Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coveted Title

"Best Knitter in the World!"
. . .or even
"Best Knitter in My-Neck-of-the-Woods!"

These would both be titles I might covet.

"Best Yarn in the World!" is not a title the de-stash, pink-and-green, acrylic, tape-yarn (thank you, Michelle!) will be receiving. . .yep, you read that right. Acrylic. . .tape. . .yarn. . .in pink and green (I think it's called "Strawberries and Limes"). And it is not going to be a poncho, and it is not winning any prize. As a matter of fact, I am not sure exactly what it will become. . .but it called out to me at knitting, and now, it is mine!

Something else that is mine, is this bottle of wine.
It may not be the "Best Bottle of Wine Ever," but the Hubster and I visited a local winery earlier today, and we thought it was pretty good, so we picked it up! Then, realizing that we are new to being "wine-people," we went out to get ourselves a corkscrew, and a bottle stopper. Oh, and wine glasses! lol I think this may be our first bottle of wine without a screw on cap! Or in a box. . .yeah, I know!

Still, this is not the Coveted Title I'm really all about today.

"Sandstone Center of the World" is also not that title, although I did read that the title was once argued in 1964. Here's a photo of the Town Hall in the Sandstone Center of the World.
And the article disputing the title. . .And I suppose, when the debate was over, it was only natural that the state of Ohio would eventually erect an Historical Landmark Marker to prove that it was true. . .which they did!
All of these are titles, and many of them may be coveted and contested. But the Coveted Title I address today is both much simpler than these, and also much more complex! Today, the day before Father's Day, let's talk about the "World's Best Dad!" also sometimes known as "Daddy."
Here's a picture of my dad. It's not a great picture, as a matter of fact, it's a picture of a picture. . .and the original picture was a newspaper photo, and it was of a very poor quality.
My dad had been a US Marine for just a couple of years in his early 20s, and then later he was an active member of the Marine Corps League. Former Marines (once a Marine, always a Marine, Semper Fi!) all over the country belong to this league, and they work together with current Marines and community organizations in service projects, like Toys for Tots at Christmas. This photo was a part of a local news story on all the good things that these guys (and gals, I am sure) were doing for the community. My dad was one of the good guys, and I am pretty proud of that.
Another thing about this photo, is that it was taken very close to the time he died in 1994, when he was 57 years old. Now, there never were many pictures of my dad around. . .mostly because he liked to hold the camera! That makes this rare photo of him an extra special thing. So, even though the quality is poor, and he has on dark glasses, and he is posed with a bunch of toys and none of his loved ones, my mom and my sister and I jumped through hoops to get a copy from the local paper, and then we took it to a local photo shop to have it copied, blown-up and framed.
When my dad died, I had just started getting to know him as an adult. I mean, as his daughter, I had learned over the years that he would not always do what I wanted him to do. As his daughter, I thought he did not always spend as much time with me as I wanted him to, and he did not always measure up to being the man I thought he should be. My dad liked "wine, women and song," along with his cigarettes and red meat, and he just wasn't the "World's Best Dad," at least according to the Hallmark description. It made me sad, because I thought I deserved better.
Fast forward to the year he died. As an adult, I went out of my way to call every week and talk to Dad. I lived 12 hours away by car, but this was the year I really got to know him - and his love for me. I learned that he suffered from headaches and often depression, and also that his physical heart was failing him. I saw the way he abused his body, and I wanted him to take better care of himself, but I could not make him change. I also saw that he was sometimes not so nice. . .my Daddy was sometimes not so nice. . .and that was difficult to grasp. But I also learned, as an adult, to start forgiving him his shortcomings. I started to love him for who he was. . .an imperfect guy with a big (but physically weak) heart, who was really good to the people he cared about. My Daddy was a respected business man and leader in his community, and he loved me and my sister and my mom, even through his imperfections. I think he would have been the "World's Best Dad" if he had known how. . .
I wish my dad had lived longer. . . He met my kids, and he loved them well when they were small, but they don't remember him much at all. He loved them better than he loved most anybody, and I got to experience the joy of his love extended to me, the mother of his grandchildren, in a new and glorious way. On Father's Day weekend, and on many other days, I miss him terribly.

Here's a picture of College Girl and Army Boy with their Daddy - many years ago! If your dad is still around, remember to call him tomorrow. I know that your relationship with your dad may be flawed, and I am not suggesting that it can be fixed in a day, but take a moment to recognize that he is just a man. Forgive what you can, and try to move past the rest. Then live your life in such a way to honor those who gave you life.

"'Honor your father and mother'—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." --Ephesians 6:2-3

Oh, and Knit in Good Health!


  1. OK I know you really want to make a poncho...

    You also have to check out Vermillion Valley Vineyards...(thats friends of ours winery)

    And now I know where your get your prowess for photography!! Lovely story about your dad!

  2. Thanks for sharing about your dad. It made me cry a little (granted, it is Father's day and I'm far away from my own dad, as I have been for the past 6 father's days. I miss him and am wishing I could have spent the day with him and my family.) Dad's are good and its good to get a reminder not to take them for granted.

  3. My Dad died 3 years ago and yesterday was the first time since his passing that I missed him so much I cried. This was definitely a K1, B1 kind of day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your Dad. Someday I'll be able to share mine too.

  4. Well said about dads.

    I have a ribbon x back out of that same yarn in the really pink colorway. I have nothing to say in my defense other than that it was 2005 and I was much skinnier so I thought I could pull things like that off. I can't.

    wonder where that even is... i could pull it apart and make something for my daughter... hmmm...

  5. What a lovely tribute to your Dad. I bet you really got him smiling even more so up there.