Happy birthday, Daddy! I'm apparently getting good at writing these a day late. Better late than never, I say. Which is ironic considering he invented the phrase, "The early bird gets the worm."
10 cool things about him:
1) As previously mentioned, he's ALWAYS on time. Actually, on time would be late. 30 minutes early would be an understatement. I think this stems from his unfailing devotion to the "principle of the matter." For him, it's only honest and right to be on time.
2) He's perhaps the best whistler I've ever met. They say you marry someone like your father; Dan's the only one I've known to rival my dad's whistling skills. (Speaking of, my dad and Dan are alike in many wonderful ways.) He also has one of the best laughs I've ever heard - big and booming and real.
3) He's always concerned for our comfort and likes to manifest this through organization. Whenever we go home and/or someone comes to visit, he's the first to make sure the beds are made up, extra blankets are brought out, towels are hung, etc. All of these are always perfectly folded down to the very corners.
4) My dad is extraordinarily meticulous about how he folds his socks. Not only must they be perfectly aligned before he can roll them, but one end must be sticking out just the right amount. It was only a little under a year ago that I was finally allowed the privilege of helping him fold them.
5) He collects anything and everything and somehow makes it all seem cool. He has giant collections of the normal things such as stamps, pens, music, and photos (he organizes them all into albums after perfectly arranging his camera for 5 minutes before each picture). He also has a few unique collections, however, such as bathroom supplies (he always has toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner - the regular and travel sizes, and shaving cream on hand should anyone need any), clothing, chairs, etc. He's done a remarkable job of cleaning much of it out lately. All of it is always meticulously organized and labeled. He is absolutely, without question the reason I collected over 300 Nancy Drew books as a child, and the reason my closet is organized by color within each category now.
6) Speaking of collections, my dad has probably literally over 300 ties. Because of this, I never ventured to give him any for birthday or Christmas gifts. A couple of years ago, however, I decided to give it a whirl considering I'd never given him one before. I've literally not seen him wear one other tie in the time since.
7) Dad is one of the most curious people I've met. He loves learning about people and places and things. He enjoys travel and learning about personality draws (we've bonded over Myers-Briggs), and starts virtually every sentence with, "I was reading this article and..." Perhaps this is one of the reasons that growing up, he was a total Grammar Nazi and has turned me into the same. (Thanks, Dad!) He also enjoys wit and clever wordplays and jokes.
8) He's in phenomenal shape. I've literally never heard anyone guess his age correctly (they're typically off by anywhere from 15-25 years). Perhaps it has to do with the fact that last week he played tennis 5 times. I think I maybe worked out once.
9) He is a wonderfully hard worker. He pretty much can't sit still and is always doing something, even on vacation. He could probably never fathom writing a blog entry when taking a break from work.
10) He is fiercely loving and loyal to his family. My sister and I grew up with our parents always reiterating that family was the most important thing, and hearing how we needed to spend sufficient time with family, and not always with friends. (I'm so grateful for this now.) He believes strongly in quantity of time paired with quality time, and always made a strong effort to be home on time, attend various recitals and events, and pretty much just adores us. :) Especially when he was younger, he was extremely protective of his sisters, and facilitated much of his family coming to the US. He didn't just focus on his life, but made sure that what he did positively impacted his family members, as well. When he does get upset, he may vent, but then lets things go - rarely does he hold a grudge, and he's totally a softie at heart (even though his voice might naturally be loud sometimes!). A recent email from him included the following, "As a family unit, Love has always been and will be unconditional- It is eternal."
(As a side note, my mom is equally phenomenal - it just isn't her birthday today. However, I find it impossible to think of my parents independent of one another. They are both remarkable. Stay tuned for September!)
I love you, Dad, and Mom.