Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my papa's birthday. He is 55. Here are some things that make him awesome:
  • He has owned his own auto body business for 34 years. When I was little he worked Saturdays, but without children to support he's able to work only 5 days...though I'd bet it's probably still close to 50 hours. And he's really good at it. He does the office & customer service work & the dirty work. I helped sand a car once and gained a high level of appreciation for the difficulty and his amazing eye for detail. There are no flaws in his work. This summer, some hail-damage-fix-it guys came to town and asked dealers around town about a good body shop...his was tops. This is where I get my drive to Do All The Things and Be Awesome at Them, but I know I fall short of his example.
  • He has endless patience for small talk (I wish I had inherited this trait). 
  • He's semi-adopted his nephew (whose father [Dad's brother] died at only 43), and his wife and their 7 adorable children. He gets to be a pseudo-grandpa to them, and he gets 7 pseudo-grandkids. It's a win beyond win-win.
  • He does a ton of work at home: cuts & chops wood for winter fuel, plants the garden, mows the lawn, maintains hunting (and walking & snowshoeing) trails, sets up (and modifies & expands) the chicken coop, butchers chickens & cows & pigs & game (oh my!), plows snow...and I've literally never heard him complain about any of it, ever. Ever. This is a habit I need to work on.
  • Small children adore him. 
  • Critters adore him. When we dumped Buddy onto my parents, they never hesitated to take him in, and Buddy quickly became Dad's sidekick. He learned very quickly with Dad in charge, as all dogs do.
  • When I left Paul the second time, for good, I received full unquestioned support emotionally, & a place to live - though rent was repaid when I was able, which was beyond fair in my opinion; I very much appreciate having been raised to be a fully capable adult. 
  • He does not forget his family. A recent example is visiting people like his aunt, the cloistered nun, which might not sound fun, but truly was. What is a chore in visiting someone who is delighted to see you, and loves you unconditionally? I hope I have inherited this trait.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't he? That's because he is.

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