This One Is For My Dad

My dad might possibly be my most dedicated blog reader and the person with the strongest belief in my ability to write. Within half an hour of finding out my blog existed, he had purchased a subscription to a writing magazine for me. So when he (kind of jokingly) suggested that he should make an appearance on my blog I knew it had to be done. So, here are a bunch of random facts and memories about my dad. And Dad? No complaining about the photos. This was your idea.

He has a firm belief that a good cup of coffee and a doughnut or two can solve all the world's ills. The doughnut should be cinnamon and the coffee should be unflavored. Flavored coffees are an abomination. From the time my kids were tiny they have loved sleeping over at Grandpa's because they know he will provide doughnuts for breakfast which is a tradition carried on from my childhood.

When I was young many of my friends were a bit intimidated by my dad. He decided he needed to do something about that and he started telling them jokes. Specifically, chicken jokes. For example: Why did the chicken cross the road? Answer: To avoid bad yolks. He had endless variations on this theme. It is hard to continue to be intimidated by someone who is telling you abysmal jokes and laughing at them more than you are. When my best friend and I graduated from high school he bought us sweatshirts that said: "Tell me a chicken joke." We made him very happy when we actually wore them.

My dad is completely convinced that my mom is the most wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, charming woman that ever walked the face of the earth. That alone is quite charming.

He always had jobs that involved writing (newspaper editor, public relations) and when I was young he frequently worked at home in the evenings. This was before the days of computers so he used a typewriter. I would lie in bed at night and hear the clack of the typewriter keys and the murmur of my parents' voices.  To this day, the sound of a typewriter brings back happy memories and a sense of security.

Once, when I was very little I found a sea urchin shell in a tidal pool in Maine. I was very excited and it immediately became a prized possession. Until that is, I managed to slip on the rocky shore, fall down, and smash my shell. I was devastated. We spent a long time looking for a new one but they were all broken or too hard to get to. Finally, my dad clambered over rocks and basically fell into a deep tidal pool in order to get me another one. I had it for years and years and when my kids broke it when they were younger I cried.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts is my dad's happy place. Let him walk along the National Seashore and then take him out for clam chowder and he is a happy man. With, of course, coffee and doughnuts for breakfast.

My dad firmly believes that clutter needs to be disposed of. This leads to his endless attempts to pawn things off on me. He also tends to throw things away. When I lived at home we always knew that if we were missing some vital piece of paper, or the newspaper, or anything else that looked like it didn't belong where it was, we should look in the garbage because Dad probably "cleaned it up." I still sometimes see my mom grabbing things out of his hands at the last minute as he is standing over the garbage. His intentions are good...

My dad used to have lots of black hair. Now he...doesn't. He claims that, as teenagers, I made him go gray and my sister made him go bald.

Once upon a time, he met Big Bird from Sesame Street. Big Bird came into the newsroom he worked in. There is photographic evidence of this but my daughter couldn't find it. If my dad sends me the photo I'll update this.

Once, when I was very little, our dog totally destroyed my Raggedy Ann doll. I had left all my stuffed toys on the floor even though I had been told not to and when we came home Raggedy Ann was in pieces. I cried and cried. There was no lecture about picking up after myself. Instead, we turned around, got straight back in the car, and went to the store to buy me a new Raggedy Ann. It wasn't quite the same but it did assuage some of the pain. I still think of it sometimes when dealing with my kids. There is a time and a place for a lecture and a time and a place for doing what makes everything better.

He loves elephants and trains and has developed quite a collection over the years. He finally had to declare a moratorium on elephant related gifts because their house was being overtaken by them. If you look in the background of the photo where he is holding a coffee cup you can see a little bit of his collection.

When my son was ten weeks old he had to have surgery to repair a cleft lip. After the surgery, he was miserable and swollen and had stitches in his lip and mouth. However, when Grandpa came in to visit Tristan managed this huge, ear to ear, smile. Grandpa was the only one that got a smile that day. My kids still think "Grandpa is awesome."

 Who am I to argue?


  1. such a sweet post! and you changed your blog theme:)

  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Makes me miss my dad.

    1. Oh, thank you. I'm sorry I made you sad though....

  3. Hearts and flowers everywhere! What a wonderful tribute to your dad.

    1. (Also, my f-i-l can tell elephant jokes for 2 hours straight without repeating himself. I suspect the apocalypse would be either brought on or averted if he and your dad met.)

    2. Oh, elephant jokes! I feel like my dad needs a supply of those.

  4. Hi, Honey. You made Dad get teary-eyed. That's a good thing.

  5. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get coffee and doughnuts and read this wonderful post. Love, Dad.