Happy Birthday Dad!

These pictures were taken on Dad’s surprise (sort of) 75th birthday where he was celebrated by his family and friends.

Today, September 19th, would have been my Dad’s 86th birthday.  Although he left us eight years ago already, I think of him in some context daily.

I woke up to frost on the rooftops and lawns today, an early appearance even here in Ottawa, but somehow appropriate for Dad’s birthday.  As I looked out the window at the whiteness, I could hear his voice saying “HAH, frost in September!”

Other reminders of my dad come in the form of his expressions, interests and habits (some bad ones):

-his affectionate phrase “dum dum” when someone did something silly, often used on his children and grandchildren.  I must admit to using it in my own household too, softened with a giggle, just like he used to.

-his use of the expression “HAH” as used above, meaning “who would have thunk it?” or “I don’t think so” (when he didn’t want to do something) or when he found something funny or ridiculous.

-his ride on lawnmower that his six children purchased for him on his 75th birthday.  It currently resides at my cottage where the lawns are big enough to need a ride on mower.

-when I am out “puttering” in a garden as he used to love to do.  In his latter days he would have a list of things for me to do in his garden each visit.  As a youngster I remember my mom picking out the plants, but Dad was always the one planting and looking after them.  I know he would be proud and not the least bit surprised about my new profession, Gardens4U.

-when one of my sons (or me) yell at the TV during a hockey game.

-one of his sweaters that I found in his closet when cleaning out his house, barely (if at all) used, that I now use as garden apparel on cool days.

-his use of an accelerant to start the campfire at the cottage, especially after a week of rain when everything is damp.  My husband calls it “grandpa’s firestarter.”

-wandering around my gardens in sandals (Dad often wore his slippers to do this, much to my Mom’s dismay)  with a cup of tea in hand, stopping here and there to pull a weed or two, or to “stop and smell the roses.”

-his goofy grin, that fortunately lives on in my son Derek.

The list goes on and on….Happy Birthday Dad, I miss you!

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