60 Reasons to Celebrate

Today is my Dad’s 60th birthday. Here are 60 reasons why I think he’s the greatest:
1-He’s generous.
2-He taught me how to ride a bike.
3-He let me shoot real film when I was 5.
4-He’s built more than one cedar-strip canoe.
5-He has plans to build a cedar-strip sea kayak.
6-He taught me how to drive stick in a 1980 Volvo.
7-Except for Grades 3, 4, and half of 5, Dad was a teacher at the school I attended.
8-He can fix anything.
9-He can do plumbing.
10-He can do electrical.
11-He can do woodworking.
12-He can do metal smithing.
13-He can do small engines.
14-Did I mention he’s going to help convert a pick-up truck into an electric vehicle this year?
15-He bought our family’s first Macintosh computer in 1984 and changed the course of my life.
16-He has never ever been too busy for me.
17-He has never ever been too tired for me.
18-He has always listened intently to everything I’ve had to say.
19-He has survived prostate cancer.
20-He has survived back surgery.
21-He has survived the jungles of Paraguay as a kid.
22-He has survived the jeers of kids calling him a DP (displaced person)
23-He worked on a farm to support his family from the age 5.
24-His first teaching gig was in Southern Manitoba in a 1-classroom school house teaching grades 1 thru 8 all by himself!
25-He can build a quincy.
26-He came from a family so poor they honestly wore underwear sewn from potato sacks.
27-He’s the best Grandpa any kid could ask for, and my kids are so happy to spend time with him.
28-He can make great coffee.
29-He can make good wine.
30-He’s a fantastic cook.
31-He beat his terrible allergies by changing to a mostly vegan diet.
32-He once drew the entire map of Canada on the chalk board from memory—backwards!
33-He taught shop for over 25 years without one serious student accident.
34-He draws hilarious horses because they don’t look like horses.
35-He can measure most things in his head, and think in three dimensions.
36-He owned a VW Bug for a while, the old one.
37-He owned a ’67 Chevy with a back seat over six feet wide.
38-He knows how to raise most animals including cows, goats, chickens, rabbits, geese, and horses.
39-The only movies he really likes are dramas about humanity.
40-He could always tell where a TV plot was going which really impressed me as a kid.
41-He loves gardening.
42-He’s into old heritage seed catalogues.
43-His favourite store is Lee Valley.
44-He built a shed in the backyard and then added a split-level playhouse addition complete with kitchen set, railings, windows, a slide, and then a 2-piece swing set just for my kids.
45-He never complains.
46-He’s a great mediator.
47-He has great fund-raising ideas, like letting the students shave his head and beard if they reach their targets.
48-He used to take me out for chocolate shakes at Grapes when I was sad as a kid.
49-He drove us safely through the Rocky Mountains many many times.
50-He has always been supportive of every endeavor I’ve taken on, or that my wife and kids have taken on.
51-Speaking of support for artistic endeavours, he has built my Mom an amazing studio in almost every place we ever lived.
52-He took me to see the Muppet Movie, Pete’s Dragon, and Superman II at the Drive-Inn.
53-He took me to E.T., Ghostbusters, Romancing the Stone, and Return of the Jedi, among others.
54-He always stood up for me when I used to get into trouble.
55-He showed me, by example, how to be a loving, giving, partner.
56-He knows how to make people feel special.
57-He tells great stories.
58-He’s humble.
59-He’s a certified canoeist, and loves outdoor camping.
60-He taught me how to love learning.

Happy Birthday Dad!