Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's Birthday. I wanted to wish him a happy birthday by sharing a memory or experience relating to my dad for each year of his life. Happy Birthday Dad!!

Family Song and Lullaby “Climbin’ Up the Mountain”

Stories about Madrigals and Choir

Brothers and Basketball Stories

Coaching Church Basketball (running around during the games.)

Days of 47’ Deseret News Float Construction in the Graves Driveway.

Sleeping Out in the Alley the Night Before the Parade.

Planting Trees Along the Neighborhood Entrance.

Heading The Development of the Neighborhood Park.

Watching Dad on the Evening News (I remember feeling so proud of him!)

Working Out in the Yard Together. Then going to the lumber store for hot dogs and root beer for a reward.

Dad built all of the beautiful arbors, swings, and barbeque structures in our backyard that made a person feel like they had walked into a secret garden upon entering.

Going to work with Dad on an occasional Sunday. I remember:

Cleaning the lint out of the keyboards…

Gathering paperclips off the floor…

Sending papers through the tube system to the other departments…

Going down to the basement and watching the men lay out the newspaper stories for the next print. The men loved us kids, and I liked them. I remember the smell of ink and cigarette smoke as you got closer to the basement.

I remember working on homework at Deseret News and knowing that Dad would always help me come up with the best headline for the report I was working on. And that I could at least count on the fact that the spelling and grammar would be decent if nothing else was good about the paper because Dad would edit it and help with the layout of the story.

Dad would always ask me to tell him about my “life and its vicissitudes”.

Heathers cake for dad every Sunday.

Playing Cards as a family around the dining table (watch out for flying spoons!)

Playing cards around a campsite picnic table (be careful Dad is surely trying to steal ALL of the hearts!)

Dad dressing up as a dummy for Halloween and scaring the teenagers to death as they reached for the candy in the bowl on dads lap.

Dad wore his pirate costume with his peg leg to our Daddy Daughter Night for Young Women’s. That was so cool!

Pretending that something bit off dad’s leg when he told other kids what happened to his leg.

I remember carrying dads “wooden leg” to him and being very careful not to pinch my fingers in the knee joint (wonder if that concern stemmed from experience?)

Having murder mystery dinner parties at our home.

Hunt Mysteries and Company

We learned A Lot from our days of running Hunt Mysteries as a family. It was no surprise that I had a good idea of how to create and start a business.

Setting up tables

Cutting Clues

Collecting money after the Show.

Rehearsals in the basement.

Countless family road trips everywhere from Salt Lake to Yellow Stone and south to New Mexico to visit Bruce and Chris with stops at everything in between.

JAZZ Basketball! Watching them in Bruce’s living room with Grandma Stanger, Chips and Salsa, and Hot Dogs.

BYU Football! Watching them in Bruce’s living room with Grandma Stanger, Chips and Salsa, Hot Dogs, and painted Blue and White Faces.

Sitting around the dining table as a family and organizing pictures and papers for our photo albums.

Cutting out Coupons and putting them in dad’s old medal lunch box.

Grocery Shopping with dad and knowing that you would be able to pick out a “fruit pie” for a treat.

Dad singing Bass… Lovin’ It!


Saying goodbye to our Rhea and LeOra.

Laying in Dads hammock he got from his mission…

I remember how neat it was to use pictures and stories from my dad’s mission in reports and projects for school.

Driving with dad and hearing him sing “Baby baby Can’t ya hear my heart beat…” in reference to the fact that we were celebrating because mom was pregnant with Nathan. We came home and ate “Purple Cows” which is vanilla ice cream and grape juice.

Bottling peaches and tomatoes in the kitchen.

Phone calls. Thank Heavens for cell phones.

Getting the call that Dad and Nate had both fallen and broken several bones (both on the same day).

I love watching my dad interact with Jakob and Caleb. My dad likes to surprise Jakob with little toys here and there. He has captured Jakob’s heart! I’m sure Caleb will follow suit.

I think I have finally mastered the art of filling a glass of anything for my dad to drink. The liquid to ice ratio is almost equal.

I have always enjoyed listening to my dad teach a Gospel Doctrine class or give a talk. He has the gift of teaching and presenting a message.

I like to think that I was probably a lot like my dad as a missionary when I was a missionary. He tells of how he came up with new and unusual ways to teach the gospel to their investigators and the members in his area. I was very much the same way. We were NOT your typical missionaries.

My dad had the same job, with the same hours, at the same place, throughout all of my growing up years. This brought a sense of stability that we never recognized or appreciated as a family. I didn’t value it until I was married and life was not so predictable.

My dad loves nature. He has instilled this love in his family. We often ate dinner outside in the summer time and we spent many hours working outside together.

We still love being outside together. We will often go walk the trails with mom, then come back, and rest with dad. He will often show us a bird or a little critter that is hiding near by. None of us would have noticed, but he has learned how to just sit quietly and enjoy the moment enough that he can spot them.

I remember watching my brothers and dad wrestle each other on his bed. I know that those were good times for each of them.

When I was in elementary school some how dad made it possible for me to have a book review that I wrote up printed in the newspaper. I remember feeling so valued and as if dad was confident in my work enough to suggest me as an option. (What was the whole story behind that memory dad?) The book was a children’s book, I think it is called “Down by the Meadow.”

Christmas Tradition: A special box of cereal selected and wrapped up under the tree from dad.

Christmas Tradition: Dad would read us the Deseret News “Christmas I Remember Best” story every Christmas.

My dad has not had an easy life, EVER! Yet, he has accomplished many great things! This has taught us by example that life will throw us many hard blows but you have to get back up, get back in the game, and play your best until it’s over!

Happy Birthday Dad!
I Love You Very Much!


Harmony said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad Lena! Those are some great memories let me know what the story was behind the news paper story review that is fun.

Lena Baron said...

Thanks, Lena!
That brought back a flood of memories, too!
The book that you did the review on was one of many at work that they give out and the people at work can do reviews on them.
I decided that you could do the review for school and we would run the review for the book in the paper.
It worked out great!

michelle said...

Lena, What a wonderful gift to your father. You did an amazing job!!

Patricia Potts said...

Okay Lena, now I am crying. We also came to love your Dad as you lived kidy corner from our backyard.

About the scary Haloween experience. Ya, even though I knew it was Lee I still jumped when he moved (and I was the stable grown up!)

I definitely believe you inherited your Dads gift of writing as well as teaching. You are a bundle of the best of Lee and Nancy.

Thanks for sharing.
Love ya

Heidi Hamilton said...

Wow. What a tribute. And now MY MOM has read it & she's going to expect something as wonderful for her! :)
Thank you for your comment on the Small Town thing. I am touched that you are thinking of me - you are so sweet. I usually just wallow in my own problems before I drift off.
I think Jason would be more open to Kanab than me. I'm sure it's a very cute town. Our biggest "dissention" in where we are going to settle is direction. I would rather go north or east so I can be closer to my family. He would love to move south, closer to his family. So... we'll see where we end up. First he has to find a job that will work - and that alone is proving formidable.

Ev said...

That was AMAZING to read of the many memories!!! I learned so many things I couldn't have known. What an amazing tribute to a wonderful dad! Sounds like you're quite the writer also - :) Ev

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