Monday, April 30, 2012

Beary Good Fun!

Today's story was inspired by a story I heard on the radio this morning about a bear being shot in a suburb of the twin cities.

My bear story took place near Thief River Falls when I was a little girl. My grandpa Kenny was hunting with my dad and his family and he had the good luck of shooting a black bear. The hunters skinned it and hung it in our garage. The next morning my mom got up and got ready to go teach. She had trouble locating her winter boots. She looked around the house and finally found them in the garage...each one on one of the bear's feet. I'll give you three guesses who put the boots on the bear and the first two don't count.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who's coming for dinner?

As many of you know my mom is a fabulous cook. What you might not know is that my dad was famous for rustling up dinner guests without telling my mom. He'd come in around 4 pm and ask, " Is it ok if so and so joins us for dinner? I figured we have enough food."

Mom would roll her eyes, take out another package of meat and begin the preparations. Although I know this annoyed mom on occasion I don't think my dad could help it. He always wanted to share what he had with others and he was so proud of mom's cooking he wanted everyone to know how great she was. He also couldn't stand to think of someone eating alone.

Dad, we'll miss your extra dinner guests but we'll do our best to keep your tradition alive...we just might give mom a little more than a half an hour's warning.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The 4 am toe tug

I have spent the last few days at the cabin with my mom.  It has been a hard two days because this place is just filled with my dad.  One of the things I thought about this morning was the 4 am toe tug.  Here's what would happen;  If you were interested in fishing in the morning you had to let dad know.  He'd sneak up the stairs and pull on your toe to let you know it was time.  You had about 3.3 seconds to get up or you'd be left behind.  If you successfully made it out of bed you'd soon find yourself in the legendary coon truck and heading to *Potato* Lake.  ( Ok, we never really fished Potato but I can't disclose the good fishing spot to all of you.)  You'd listen to Bobby Bare and if you were lucky you'd be reeling in a walleye within about ten minutes.  Ok, let's be honest.  You didn't need luck if you had dad as your guide. 

I missed your 4 am toe tug this morning dad but I promise we'll be out on *Potato* soon slaying those walleye.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Unwedding

As many of you know I almost married the wrong guy. My wedding was scheduled, the invitations were sent out and the church was booked. About a month before the big day I got a call from a friend. She asked me what I loved about the guy I was going to marry and I had a hard time coming up with a list. I knew this was a bad sign. I called my dad and told him I was having doubts. He said,"Oh, Heather. This is just a big party that we are planning but being married is for the rest of your life. Let's make some calls and call it off. " He was so supportive and did not ever worry about the money we'd already spent. He told mom that the worst thing would have been to see me unhappy.

Thanks, dad, for your wisdom and calm in challenging situations. I always knew I could tell you anything and you'd understand. Steve is taking good care of me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pool Problems

When I was little I often had pool birthday parties at the Best Western.  These were great fun and I looked forward to them each year.  On the year I'm remembering many of my friends were sitting in the hot tub and talking with my dad.  When they got out of the hot tub I noticed they all kept trying to crane their heads around to see the back of their suit.  I asked them what they were looking for.  They said, "Your dad told us that if we peed in the pool our suits would turn red."  I'm guessing the Best Western had to use a bit more chlorine on this particular day. 

Dad also tried this trick on my daughters and I notice that they too occasionally try to see if there are any red marks on their suit. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trick or Treat

My dad was a huge practical jokester.  Today I'll share just one of his famous pranks.  I think my cousins were about 5 and 7 at the time. 

We'd just learned that my cousins, Michael and David Olson, were coming for a visit.  This was cause for great celebration!  My sisters and I had big plans.  We'd subject them to barbie doll fashion shows, teach them the Olson "pig dance" and more.  Dad had plans up his sleeve too.  He decided that he and my mom should put on Halloween masks to scare the kids into thinking their Minnesota relatives were monsters.  It worked a little too well.  The kids came up the steps and David and Michael both burst into tears.  It took the better part of a week to convince them that their aunt and uncle were, in fact, human...but a little strange!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

As a father of 3 daughters my dad had very little time in the bathroom. Since we grew up in a house with only one bathroom for all of us it was inevitable that one of us was either curling our hair( some of you have seen my senior pictures...that masterpiece took a lot of time), putting on make up or getting ready. One my dad's favorite things to do was to come in, look in the mirror at his reflection and say, " Thank you Lord, for putting all of your eggs in one basket." We'd roll our eyes and continue getting ready.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quitting Time

Today I was reminded of my dad as my kids pounced on Steve as he walked in the door. We were always just as excited to see my dad at the end of the work day...especially in the summer. Around 3:30 each day my mom would shoo us out of the house and tell us to go meet dad on his way home from work. (It's important to note that he didn't actually get done until 4:30)I suspect she'd heard "I'm bored" one too many times and needed some peace and quiet. We would set out with our bikes and walk toward the highway waiting to see dad's truck kicking up dust as he drove home. Sometimes we'd make it a mile or two and dad always greeted us with the same thing. "You donkeys need a ride home?"

We'd load up our bikes and ride the rest of the way trading stories about the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fried Egg Sandwiches

Today's story takes me back to the times when my dad was working in the arena. He worked the 3 to 11 shift and on special occasions I was allowed to stay up and wait for him. The first thing he'd do when he got home is make us each a fried egg sandwich. Then we'd watch an episode of Mash. If I was really lucky he'd bring home a box of hot tamales for me.

I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world! Now, thirty years later I realize I was right. I had a fried egg sandwich for you today, dad. It wasn't quite as good without you but I felt like you were right there next to me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yard Work

Today we did a bit of yard work and I thought about my dad. One of his favorite things to do was to come down and visit and trim things up a "little" bit. When the dust settled it was usually much more than a little bit of trimming but dad's worst nightmare was that things woudl look "rangey". He also liked to get up pretty early and fire up that trimmer and chainsaw. We tried to explain that we lived in the city and this might make some of our neighbors angry but this never stopped dad. It was usually 7 am on a Saturday morning when he started rolling.
I will miss our yard works days dad, but I promise we'll keep things trimmed up and looking spiffy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Photo Finish

This story takes us back to my first days of life. I was around three months old and my dad's job was to take me for my first pictures. He dressed me in an adorable pink outfit with matching tights, put a barette in my hair and I was ready.

As he brought me out to the car, he smelled a suspicious odor. By the time he'd reached the vehicle I had poop filling my diaper, the tights and running all the way down to my toes.

When he asked my mom about this later she told him she forgot to mention that she'd given me, "just a little ex-lax to loosen things up."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loose Gravel

If you know me at all you know that my specialty is not driving or backing up. In fact, just last week my dad said, "Heather, you never have been good at backing up, have you?" This story involves one of my first driving lessons, a red Toyota corolla, my cousin Vance and of course dad. We had just been working on parallel parking at home to get ready for my driver's test. Dad wanted me to try out my driving skills so we took my cousin Vance for a ride. About a mile from home we hit loose gravel and ended up in the field...luckily unharmed. My cousin kept saying that he saw the angels that day. Dad, I know you are watching us all and I promise I'll work on the driving and the backing up. No promises but I'll try!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chevy Luv

My first vehicle was a yellow chevy luv pick up. My dad was so proud that he got this truck from a city auction. It had utility boxes in back and really helped with my high school image. I will never forget filming our video and driving around in the "chevy luv" singing at the top of our lungs and looking cool. Thanks dad for the great memory and a great first truck!