Happy Birthday to me

So . . . . my first blog entry. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, inspired by my daughters. They are both very impressive bloggers. (Emily is on hiatus, but she’ll be back.) My idea was to start on my birthday and try to do it as many days as possible for a year. So here goes.

hhhmmmm . . . . let’s see, what happened today? Well, not to start out on a downer, but Emily and I motored to Elk River this afternoon to attend a funeral-like service for my dad, who died last week. It was an odd feeling, seeing a bunch of people that I don’t know crying about him. Funny how when I was a little kid, my worst fear was that my Dad would die (well actually it was a tie between that and worrying about a nuclear missile hitting Minneapolis). Ah, those carefree ’50s and early ’60s.

My Dad never went to church when I was a kid, but he became a big-time Christian later in life. To me, he was a lot more interesting in the old days. He also seemed to be more understanding and tolerant when I was a kid. Maybe that’s just my perception. But he was a hard-core Democrat when I was young and then ended up spending his time glued to FOX news in recent years. In the end, he seemed to fear the world rather than embrace it.  Maybe that’s what happens when you get older.  I hope not.

He was a good dad when I was a kid. He used to read a lot of books and got me interested in lots of stuff — geography, astronomy, weather, history. We watched Sputnik fly overhead in 1957.  I saw the rings of Saturn through the telescope he bought me for my 6th or 7th birthday.  The next year, he bought me a couple of golf clubs after watching me hit balls of tape around the house with my sister’s baton.  He took me to the airport to watch the new jet airliners land and take off.  We went on family vacations up north every summer and he showed me how to fish.

He seemed interested in everything then. For the past few decades he seemed less and less interested in . . . everything.

When I saw him a couple of weeks ago, it was obvious to me that he wasn’t going to be around a whole lot longer. He didn’t seem ready to die, though, which is kind of too bad. He was in quite a lot of pain recently, so I’m glad for him that it’s over.

So goodbye Dad.  Thanks for teaching me to think for myself all those years ago.   I hope you’ve found peace.

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