Posted in Family Forever

A day late and a dollar short…

On America’s Birthday, or labor day or Veteran’s Day (a day late at this point), I always think of my dad.

Growing up there were times it was just mom, my brother, and me at home in the evening, for a road trip to see family, or on weekends because dad was somewhere, doing something…what I thought at the time was “at work.”

You see in my younger years, his career was serving the United States Army, reaching the rank of LTC (Lieutenant Colonel). Yet as a child, this rank meant a hill of beans to me, as I would wonder why he was sleeping during the day after having to pull an all-nighter or even a week-long shift, or why he missed things because of “work.”

In my teenage years, he retired from the U.S. Army and worked at our local high school, where he started and built up the (highly esteemed…my words, ha!) JROTC program. However, even then he would spend an infinite level of hours at school or competitions or after-school practices, etc…for “work.” SIDE NOTE: Now I wonder how my mom was able to manage two kids daily or while traveling (by car or sometimes in an airport), because truth be known I can barely keep me and my three alive on the weekends if my husband has to go out of town (Thank the Lord for iPads).

The question that I kept coming back to over the years was…“Why was work so important to him?”

Now I’m in my… Oh come on, you didn’t really think I was going to tell you my age did you? Anyway, now I’m an adult, married, with a career and 3 kids of my own (I know, it still shocks me that I have 3 kids). I experience the privilege to vote, and unfortunately now have the maturity to understand how cruel our world can be. I have learned that what my dad was actually “working” on all those year, what he was “doing,” was…

Serving our Country

Fighting for our freedoms that men and women have fought to protect for the ages.  Braving what others might not, for our country. Protecting the people of the USA. Practicing what he was taught when he first entered the Army as a young lad, which was “Country first.” My dad has a true heart for this country proven by 20 years of service plus continued years of honoring his country.

I could likely end this post with a few closing statements, however I really want to give you some insight into how much this man, my dad, truly Loves this country…because that also helps explain why he was always “working”…

So as you can imagine some women couldn’t deal with a man like this. I wouldn’t be able to. Now this could partly be due to the fact that I am just like this man, however that’s another blog post… But my mom could and I make this point, because of a significant story of when they married.

You see, it happened pretty quickly. I’m talking ‘shotgun wedding.’ No, I’m kidding about that, but it is still a secret to my brother and I how long they were together before engaged to the wedding day… And to say my grandfather was none too happy about it, would probably be an understatement (so I hear, I don’t speak from firsthand knowledge).

Since he wasn’t quite ready to walk her down the aisle to this “hairy-legged boy” (as my husband would say), my grandpa had the preacher (oddly enough, a family friend) talk with both of them, separately, with my dad going first. Sounds more like a secret background check if you ask me. When it came to be mom’s turn, this pastor, a family friend, the one that was to marry them, told her this statement, which is probably why they are still married today…”You have to know that if you marry him, You will never be first in his life. If he has to choose you or his country, he will choose his country.”

Clearly she was okay with it, they had 2 kids and after 37 years, are still married…

And…That’s why we have freedom folks.

Because there are men and women who love and live for our country. And to each and every Veteran…Thank You!

Posted in Family Forever

Like Father, Like Daughter

When people find out that my husband is married to me, and they know my dad (who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army) they often ask how he does it? How is he able to deal with “the Colonel” as his Father-in-law.  He simply answers…I’m married to him.

So yes, I am just like my dad. Almost to a “T” which is kinda scary for me some days.  I mean I love my daddy, but to think that in a few short years, I could be exactly like him…aye yi yi

So on his birthday (3.15.xx), I want to honor him and his many wonderful traits that I seem to mirror.

He is a money saver…AKA tightwad. But actually, I love to eat out and get a McDonald’s Coke every day… he would NEVER do that.  BUT, I do get pretty panicked if my husband wants to sit down and talk about money.  Like, I  need a brown bag to breath in, and break out in hives and become really hateful and want to just say, “save it all” or “I can’t do this”.

