Happy Father's Day
He used to make up the greatest stories for bedtime. Our favorites were about Mike Finn and his Husky, Poochie. They lived in Alaska and had lots of dog sledding adventures.
When he was on long trips as an Air Force pilot, he'd record himself telling the stories on tapes and mail them to us so we could listen to a few minutes each night.
He'd mail us letters from wherever he was. We delighted in the strange, colorful stamps that adorned the envelopes. There was always a piece of Juicy Fruit gum slipped inside, sometimes taped to the paper and decorated to look like a plane.
After Mike and I married and boarded the plane for our honeymoon, I opened up my carry-on and found a note from my dad telling me how proud he was. I sniffed the piece of Juicy Fruit and burst into tears.
He could push all three of us in the wheelbarrow.
He taught me to squeeze my peanut butter and jelly sandwich so I could lick the jelly off the sides, and that the curly potato chips tasted the best.
He would suddenly announce a craving for Heavenly Hash ice cream, and off to the store he would go, the three of us squealing in excitement. We would periodically inquire about the status of his cravings, just in case he wasn't aware that he was having one.
He sat up with me all night when I had the croup.
We built giant sand castles that awed everyone on Daytona Beach. Dad would kick small silver fish out of the ocean and we'd rush to rescue them from the sand and put them in our moat.
He taught me how to change my oil, my tires, and my spark plugs.
When my beloved doll got a rip in her arm, he sewed it with black thread and made a miniature splint.
He was a lifeguard, a fireman, an EMT, and a pilot.
He's also my dad.