hear that song). Currently looking at my record collection and it makes me smile because there are a bunch in there that were his. I love having that part of him with me. Other songs or artists that make me think of him….The Immigrant Song (he knew all the worlds), Another Brick in the Wall Part II (he sang that one a lot), Rich Mullins, Petra, and Kansas (who I may POTENTIALLY be seeing in July. Fingers crossed!)
- Movies: So there are a few movies that I remember watching with him that he loved. I am just going to list a few….Princess Bride was a movie we watched as a family constantly and quoted all the time. He did good impression of most of the characters (if you knew him I am sure it doesn’t come as a surprise). Oh Brother Where Art Thou was one of his all time favorite movies. I remember him signing along and constantly quoting it. We watched that one quite a few times. I was introduced to the Star War and Indiana Jones franchise when I was sick. He thought it was the perfect time for that, and I guess I didn’t stop him because trying to switch the movie was too much work at that point. Might I add…he hated Phantom Menace. He was pretty strict on what movies we could and could not watch, but most Disney movies were ok (minus Alice in Wonderland…thanks for letting me watch it anyway grandma!). The movie that reminds me of him is…Pocahontas. Why? Well because he thought it was really funny to call her Picklepontif. Yep. And my sister and I would get offended but honestly, I call Pocahontas that now because of him. Thanks dad.
I am really happy to have had him in my life as long as I did. I am so happy to have called him my dad. And I hope that these memories make you smile. They sure did for me.
Next week I will get back to more bookish topics for my Top Ten Tuesday. This just really fit this week. It’s kind of a look at my personal life.
Anyone else have any fun memories of their parents from when they were younger?