He would never toot his own horn, so I’ll do it for him.

In honour of Father’s Day, I dedicate this post to my dad.  He would never toot his own horn, so I’ll do it for him.

Growing up, my dad and I spent time together in the great outdoors skating, toboganning, playing catch, and biking.  When I was a little girl, he would take me to the local community rec centre and patiently stick with me while I wobbled around the rink.  Sometimes he would take me to Harrison Park to go toboganning on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  We would bundle up, then head to the park where we spent the morning hiking up and sledding down the hill.  When we got home, he would make us hot chocolate with marshmallows.

When I was in the fourth grade, my best friend joined a softball league.  She invited me to join her team, even though registration was over and the season had already begun.  Somehow, I managed a spot on the team.  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.  At my first game, during my first time up to bat, the umpire actually had to tell me to walk to first base after the pitcher threw four balls.  After that, my dad played hours of catch with me on our long front lawn.  He bought a bat.  He would throw the ball into the air and hit it out to me, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right, and sometimes very high in front of me, so that I could practice going after the ball.  Then, it would be my turn at bat and he would pitch to me.  When I got good enough to actually hit the ball consistently, I would be the one to throw the ball up into the air and hit it out to him.  Practicing with him was one of my favourite things to do.  With my dad’s help, I became a decent softball player and enjoyed several seasons with the league.

When I was growing up, my mom worked for Bell Canada, and she worked different shifts.  On evenings when she worked until 7:30 or 8:00, my dad and I would sometimes bike into Owen Sound from our home just south of Rockford.  We’d sail down Inglis Falls hill and then again down the Harrison Park hill and the rest of the way to the Bell Canada office.  Once we got there, we would strap on the bike rack to the car (my mom having driven it to work) and load on our bikes, and then wait contentedly for my mom.  Then, the three of us would drive home together.

I always really enjoyed these times with my dad, being outside and doing something fun and active.  When I look back and think about, I realize how lucky I am to have a dad who hung out with me.  I was a daddy’s girl, and yet we were buds.

My dad was also a good cook.  When my mom worked evening shifts, and even when she was home, my dad made his share of delicious meals – and, if he was in the mood, he would bake the occasional pie or apple crisp for dessert.  He made really good homemade hamburgers.  I can remember him putting crackers in a plastic baggy and smashing them to a fine powder to mix in with the meat.  Those burgers were the best.

My dad is also an incredibly caring son to my grandmother.  He can be stubborn and he has a temper, but when it comes to my grandmother he can exercise the patience of a saint.

I’ve been told by more than one person that he’s one of the best welders at the plant where he works.  It’s really cool to hear these compliments paid to him, because he’s not one to brag or even really mention his own accomplishments.  I can honestly say my dad is the most modest person I know.  He works hard and rarely complains.  I really admire him for that.

He’s pretty awesome.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad.