about my dad.

He was dating another woman, Dee, when he met my Mom. She was friends with Dee and seeing someone else, and the four of them went on a double date. Mom's date and Dee excused themselves to the restroom at the same time and my Dad swapped seats to sit next to my Mom. Naturally, the two dates were ticked and hit the street. Mom suggested they go look for Dee since she didn't have a car, but they somehow ended up making out on some back road in their search. Poor Dee. Tough breaks.

He smoked and drank and raced cars in his early 20's. He used to work at a gas station and a feed store, and Mom says he was just a dream hauling those feed bags around. His friends used to call him A.J. after some race car driver. In his old love letters to my Mom, he signed them A.J. What a dork.

Two weeks after he and my mother started dating, he had their names painted on the side doors of his truck. Dave & Justine. My grandmother flipped out. What a badass.

He's a firefighter. Has been for almost 25 years. And no, he's not a volunteer. He's a paid Lieutenant who worked his butt off to get where he is and don't let anyone ever tell you there's no difference between volunteers and career firefighters. There's a huge difference. You get what you pay for.

He met the President. When Hurricane Katrina hit, he drove for nearly three days (fire engines do not do well in hot weather and high speeds for extended periods of time) to get to New Orleans to help. He cleaned out fire stations to help put the local firefighters back to work and he met President George Dubya in line waiting for food. We have a signed picture. It's the coolest.

His wardrobe mostly consists of navy blue t-shirts regulated by the County, he probably has at least thirty. But if my mother throws one out, he knows about it. He used to wear Bike shorts in the early 90s. Those aren't a good look for anybody.

He wore Jovan Musk cologne for decades. It's cheap and strong, and his pillowcase always smells like a mix of the cologne and the firehouse garage. My mom buys him more expensive stuff every Christmas, and he puts it on at bedtime. I don't ask questions.

His hands look like baseball mitts. Like, each finger is equivalent to a cooked bratwurst. When my parents renewed their wedding vows on their 25th anniversary two years ago, they bought new bands for each other. Turns out, the one he'd been wearing was two and a half sizes too small.

He is a determined camper. We've upgraded to an RV these days, but we spent the majority of my childhood using a hand-me-down tent that had more holes in it than Swiss cheese. It would rain every single time and he'd buy us all chocolate eclair popsicles from the camp store to make up for it.

He doesn't take crap from anyone. You should hear him on the phone when Sprint messes up his bill (every month!). He takes no prisoners. I would not want to be on the other end of some of those phone calls. People say that mothers have Mama Bear Syndrome when someone messes with her cubs, but in our family, it's Papa Bear you'll want to watch out for. He's a friggin' beast.

He looks identical to Sam Elliot. Or Hulk Hogan. Or a mix of both. It's the overgrown mustache. I think it's mandatory for firefighters or something.

He has a wicked sweet tooth. He blames it on his mother - growing up, they were never allowed sweets, treats, real milk, chocolate, lunchbox snacks...nothing. So now that's he grown, he indulges his sweet tooth at every opportunity. Like at eleven p.m. when he calls to ask if I have any cake.

He's got five kids, four on earth and one in Heaven. The four of us are ridiculously good looking, so I assume the fifth one is as well. He's got good genes.

A few summers ago, I went on a lemonade kick and made several batches in one day. My Dad drank most of it then told me he felt sloshy inside. Sloshy! I love that.

Speaking of lemons, lemon desserts are sort of his thing, and I've got a lemon cake in the oven right now, so off I go.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. ;)


  1. LOL, this is good. Well done.

  2. Anonymous19.6.11

    Yes...well done. It left me wanting more...and there's so much more.

  3. Gianna7.9.11

    Your making me laugh and cry at the same time! So beautiful!


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