Father’s Day is always a big deal in our family. My dad is 85 years old, and he is still going strong and enjoying life. Growing up, Father’s Day meant making his favorite dishes and dessert. He loves a good cherry pie, but it was only several years ago he confessed that it is his favorite.
Mom always made the side dishes, and we usually put Dad out at the grill. He loved cooking for all of us, and he still does from time to time. But ask about a seafood restaurant, and he is in the car before you can finish the sentence!
I have learned many things from my dad. My dad is the most consistent and disciplined man in the world. He never waivers in his faith, his routine, and working his plans. “Make the plan, and work the plan” are his words of advice coupled with mom’s advice of “you never know if you can do something until you try.”
Dad’s life IS a life of integrity. If Dad tells you something, you can trust him. You can believe his words and know that he has given a lot of thought before he speaks. His words mean everything, and his handshake is a bond.
Table manners were a must at our house. Dad loved the time spent around the table and insisted that we put forth our best. Little did we know he was preparing us for our adult lives of meeting people in our careers. “You need to extend your hand when I introduce you and respond with ‘nice to meet you,'” he would say. It was important to him that when we were introduced we knew how to respond.
Dad is the grandfather of six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, and he gleams with pride when they are around. He makes everything fun.
I love hearing stories of his growing up years on the farm. It was a hard life of work, but he always managed to sneak in some practical jokes on his brothers. He served in the Navy and worked hard to get his college education. Mom worked while he completed his college education. They are still a strong team. They made the plan and worked the plan.
He retired from the phone company and has enjoyed his years of retirement. He lives everyday to the fullest. He can always be found in the tomato garden watering his prize crops. I bet he has 50 plants this year and supplies the whole family all summer.
I love him so much. Oliver Norton always has the right words, the right love, and the right heart for everyone. If men today could understand the word integrity and live as he has, the world would be a better place. He lives as an example worthy of being followed. Now I must go and talk him out of some of those green tomatoes on his vines. I must make my plan and work it and pick a few to fry. Have a blessed day.
Do you have any Father’s Day memories you’d like to share?