Monday, June 13, 2011

Mixed Bag Mondays - Dear Ol' Dad

With Father's Day coming up next Sunday, I thought I would pay tribute to the "dads" in my life by tracking down some items that remind me of them. Hold on to your seats, because I've had the opportunity to call quite a few men "Dad"!

My "real" father (we wore the same genes, y'know?) Bill, was a mixed bag all by himself. Warm and fun to be around one minute, he was an unbearable curmudgeon the next. But I owe him my existence and with all of the grief we may have given each other over the years, there were many good times that I choose to remember as well. My father was, until his death in '83, (and I remain to this day as well) a die-hard Cubs fan. We spent many summer afternoons in my childhood sitting out at the picnic bench under our cherry trees in the backyard listening to the play-by-plays and "Holy mackerels" of Vince Lloyd and the "Hey, Hey"s of Jack Brickhouse as we played cards and planned gardening chores. So I think Dad would love this photo of Wrigley Field from Danizabeth.

My first father-in-law, Rudy, is probably most easily remembered by me and my kids for always being out by the grill, cooking up something.  Of course, you could always count on him to either have a cold beer by his side or doing his usual "Have I got a son (daughter), or haven't I?" indicating that he'd really love it if one of us would run and get him a fresh one. Lots of words of wisdom and memories of good old days were shared by that grill, so in honor of this great guy (if heaven has grills, I'll bet I know what he's doing!), I tracked down this set of personalized grilling tools from PhenomenalPhotos.

When Mom announced she was remarrying several years after my Dad passed away, I couldn't wait to meet the man who had turned my mom's world around and who would be a "Dad" (albeit a step-dad) for the first time in his life at the tender young age of 71. Fred was in a word, a "hoot". Animated, opinionated, and always looking at the fun side of life, he was the life of the party, and I will be eternally grateful to him for finally teaching my mom how to enjoy life and get over some of her inhibitions! Better late than never.  Sadly, they would only be part of each others lives for a few years, but in Fred's memory and in honor of his love of horses and wood, I'd like to share this gorgeous vintage hand carved wood horse sculpture from VintageCountry with you today. Simply amazing detail!

After my divorce, I remarried into a wonderful Italian/Irish family, and my new father-in-law Gino, welcomed me (as did the whole family) with open arms into the clan. A brilliant man who shared my love of science and math, we would often pick each others brains for the answer to a question and I loved to listen to him and my late husband John (his oldest son) playing devil's advocate over any number of topics.  Gino is definitely not just the cerebral type though - last we spoke he was still enjoying activities like tennis and rekindling his somewhat unusual passion for singing as part of a barbershop quartet! So Gino, this one's in your honor - may you enjoy many more years of life and love! This nostalgic and fun tie clip features a barbershop quartet and is available from WickedDarling.

When I met Al in 2004, marriage was probably one of the last things on my mind, but life has a way of taking charge, so in 2006, the day before Al and I would marry, I got to meet my last "dad", Al's father and my future father-in-law, Lenny. Sadly, Lenny passed away earlier this year, but I am grateful to the fates that brought me into his family and for the honor of getting to know him. A restauranteur for most of his life, Lenny loved to schmooze... and would readily and easily talk to just about anyone about anything.  In addition to loving playing poker and stamp collecting, he was fiercely proud of his Jewish heritage and loved explaining the history and traditions of this fine group of people. In honor of my "Dad" the Jewish cook, here's a sweet chef mezuzah from Etsy newcomer, OraMenorah.

I hope everyone will be remembering their dads in some way this coming Sunday on Father's Day. If you're close to your dad, be sure to tell him how much he means to you... and even if you're not close to your dad, remember that no matter what, you would not be the person you are today if it were not for him. Think about it... and take care! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Mixed Bag Monday! I'd love to hear your favorite thing about your dad if he's still around, or your favorite memory if he's not, so please consider leaving a comment :)



Danizabeth said...

What an awesome idea! Thanks for including my Cubs print :)

Baroness Bijoutery said...

What truly beautiful "men" you've had bless your life.

Wicked Darling said...

What a great post! I nearly fell off of my chair when I saw the Cubs print! My Dad is a die hard Cubs fan, from Mississippi, no less. :) Thanks so much for including my tie clip! :)

Sesenarts said...

A lovely post and you have given us a great insight into these important men in your life. Father's Day is in September for us, but I like to think of my dad everyday, he is such a big influence in my life!

Anonymous said...

thanks for including our personalized grill set for Dad!

Phenomenal Photos & Printing

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