Father’s Day

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After a day full of the requisite Father’s Day cookout, I took a minute to think about my Dad (“Daddy,” of course, just like any good Southern girl will say). In my case, a lot of people agree when I say my Dad is the best. When I was younger, people used to tell me all the time how great both my parents were. I thought they’d feel otherwise if they had to live with them. Of course, now I know they were right.

Daddy is an artist, and I got his artistic temperament. My mother and sister are the left-brain organizers of the family. (I often think now of how crazy Daddy and I make them.) Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate even more the way Daddy taught me to see the world through his artistic eyes. Even on a simple walk he notices every detail. (“Look at the color of that moss on that branch.” or “Kate, look at the fiery color of those leaves. That’s a hickory.”) He knows the name of every tree. He ought to! He and his cousins spent most of their youth running around the Alabama woods from sunup to sundown.

One of my favorite memories of Daddy is listening to classical music with him. I can still picture the covers of those albums. One had Monet’s ballerinas on the front, and since I dreamed of being a ballerina, this was my favorite. Daddy is a country boy from Adamsville, Alabama, but he loves classical music.(His mother, my Nanny, came from a family of 11–all of whom were musical or artistic in some way.) We’d sit together and listen to those albums, all the while Daddy pointing out some subtlety of the music.

Daddy is famous for his easy-going, laid-back nature, another trait I’ve inherited from him. I love this about him because it makes for easy, comfortable, not-in-a-hurry conversation. I think this, along with his steadfast faithfulness as a father and husband, are what I love about him most. I can think of no better tribute to a great father than this fact: I have always known I was safe and loved. I still do.

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