Father's Day: My Dad was out of town today, so we agreed to celebrate next weekend when he's back home.
My Dad was a terrific Dad when I was growing up. I know we don't pick our parents but, I can't think of a soul I would have prefered to have been my father and to have raised me than him. He is a teacher. Not a school teacher (though he studied to be one and taught at the junior high and high school levels), he spent most of his life in the engineering field. What I mean is that at his core his biggest asset is to be able to explain something to someone unfamiliar with the topic. He can teach about theory and he can teach in practice. When I was six years old he taught me to turn candlesticks on the wood lathe (a gift for my grandparents for Christmas that year). He taught me how to gas weld when I was thirteen (something that I still enjoy doing and find 'calming'). He taught me how to build better building designs, to question authority, not to be taken, how to camp, how to cook a steak, about politics, how to build a fire, how to drive, how to rebuild an engine...and the list goes on and on.
If it seems like this list is wide in it's scope, that's because it IS. I regard my father as a man who knows more about more things that I'll know. It's something he inherited from his father. My Grandfather (Gumpa as we grandkids called him) had a piece of information on any topic and if he didn't he listened carefully to learn a new piece. My father also received his father's name as a middle name. I received my father's name in the same way. And I fully intend to continue the tradition if God is willing.
Mouse guard owes a great deal to my Dad. He taught me to appreciate my state. To enjoy the natural world, to respect elegant design and how the most primitive of techniques and tools sometimes can't be improved upon. He stressed history and how it should be treated as stories of adventure rather than dusty texts one is forced to read. But mostly, My Dad always gave me the space to be who I was and to encourage doing the things I enjoyed doing.
Thanks Dad. Happy Fathers Day. Happy Father's Day to my Grandfather also, and to all the Dads in my life, and even those I don't know.