Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day Inspiration


Tomorrow is Father's Day here in the U.S., and although every day is truly Father's Day, this holiday is a great reminder to cherish dads and let them know how much we appreciate them.

One of my favorite memories of my dad, who died seven years ago, is how he loved terrible candy. He liked orange slices, Jujyfruits, and those fake orange peanuts. Could this be why I love candy too much? Perhaps :) I used my dad as inspiration for a dad in an earlier novel. Maybe no one else besides my betas will ever read it, but still, it was cool to memorialize him this way.

One of my favorite memories of my husband as a dad is watching him trudge through our house wearing all three boys. Arms and legs stuck out at odd angles, like a walking tree with knobby branches.

If you're a dad, I hope you spend the day doing what you love most. Kick back in a hammock, drink a cold one, and let everyone spoil you. But before you do that, take a moment to enjoy these quotes about dads:

"My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." -- Harmon Killebrew


"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- unknown


"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons." -- Johann Schiller


"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpriced, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society." -- Billy Graham

Ok, your turn. Care to share your favorite dad memory? And have you written about your dad, whether it was about good or bad memories?

37 comments:

  1. My father used to get us in the car and say we were off like a herd of turtles.

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    1. Herd of turtles! I've never heard that one before :) Thx, Alex

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  2. Love this tribute, Julie. My dad also has a 'thing' for horrible candy too. Ever heard of Horehound candy? Really disgusting stuff, like root beer and black licorice had a terrible, terrible child. And he likes lemon drops too. :)

    My dad has shaped me in so many ways. He's the hardest worker I've ever known, and taught me anything I know about being selfless and honest. They're truly first-nature traits for my dad.

    Have so many great dad stories, but perhaps the most valuable to me was a lesson he taught me early on when I'd gotten old enough to help him in his shop. (He was a diesel mechanic.)

    I'd just finished up my first 'solo' oil change on a customer's vehicle (probably someone from our church) and dad asked if I'd gone back under the vehicle to double check that I'd put the oil plug back in and tightened it sufficiently. I said something along the lines of, "Well, I tightened before I put the new oil in. Should be fine."

    He made me jack the car back up and check it again. I grumbled, of course, but he relayed this bit of wisdom while I was doing it: If you take the time to do something, do it right, and make SURE you do it right. An extra minute or two now can save you hours of headache in the future. The customer won't ever know the difference, but you will when you sleep at night.

    So many little life nuggets he gave me in that one speech/lesson, but it's a pretty good example of "his way". I like to think I haven't wasted his efforts, or that I've at least tried not to waste any of them. :)

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    1. EJ, your story about your dad warmed my heart. I'm not sure if I've taught my sons that valuable lesson or not, but I'm going to share this comment with them today.

      By the way, no, I've never heard of Horehound candy. Sounds terrible!!!

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  3. When I was growing up, every Saturday night my dad made BBQ ribs on the grill (even in the dead of winter in N. Michigan!). We'd stay up late and watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Still look back on those days as some of the best of my childhood.

    Great post!

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    1. Julie, that is SO COOL! Your dad sounds like a die-hard griller, and I love that. Hey, I totally remember Love Boat & Fantasy Island night!

      Happy Father's Day to your hubby :)

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  4. Though it's been eleven years since my dad passed, I haven't allowed that into my writing much. My main character in my first published novel does lose her parents but it wasn't a part of the story I dwelt on. Perhaps someday I'll let myself truly write about it.

    My favorite memory was how he always used to joke in rhyme. He wasn't very good at it but that's what made it funny.

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    1. Oh, Heather, your dad sounds terrific. A joker/bad rhymer...what's not to love? I'm sure you're holding several warm memories of him this father's day.

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  5. My dad and I like to talk about theology. ha ha! He's like Bible Answer Man. He has this incredible memory so I just have to say, "Dad, where do I find the verse about such-and-such," and he'll tell me exactly where it is. Useful. :)

    I also like it when he crazy dances. That side of him doesn't come out much, but it's hilarious when it does. :)

    I love watching my husband playing with our kids. Makes me fall in love with him all over again.

    Happy Father's Day, all you dads out there!

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    1. Amy, your dad sounds amazing. And you know what? I sure wish he were in the car with me on the way to school. Sometimes my boys will ask theological questions I don't know the answer to. I'll acknowledge that I should know the answer, but I don't, and then we have to look it up :/

      Happy father's day to your hubby :)

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  6. My Uncle Jack was the real father in my life. He taught me how to swim, flew out from Kentucky to LA to help me buy my first car, and was always the man who made me feel like a princess.

