Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Graham (aka Dad)

My father is English (see "E is for England" on April 5th). He has the accent to prove it and is constantly mispronouncing words like tomAHtoe and GAR-age. (He's been in America longer than I have, so I'm sure he's doing now just to be backwards.)

Dad recently took a trip to England to visit with his family upon the event of his father's funeral. (We all would have loved to go, obviously, but it's dang expensive to travel that far!) He's a photographer, so of course he came home with bunches of pictures. This one, obviously, was taken by someone else:

My dad. Isn't he handsome?
When he posted it on Facebook, dad said this about the picture:
Me on top of a fell (large hill) in Lancashire that Philip [his brother] and I climbed together. It was cold, misty and remote... just what I was looking for!
Notice the stylish hat, compass, and grey sweater / green slack combo. This is where I get my instinct for comfort and practicality over fashion. (Though I would never consider slacks to be good hiking gear.)

Growing up, Dad was always wanting to take us on nature walks, scenic drives, and "let's try to get ourselves lost" adventures. Now that he has oodles and gobs of grandchildren, whenever we get together he disappears with the lot of them like a daddy duck with a herd of ducklings. They seldom get lost, but they do come back pink-cheeked and usually saturated in dirt, snow, or water. I did not inherit dad's wanderlust, but I married a man who also loves nature (so my boys get plenty of fresh air despite mommy's homebodyness).

My dad is a huge reader and critical thinker. So many of the twists and turns my brain can take (and which must often be edited out of my writing) are easily traceable to him. Unlike me, however, he reads exclusively non-fiction. If When I publish my own work of fiction, he'll probably read it to be nice, but I don't really expect him to enjoy it. I DO expect him to sit me down and ask me to explain myself, why I included each element, and what I think about my theme, etc.

There is no letting down the mental guard around my father, folks. :) Thinking is required and enforced.

What parts of your dad do you carry around?

12 comments:

  1. Love the picture of your Dad Robin. It reminds me very much of him. Your dad has always been one of my favorite uncles. One of my most memorable experiences with your dad was when I was a missionary in Utah.

    My companion and I were serving in Murry Utah and we had gone with one of the wards we covered to Sidel's Farm (I believe that was the name). While we were there we ran into your dad and many of your siblings (I don't remember if you were there or not). It was a joyous meeting and a couple weeks latter my companion and I were invited over for diner on a Monday Evening.

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    1. Wheeler Farm. :) And, yeah, I was there. I'm pretty sure we have pictures of you playing with us by the duck pond.

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  2. Your dad sounds great, Robin! My dad doesn't read non-fiction either-- when I grew older he started rolling his eyes at me and telling me to start reading something educational instead of whatever novel I'd gotten my grubby little hands now. I probably should have listened to him. :D

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    1. LOL. Fiction can be good, too. It helped, I think, that during school I was attracted to classical literature. Hard to tell a child to put down Wuthering Heights. :)

      New I read nonfiction at work and mostly contemporary genre fiction at home.

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  3. The not being a quitter part. He taught me well.

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    1. Seriously. I've never seen you inclined to quit.

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  4. I love this post. My Dad lives a long way away. I'm going to see him this Summer for the first time in six years. I'm so excited :-)

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    1. So hard to live away from family. My dad almost never sees his siblings, except for Skype. Loving the internet age.

      So glad you get to visit yours!

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  5. What a lovely post. You are obviously very fond of your Dad. My Dad taught me "if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well". I've always carried that with me.
    My parents are also immigrants and have been in Canada for over 60 years and Dad still can't pronounce the word "Garage" correctly. lol At this stage in the game I think he chooses not to.



    Stopping in via the A-Z blogging challenge.

    Bev @ Blue Velvet Vincent

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  6. Robin, you love your dad. I wish I had been with my dad for a long time but he died when I was a child :(
    Anyways, do check out my G at GAC a-z.

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  7. He sounds like a wonderful man. :-D

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