First of all, congrats to Mom2three, winner of Sandra D. Bricker’s Always the Baker, Never the Bride. Mom2three, just email me via my contact page, and we’ll get you that book! Stay tuned, guys, we have a more fun giveaways lined up for this summer!
So I lost my stepdad, my stand-in father of 25 years, last month. It will be a bittersweet Father’s Day for me and my family, but we are grateful for all the good times and the legacy left behind. Since Kent’s unexpected passing, I have been so aware of all the ways he’s influenced me. He made sure I had an appreciation for homemade bbq sauce, had my own tool box, and always carried a bit of cash. “Because my granddad always said it didn’t weigh much.” He rarely missed an event I was in, from school plays to a silly choir concert in college that involved him and my mother driving nearly eight hours round trip on a week night. I am grateful for how he invested in me, and few people were prouder of my writing career than Kent.
I wanted to keep things on the light side, so I asked my blog friends for their Dad stories. They came through with stories that made me laugh and smile, and I’d like to share them with you.
My dad also gave me a fart machine one year for Valentine’s Day (remote-controlled!). But that’s perhaps not the type story you’re looking for. . .—Natalie Lloyd
So, my favorite memory that I shared with my dad was probably when I was eleven. My church was hosting this big praise and worship seminar. My dad was in charge of the music, and he chose a handful of people from our church choir to help him sing, and, after my persistence, he gave in and let me join too.
The seminar was almost over, and most of the choir had dispersed to go into discussion groups. I, of course, was only a kid, so my spot was just a little corner on the stage, where I waited patiently for everyone to be done. Then suddenly, my dad came over and sat down at the piano. He looked over at me with a smile on his face. He motioned to the microphone and said, “Do you want to sing with me?” My heart was beating so fast. My music idol was asking me to sing with him? I nodded and went up and sang as loud and clear as I could. It was just me and my dad. It was one of the best feelings in the world. The song ended, the room grew quiet, and no one really said anything. I glanced over at my dad, and he just grinned at me. That was all the seal of approval that I needed.
Walked through the first car, no luck. The second one, just as full of strangers. The third one though, was FULL. Standing room only, the aisles filled with people. As I pushed my way through the crowd, I started hearing something. (just a quick preface, my dad loves to sing. In church, his tone deaf voice echoes above the rest.) So as I continued my quest for my father, and the voice got louder and louder, I started to put two and two together.
When I tapped him, the man singing at the top of his lungs on BART, on the shoulder, he looked up with no surprise in his eyes. Everyone around looked at me with relief and thanks as he lowered his voice, pulled his earphones out, and stowed his iPod.
“Goose! I knew I could sing you to me!” he said, giving me a hug and offering me his saved seat.
In 1972, we were going west a ways, to buy some furniture. We stopped at a little gas station, where my husband and I always bought gas, to fill up the truck. Dad payed the guy, and just stuck the changed in his pocket. When we got out at the truck, a little later, dad went to put the money in his wallet. He counted it, and found the guy had overpaid him a $1. Most people would have not worried about it, but on the way back, dad stopped, filled up the truck again, and gave the guy the $1. As long lived near there, that attendant remembered my dad, and mentioned it when we would stop.
My dad is the most talented guy I know. He’s really into sports he was in the Olympics & the whole nine. So a good memory is when I was in second grade there was a spelling bee. I was like nervous out of my tiny brain. My dad is really competitive, & he told me I would do amazing, and if I just focused on the word, I’d do fine. He even sang a song with me to make me laugh, since he’s not a really talented singer. In the end I won, & he was so proud of me!
Dad has always given me great advice as well. For example; “never chew on burning wood….you’ll go blind.” And of course “don’t smoke trees, your lungs will look like the inside of our chimney” (it was due for a cleaning). Then there was the day he staggered blindly into my room and informed me “don’t look into strobe lights”. I would be so lost without his wisdom!