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    1. Leslie, I feel like I already know your Uncle Jack, and he sounds like an awesome guy.

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  7. Dad reading the Sunday funny paper (aka comics) to my all us kids.

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    1. Oh, Donna, that sounds like such a fun Sunday morning tradition :)

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  8. Love this! My dad was a serious, extremely hard-working man. He had little use for TV except sports and news and informational shows. Except for Monty Python. He would laugh until he cried when it came on. The silly walks were always his favourite :)

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    1. Jemi, that's funny! I'll bet you think of him every time you see Monty Python :)

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  9. I think my best Dad memory was that he would sing White Christmas while driving. A. He couldn't sing. B. He didn't like Christmas. C. He was the ultimate bah hum bug. D. He complained about everything. But today White Christmas my favorite Christmas song. There is always a smile to be found anywhere.

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    1. What a great story! The bah hum bug singing the ultimate Christmas song...love it.

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  10. But my favorite daddy story is... 6 months after our first daughter was born, (we all thought she was going to be a son) I was pregnant again! I told my husband, "I'm sure this one will be a boy." And he said, "That would be fun. But, I wouldn't mind having another little girl." And that he did... two more times. And they've had him wrapped around their little fingers ever since.

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    1. Karlene, there's just something about dads and their little girls, right? I've never seen a dad NOT wrapped around his daughter's finger.

      I hope he has a wonderful father's day tomorrow.

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  11. One of my favorite childhood memories of my father is him coming home from the mill after a midnight shift. He always brought home donuts and the ones they call long johns. We would have donuts and milk together. He passed away when I was 15.

    What a wonderful way to memorialize your dad!

    Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

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    1. Wow, 15, such an important time in a girl's life. And to lose your dad at that age must have been so tough. I'm glad you have such warm memories about him.

      I wish your hubby a happy father's day tomorrow!

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  12. Thanks for getting my focus back to what's important, Julie. The thought that occurs to me is how my dad lives just five minutes down the road, yet I see him so infrequently. I'll be spending time with him tomorrow, but what about after that? Tomorrow is guaranteed for no one, right? I need to get over there more often.

    -Jimmy

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    1. Jimmy, we all get busy and sidetracked. I sure hope both you and your dad had a wonderful father's day!

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  13. My dad died 15 years ago, shortly after my daughter's birth. One of my special memories involves a visit to his gravesite on a warm, sunny day and the glimpse of a huge buck deer nearby. I imagined my dad saying that he was simply away hunting for a while and would be back soon like he did when I was little. That's how I like to think of him.

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    1. Traci, wow, what an image. I love the symbolism of your memory. Beautiful.

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  14. Great post! I've been inspired by my dad's stories of growing up in small town southern Missouri. I even wrote a few stories featuring my dad and grandpa (with fictitious names) in my college creative writing course. Love that your dad loved the orange peanuts...I remember those things :)

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    1. Jess, it sounds like your dad was a great storyteller. Perhaps that's where you got some of your skills?

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  15. This was so well written, Julie. I had tears when you talked about your father's love of candy. It's always interesting how we remember those we love. My favorite memory of my dad happened when we first moved to America and couldn't afford the one thing I wanted for my birthday--a swingset. My father cut some wood and rope, tied it around a branch, and surprised me with it when I came home from school. Fathers truly go to any length to make their children happy.

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    1. Saumya, maybe I'm super emotional tonight, but your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. THis is lovely Julie. I think Father's Day and Mother's Day are so important and speaking for myself, I never feel more special than on that day:) What a nice testimony to your hubby and what a great father he is.

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    1. Lindsay, thanks so much. I hope your hubby had a great father's day!

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  17. Sorry so late commenting! Dad's are often portrayed as bumbling fools, but that's a shame because a good father can make all the difference.

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    1. You're right about the bumbling fools. Most kids' TV shows are set up that way, and you're right, it's a shame. I hope Joe had a wonderful day...his last father's day with only 2 children :)

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  18. Most nights my dad would fling me over his shoulder and say, "Okay, sack of potatoes. Time for bed." If he was tired and didn't do it, I'd whine, "PLeeeease. I want to be a sack of potatoes." And then he would. I was so sad when I got too big for it. My grandfather is the one to blame for my candy habit. That's a whole other story....

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    1. Michele, thats such a cute story! Love the sack of potatoes line. And what is it with grandpas and a sweet tooth?? Mine was the same way.

      I hope your hubby had a wonderful fathers day!

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