Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Daddy


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How does a daughter say thank you to her daddy – the man who would set the bar.  You were the first man I ever hugged, the first man I kissed, the first man I danced with.  You have always been the date I can count on and my lone ranger.

Thank you for teaching me…

How to change the oil in my car.
How to make a great grilled cheese sandwich – my go to comfort food.
How to dance – our best being the jitter-bug.
How to build a fire – and love blackened marshmallows.
How to love unconditionally.
How to take a leap of faith.
How to cuss like a sailor – I only heard you do this once in the living room while trying to hang drapes, but the lesson stuck.
How to change a tire.
How to take care of myself.
How to leave a campsite in better condition than I found it.
How not to cross wires on the camera flash – you scared the crap out of me when you hit the floor.
How to avoid poison oak and ivy – most of the time.
How to fight the good fight.
How to canoe.
How to swim – I thought my name was Kick! all the years I was on swim team.
How to love Yosemite.
How to champion the underdog.
How to look at the world with a photographer’s eyes.
How to laugh.
How to sort resisters by color and stripes while building our first color television.
How to drive a manual – in commute traffic.
How to get into trouble – regularly. 
How I should always have a partner in crime so I only have to take half the heat – thanks for taking the half, Dad.
How to fly.
How to fight injustice.
How to work hard.
How to look for the best in everyone.
How to believe in myself.
How to talk to strangers – you never know what amazing people you will meet.
How to tell a shaggy dog tale.
How to tell a raunchy joke – don’t worry, I won’t tell Mom.
How to believe in myself.
How to drive.
How to use a buck knife.
How to properly roll a sleeping bag.
How to not take crap from men – ever.
How to paint snow on the windows at Christmas.
How to accept all others as valuable human beings.
How to value and take pride in my heritage.
How to become who I want to be.
How to do for others.
How to put up a tent after dark.
How to build a teepee and a hogan.
How to love the journey and not merely the destination.
How to forgive.
How to leave one chocolate chip in the bag.
How to scared teenage boys – this skill is coming in handy.
How to love learning.
How to teach.

…and so much more.  You will forever be my first dance, Daddy.

FIRST DANCE

I danced with another woman tonight,
My wife didn’t seem to mind.
We took to the floor like a pair of swans
that fate forever entwined.

Leaving our wake through the dancers who flowed
Like notes in search of a song
We tested our two step, tried out a waltz
and laughed when something went wrong!

I led and she followed, trusting each step,
spurred by the beat of the band
Like birds taking wing the very first time,
it helps to hold someone’s hand.

Although I had known this woman before
I’d thought of her as a child
But there on the dance floor, arm ‘round her waist,
I found my heart was beguiled.

For her a window had opened. I was there,
I’m eternally glad.
The rest of my life I’ll remember
the first night
she danced with her dad.


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