My Dad is also very creative. He was in charge of a bike race in our town, and needed to check on the condition of the roads. He decided it would be best to do this on a bike. But then what if he needed to work on the road? Well, he solved this problem by attaching a leaf blower to the front of his bike, a broom to the back, and he added a special creation to hold a shovel on the back of it. He was quite the sight.
The worst incident of this happened about 10 or so years ago. It was March, around St. Patrick’s Day. We had gone to visit my dad’s home town. We didn’t realize when we planned the outing that the town would be having their St. Patty’s Day Parade.
We were waiting at a stop light watching the the parade go by. As the parade finished crossing the intersection, the light turned green. My dad turned behind the parade, rolled down his window, and started to wave and shout, “Hello! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks for coming to the parade!” My mom, my brother, and I were terrified and cracking up at the same time. The only thing that could have made it funnier is if we had brought candy!
Now my family and I talk about it and laugh. It was so funny and I am never going to forget it. I think sometimes you have to just live in the moment… and keep candy in your car.
I definately get my sense of humor from my daddy and I love him for it.
My favorite “funny” moment of his this week is when we were at a meeting for a mission trip we’re going on and I was in the front and he was in the back.
The pastor started talking about modesty and said that all girls need a one-piece bathing suit.
To which a voice quips up in the back with “which piece?”
We all giggle but it’s not until I hear “Cause I only have tops” that I realize it’s my dad and turn bright red as everyone busts out laughing.
It’s been like a week and my friends still greet me with “I only have tops!”
My daddy can always make me, and others of course, laugh
One of my most amazing memories of my dad…he fixed breakfast for use every other morning. Pancakes, waffles, frenchtoast, muffins, bacon and eggs…etc. He also packed my lunch everyday for 12 years. Never forgot. He now spoils my daughter. Getting her donuts when he’s in town is his signature breakfast. He’s definitely one of a kind.
I think one of the funniest moments I remember with me and my dad would have to be from an insanely long car trip, me made with my 2 month old brother, from California palm trees to Kansas prairies. If you have ever made this trip you know two things are inevitable, 1) It is flat after Colorado, a Tree is your new mountain and 2) there will be a ton of signs directing you to wonders of the world such as 6 legged lambs, and the world’s biggest rocking chair.
One of the signs we saw about 500 miles away, and every 50 or 25 miles we saw another sign… So as we pulled up to the gas station and bought our dollar tickets from the cashier, we were totally in the dark. We followed the sidewalk around the back of the gas station and into a free standing garage. We look around at the things hanging on the wall, just junk from the town land fill probably… and then we make it to THE THING. It was a mummy, I think, it might have just been a dummy advertised as a mummy, but whatever… All wrapped in gause and lying in the glass case.
We looked at the mummy for about a minute and then look at my dad who starts laughing. When we get to the car, dad tells mom she has to buy a ticket and go see it. So like him… she refused and back in the car we went…
I guess one of the things that absolutely sums up my fathers approach to life are his theme dinners. Even when I was little he’d pick a place, a movie, or a tv show and cook around that theme. The whole living room and dining room would be decorated up, fried chicken and quilts for Little House on the Prarie… Jumbalaya, jazz music, mardi gras beads and crazy masks for New Orleans. Sombreros, mustaches and Mexican blankets for Mexican night. To my dad, bigger is always better.
A favorite memory of my dad would have to be when I was from first and second grade, and we lived in Washington state. My mom worked the late night shift at a hospital or nursing home, and dad would stay up to write. This is when he was working on his very first book. Me and my little sister would play at his feet while he wrote, I can just hear his fingers bouncing off the keys… slowing when he had to think through something, and quickly speeding up when an idea came to mind. So here’s to you, Dad! May all your still insanely out there dreams come true this year!
Happy Father’s Day to all!
Jenny B. Jones is an award-winning author who writes romantic comedies for both women and teens. When she’s not writing, she’s living it up as a high school speech and creative writing teacher. When she’s not doing that, she’s binge Facebooking and financially and nutritionally supporting Ben and Jerry’s. Her next release, There You’ll Find Me, a YA from Thomas Nelson, releases October 2011.