|Dad and all of us kids - 2005, at his retirement party|
|One of Dad's typical poses for the camera|
Happy birthday to the most hard-working, determined and honest man I've ever known. Dad, you make 75 look darn GOOD. You're still as busy as ever, but now you've made the upkeep of The Ranch your full-time job. In addition to mowing and brushogging the 17 acres, burning all of the piles of brush, keeping up the pond/spring, and all of your other outside landscaping chores, you have turned into a DIY pro inside as well. This past year you've perfected the art of picking the right wall color and expertly prepping, taping and painting most of the walls in the house... (thanks in part to some expert tips from DIL Michele) Pretty impressive!
We all know that your work ethic will be with you until the day you leave us - but even still, you have mellowed out a little over the years, (or maybe we just think you've just mellowed out because we're all grown up and not at home anymore?) and somehow you've forgotten all the "tough love" you put us through... So today I wanted to help remind you - and all of us - about the good old days and some of your all-time classic phrases that we grew up hearing from you. So I'm posting part of the list that we kids all helped to put together 10 years ago, for your big 6-5. I know anyone outside of the family reading this won't get most of these, but for all of us, we've heard them countless times over the last 25-40 years. :)
- "Osh-ee-bulla!!" (a phrase handed down from Pop... none of us really know what it means, other than you use it with the dogs, cats and children interchangably, whenever you wanted us to stop doing something.)
- “Reveille, reveille, up all hands. Heave out and trice up, reveille.” (Courtesy of your Naval boot camp training, and bellowed to us over the sound of classical music playing, at 6am in the morning.)
- "You're doing it half-a**ed!! Here, let me show you how to do it."
- “Bye, mmm-hmm, Bye” -- Always before you hang up the phone.
- “I’m going to take you down to the barn and wale the tar out of you!”
- “This is NOT the place to be having fun!” -- quoted by you at the dinner table one night while everyone else was laughing at something no one can remember.
- “When was the last time you had your oil changed?”
- “Holy smokes, _____! Look at this car- we’ve got to wash this!”
- “What kind of grades are you making? I want straight A's”
- “Tough love, _____!” (fill in the blank with each of our names)
- “Nothing good happens after 12 o’clock, you don’t need to be out!”
- “Those turkeys!” (A derogatory comment often voiced by you against someone who has done something wrong, etc.)
I know all of us kids like to joke with and about you; but truly, we were all very blessed to be raised by you, our moms, and Grandma G, there in St. Clair. I loved growing up there, and have so many fond memories. And I'm thankful that we all still get together, and looking forward to this year's holidays with my family.
Happy birthday, Dad. We love you, and are looking forward to many years more.