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Dear Dad,

Last night I had a dream about my Grandparent's house.  But it wasn't really their house, it was missing all the beauty and grace of my Grandmother's touch.  And the layout was all wrong.  In dreams, though, things don't have to work right.  It was my Grandparent's house and you were there, you were taking a nap.  

Thank you, Dad, for making me love naps.  

On Saturday we were driving around north of our house looking at houses.  We got our car stuck in the mud because apparently our SUV is lacking in the utility and sport departments.  We had to call Uncle Heezy (Scott) to come and yank us out with a chain.  This was not for lack of trying to wiggle out on our part.  We also saw a radio tower, as in ham radio, and Eric said "Hey, your Dad would like it up here because there's a radio tower."  And I laughed.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to notice things besides my own problems and then to laugh.

I appreciate other things you've given me, although in some cases it has taken time to acquire said appreciation.  

I'm grateful for my brown, curly hair.  Maybe it's wild and foofy and often times completely untame-able but it links me to you.  I'm grateful for my brown eyes which are not quite the same color as yours, but very close.  I'm grateful for my son, who has your 'jeans' coursing through him so strongly that he has acquired many of your mannerisms despite spending relatively little time in his life with you.  He zooms airplanes past his eyes to see how they look when they fly.  He twirls his hair when he's thinking.  He thinks he is hilarious.  Just like you.

Do you remember when I was a teenager and I wheedled my way into a trip to Santa Fe with just you?  I guilt-tripped you about taking my brother, Bud, on a trip alone so that you would take me on one too.  I was always jealous of your time.  I remember that trip vividly.  I remember that you bought me breakfast at McDonalds - a sausage McMuffin with egg and a hashbrown.  I remember my disappointment that the Palace of the Governers didn't look anything like a palace.  I remember walking around inside with you, you letting me drag my feet, while I chatted your ear off.  I remember thinking that you probably would have enjoyed it more with Bud because he has such an easy way with you.  But, you never showed boredom or frustration.  You smiled at me and let me browse around and at the end of the day you took me home happy.  

Thank you, Dad, for setting aside your needs to meet mine my whole life through.  Thank you for working in crappy jobs you hated to provide for your family.  Thank you for buying the good (junk) foods at the store when Mom wouldn't.  Thank you for sending me on errands and letting me keep the change.  Thank you for paying for my car insurance.  My gas.  My schooling.  My frivolous needs.  My wedding cake.  My move.  Thank you for making us feel rich in love even if we didn't have a lot of material things growing up.  Thank you for teaching me to work, for showing me a loving marriage, for not killing me when I got a ticket in your car, for making me call my Grandparents when I got caught ditching.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn lessons and for sometimes teaching me those lessons with a firm hand.  

I love you, Dad.

Happy Birthday.

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