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Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Sunday, June 16

About my dad.....

Today is Father's Day. I've written here in the past about my husband's father, who passed away in 2006. But I've never written about my own dad.

I love my dad very much. However, I have never felt especially close to him. I've always thought it was because of his old-fashioned views about women and my extremely liberal, modern view that we are as good as men. It caused a lot of issues between us and while I've often wondered, as someone who grew up in a family with a very WWII inspired family dynamic, how did I get to be who I am?

The biggest thing I remember about dad from my early childhood is that he just wasn't around a lot. True or not, that's how it seemed. He had a job that kept him on the road a lot. I remember my brother and I would snuggle in and sleep with mom in their huge king-sized bed while he was gone. We would be so disgruntled when he came home and we were kicked out back to our own beds!

But as an adult, I know that he was working to provide for the family and being a responsible dad. So this morning I was thinking, I wonder what else has caused distance between us because I, as a selfish child (lets face it all children are selfish), saw it as a negative. Many of these things, looking back as an adult, are really a positive and have made me who I am today.

My dad has always been a good provider. He was in sales, and he was damned good at his job. The man could sell ice in Alaska. He worked hard to provide for us and while we weren't wealthy by any means, I grew up for the most part in a middle class home. Well, back when there was such a thing. There were times when things were tough, but I know he always hustled to keep us fed, sheltered and clothed.

As a good provider, he set an example of how to be a hard worker. I don't remember a day ever in my childhood that my dad did not get up, put on a suit and tie and leave the house in the morning. This includes an extended period of unemployment in the late 1970's when things were less than ideal economically in our country. I don't know or need to know where he went every day, but I know he was out hustling to find a job. He was never one to sit around and wait for anything.

My dad was always a dreamer. He always had plans and ideas and wishes to make his (and by extension, ours) life better. He liked having nice things, nice cars, clothes, and homes. Though I know it was frustrating for my mom, ever the down to earth realist who had to reel him in, he was always looking for that pot of gold.

My dad is adventurous. He has always had a serious wanderlust and moved around like a gypsy most of his life, following his job or just his instinct. One of my earliest memories is of my mom, brother and me in my pajamas on the runway at the airport picking dad up from a business trip. He used to travel a lot and was gone a lot when I was little, but I know it was just part of earning a living for the family. And it taught me how to change and adapt and make new friends easily.

After he had to take early retirement around 60, I thought he'd wither away without somewhere to go every day. He found something to do part-time and within a few years started a business that has grown to epic proportions. It has provided him and mom with a retirement income that most people don't have, and more than that it has given him a purpose for getting up and going every day. He's now almost 85 and still running that business almost 20 years after it started.

My dad is good with people. He always has a smile, a joke, a story. It's part of what makes him good at sales. He truly enjoys being around people, visiting, joking and talking to them.

My dad knows how to bargain. This is a skill that I believe is getting lost in our culture, and one that I believe every parent owes it to their child to teach. I know how to bargain if I am in a situation to do so, and I don't hesitate to do it. We, as Americans, don't like to do it– we cringe at the thought and as a result are taken advantage of way too often.

I once bought a used Mercedes, offering the dealer $13,000 on a $16,500 pricetag. I called my dad proudly to tell him about my victory. “I got it for 13,200!” To which he replied, “Tsk. He would have gone to 13! If he could do 13,200 he could do 13.” That's the kind of no holds barred bargaining he enjoys, and he's much more bold about it than I am.

My dad was our fearless protector. He did anything and everything to help us out when we were kids. He was one of those dads who took up for us and stood up for us no matter what. And now that we're adults I know we could still count on him.

My dad is a very old-fashioned man. Although sometimes that is a bone of contention for me as a very modern woman and someone who has always believed in women's equality (I honestly don't know WHERE I got it from) I believe it is a virtue, in a way. Because it makes him who he is. He is the type of man who got up, got dressed and went to work every day to provide for his family. He took care of my mom and is her best friend. He took care of us, and still does in many ways.

The thing is, I have always believed that my dad and I were total opposites and that's why we didn't get along great. I always envied the "daddy's girls" that I knew. But only today do I realize that we are so much alike it's scary.

So, happy father's day to my dad, Jack Peyton. I love you very much and appreciate all you've done for me in my life. I know I can always, always count on you.

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