He is a worker. Always.  If he’s not working, he’s eating or asleep.  And that’s the same for me.  My husband wonders why I can stay up until midnight on a “work night” when he or I are out-of-town…I tell him it’s because I stay so productive that I forget what time it is and don’t get tired because my mind is still running running running.  But as soon as he and I sit down to watch our favorite TV show for the evening, by 9pm I’m asking if we can go to bed (or it’s possible I have face planted into the couch pillow completely unaware that the show has gone off…)

He is a rules guy. Don’t break the rules or you lose a friend.

He always thinks you can do better.

Wait, what?

You want me to expand upon “how” I might be like him for “he is a rules guy”? Oh you really don’t want to know that.  Are you sure?  Well, Okay.  I don’t just like rules.  I LOVE rules.  And  hate for them to be broken.  You know, like, “this is my box and everything stays and fits inside my box”…  Hey!  At least I recognize it!!

Anyway…moving on.

He always thinks you can do better. And typically, you can.  His famous phrase as a high school teacher and even as our dad (I have a brother. I need to write about him.  He’s handsome, successful, and single ladies *wink wink*) Anyway, his famous phrase was: “You did good, BUT…”  While that can be a hard discussion when you scored a 100 on the test, plus 5 bonus points (no lie)…I now see what he was driving towards.  So, I set that same expectation of my kids, my husband (I’m ruthless) and the people that work for me.  Probably a little too extreme at times.  But I’m grateful for this, because for me, it was better than teaching me I am #1, and everyone should know it, then fast forward a few decades only to come to the workplace and have all my hopes and dreams burst before my eyes, because reality hit.

He has integrity. And to quote my husband verbatim “he has more integrity in one pinky than most men have in their whole hand.”  Now, I don’t have that much yet…I still have some growing to do, but in my line of work (Purchasing), you HAVE to have integrity, otherwise you’re FIRED!

He loves COKE. And well, my love for COKE is no secret here, geez it’s even part of this Blog Site name.  When I was younger, he ALWAYS had a Coke in hand.  I can even remember times where he’d be standing around, drinking a Coke and all of the sudden he would need to use both hands.  So, instead of setting the Coke can down, he’d just hold it in his teeth.  Shew-I sure am glad he taught me that trick!

He Never Ever gives up. On anything.  Or anyone.  …But I actually do give up…  Not on everything, but on some things.  Like working out.  Who wants to do that every day anyway?? (Well. He does actually. Oh no…another one where we are not so aligned.  I better get back on track.)

He can’t lie. Which is a good thing I guess, and also why he’s not a lawyer.  Nor am I.  We are really just terrible at it.  Lip quivers and all.  But for me, if I know the truth, I must tell it, and do so quite candidly.  It’s like, if there was such a gifting of being brutally honest…then dad and I have that gift!  Sometimes, it’s quite beautiful.  And.  Well.  Other times, it’s just not.

He’s sentimental. Don’t let the military façade fool you.  Underneath that outer Army shell, is a loving and gentle dad, who…  Listen people, I’m not going to ruin his tough man front, we’ll have to save that for another day.

We are, what I like to call, “quick-task doers.” Although, dad’s never turn out too quick.  Anyway, since we like to work and stay busy, we often find the MOST random tasks to do, at THE worst times.  In fact, my mom was telling me a story the other day about how dad almost made her late because of some menial task he “had” to do last minute.  I just laughed.  Out loud.  In her ear, on the phone.  Hard.  She finally asked, “why are you laughing?  It’s not funny!”  To which I commented, “you’re right, it’s not, but I’m laughing because I am JUST like him.”  Oh Lord Help me!  Or my husband…or both!

He is the jack of all trades. And master of them all!  As I’ve gotten older, I often wonder why God blessed me with some true talents that don’t always go hand-in-hand.  But after seeing my dad for so many years, I believe it’s because we use these talents for the kingdom…whether we even realize it or not.  We impact people through our varying avenues where God opened a door for us and we decided to take a step and walk through.  And I guess, perhaps, not everyone walks through every door that opens for them.

So thank you dad. On your birthday, I celebrate you.  What you’ve taught me.  What you’ve instilled in me.  The leader you’ve taught me to be.  The integrity. The stamina. The loyalty. The compassion for mankind.  And to always serve something greater than yourself… God, our county, our family.

Now I’m crying and mascara is running down my make-up blotched face. Oh My face.  It’s ruined for the day.

Someone get me a COKE.