Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Today is a day set aside to send cards and ties and stamps and t-shirts to our Dads. It is a day to celebrate the most important man in many of our lives, to, at the very least, give him a phone call. That is if you are lucky enough to be like me and have a wonderful man as a father and to have a father who is still alive. (Condolences to the family of Tim Russert). Unlike so many of my friends my age who have lost their fathers at ages way too young, I am lucky to still have my Dad with me here on this planet, only a phone call away. There is nothing more reassuring than hearing the voice of my Dad on the other end of the phone.

My father is a great human being - in so many ways, he is an excellent father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle and he was a dutiful son. He is known for his frugality - "Bargain Bob" is a nickname that holds much credence for my Dad, as he has always been a coupon user, a bargain bin hunter, a sales watcher and through his life he has no doubt saved thousands of dollars which he has invested wisely and now is enjoying the fruits of his frugality, by carefully spending the money he so assiduously saved.

My Dad got up every morning of his working life and scrapped the ice off the windshield of his used high mileage cars in the winter and rode to work in the heat of the summer in cars that rarely had air conditioners. He is a true conservative, and I mean that in the best sense of the word - he conserves water, gas, food, electricity. He takes great joy in reviving plants that have been put out in the sun at the end of the planting season as lost causes, he buys them for a song then brings them home and watches them grow, bloom, and blossom. He loves to garden and he grows amazing tomatoes, green beans, and corn on the cob - add a couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese and you have a great summer supper - a meal that always makes me think of my Dad when I fix it far away from Indiana.

My Dad has lived most all of his life in Indiana, except when he was in the service (Army) when he spent time at Fort Dix in New Jersey and Fort Huahuca, Arizona and a brief stint at Shell Oil Co. in Houston, Texas after he graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, but he always came back to the state where he was born - he is a Hoosier (although my brother would argue that Dad is a Boilermaker, but I beg to differ).

My Father was reared as a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and he chose to rear his children in that faith. That faith imbued me with a strong sense of social justice and that to work for peace is perhaps the highest calling we can do on this earth. My Dad is a great guy and I love him with all of my heart and I thank my lucky stars that I landed in his family and that I am his "Margaret Faye." Happy Father's Day, Dad! Sorry your gift, such as it is, will not arrive until tomorrow.

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