For the big 5-0 I'm pretty sure we went out to dinner and took him shopping for a new recliner.
Which obviously meant that year sixty called for a very special celebration for someone who deserves the biggest party every single year. Or possibly every month.
Between five courses of choices like espresso-cumin rubbed chicken and honeycrisp apple rosemary sorbet and Argentine short ribs over roasted garlic polenta, we talked about what Daddy hoped to accomplish in his next ten years. We talked about the numerous close calls he experienced as a young and adventurous boy [e.g. climbing ten-story-tall water towers and plenty of cotton mouth run ins].
Happy 60th Birthday, Daddy.
It seems nearly impossible to put into words the thanks and appreciation that this milestone birthday deserves, but we will, as you have always taught us, do our best.
We've gained so much from you. Like why to look both ways on a one way street, how to rig a dripping faucet with a shoestring, and how to shoot a gun and not miss. One of us even got your good looks.
From you we've learned the importance of hardwoods over pines, a strong tennis backhand, and a well-built fire. Of efficiently shaped dinner plates, a cup with a good handle, and never missing a historical marker.
Not to mention all of life's basic necessities - like how to drive and change a tire.
And because of you we have unique loves of house plans and residential construction zones, of meteor showers, and of flying squirrels.
We've always known that if there was a project you could build it, a task you could complete it, and a problem you could fix it.
Besides teaching us what you love, you've given an astounding amount of your time for us too. For dance recitals and choir performances and football halftimes. For science fair projects and multiplication tables.
You are our provider of senior trip funds and overpriced prom dresses and college degrees and wedding expenses.
Better yet, you've provided us with a daily example of the person we want to become and, more importantly, the person we wanted to marry.
That person is a fiercely loyal spouse, a hard worker, a non-worrier, someone of unwavering character, and the best Pops there ever will be.
It's someone who gave us a foundation of steel in a fragile world. Someone who made us feel like we had unmeasurable worth and potential. And, when the time came, it's someone who gave our husbands the perfect balance of a whole lot of love, plenty of advice, and a little bit of fear.
So here is to sixty years of life that have made all of us better spouses, better children, better parents, better church members, better employees, and better friends.
We love you!