Sunday, June 21, 2009

Favorite Memories of my Dad

When I say memories it doesn't mean that my dad is in Heaven he is still alive and kicking loving retirement although there are days when I think he gets terribly bored. He has always liked having something to do.

(the pic to the left is of my dad and his best friend from High school and my brothers namesake Robert Skinner. My dad is the tall handsome one on the left) When my older brother and I were little bitty he was in the air force. As a matter of fact dad was in Guam when I was born. When I was 2 my dad left the Air Force and went to work in the wonderful world of computers. He began to learn programming languages and stayed with it until he was 62.

My oldest memory of my daddy as he was called then was being dressed up and at the city lake in Rocky Mt, NC feeding the ducks. Two of my fave preschool memories were from when I was in Kindergarten. The first one was him dropping me off for school and walking me up the sidewalk, squatting to hug me goodbye.(the pic to the right is what that Kindergarten drop off place looks like today. Its the little fenced in area to the left of the brick bldg.) The next was when I was playing under his office desk while he was conducting a meeting. His office was HUGE. There was a chalkboard on his wall and Brachs candy in the desk drawer. (he was trying really hard to quit smoking and the candy helped him) I was allowed to eat 3 pieces. :-) I kinda miss him smoking his pipe, his tobacco smelled great! Anyway, I was in his office that day because I had, had a dentist appointment which was across

the street from his office and was waiting for him to take me back to school. So why is this a favorite memory if I wasn't spending time talking and playing with him? Because I was in his very BUSY place of work and he was okay with it, he wasn't stressed out or telling me to be quiet. And believe me I was not staying out of sight. although it was really cool playing under his gynormous desk. It made a great cave. I was having fun coloring on the green and white computer print out paper he gave me, and also drawing all over the chalk board. And all the while there were about 6-8 people in his office in a meeting.

As I got older time spent with him became few because of the long hours he had to work to stay on top of the ever changing computer world of the day. But he's the man that even though time was precious taught me to ride my bike, held me and calmed me during thunderstorms, made sure I had read my Sunday School lesson on Saturday night, sat next to me in church and helped me learn to harmonize with those bass and tenor notes,loved to see what I had learned to play on the piano in my lessons,and played jacks with me. During my pre-teen and teen years time spent with him was usually to do something. But he's still the one that taught me all about a car, driving a standard even in icy weather, (we took it out to an empty field and he taught me how to recover from spinning out on ice) changing the oil, checking all the parts to make sure all were in working order and of course changing a tire and more than anything, that I could take care of myself in an emergency. I knew everything about our old family car: 79 Toyota corolla that you could know before he was through.
But I probably wouldn't have the relationship I have with him today if it weren't for the "gift" I was given in my late 20's. That gift was being able to move back home with my parents while I attended seminary. My dad was actually working at the seminary at that time. He was the director of Information Technology at SWBTS. (to the right is a pic from my graduation day. My dad is the one behind me and my mom is the one on my right. My Aunt Louise is directly behind my mom, My brother is on the far right in an uncharacteristically serious pose) Anyway once again I was going to his office, but this time it was different, I was a grown up and just coming to visit between classes. God gave us an opportunity to strengthen our relationship and to become friends. Those times of visiting in his office were pretty special. And he was just as busy then as he was when I was in Kindergarten but he stopped everything to listen and visit with me. I worked on campus in the library and many days he would come and get me and we would go grab a burger and catch up about my classes and life.

Below is a pic of my dad from his and my moms last visit here. He refinished my Great Grandmother's bedroom suit for me. He did a great job on it.
So now I treasure the fact that there aren't too many things that I can't talk with my dad about. We have grown our friendship/relationship by working at it and taking the time to grow it. So just know all you grown up men and women reading this, its never too late to get to know your parents. I have learned so much about my dad and have loved hearing his dreams and what he loves to do.

So happy Fathers Day daddy. I am thankful for you and our friendship
(I wish I had more pics to share of my daddy and me as I was growing up but of course they are in SC with them)