I'm sorry that I didn't get this post done on your birthday a couple weeks ago. I'm behind on everything lately. I just wanted to share a few of my favorite memories with you.
1. I remember going to work with you once when I was little. I think I was preschool age. I don't know why I went to work with you, it was a one-time experience and I sure felt special. I remember bringing color books and My Little Ponies and playing in your office. I also remember trying to draw a star like my preschool teacher Mrs. Call always did. I couldn't figure it out, so you taught me how to draw a different star - two triangles overlapping each other (a Star of David, really), but I was so happy I could finally draw a star!!
2. I remember you listening to beautiful opera records in the living room and reading along with the books to follow the story. How weird to just sit still and listen to something for entertainment! Your example made me appreciate and love beautiful music.
3. One time, Mom took Julie and Jordan to Brawley to visit Aunt Marianne over New Year's. I don't remember where Brad and Stephanie were, but I remember just the two of us being "left behind." I was so upset that I didn't get to go to California. You took me downstairs and we played Hangman on the T.I. computer. Instead of feeling left out that I didn't go to California, I realized that it was a treat to have you all to myself.
4. Last summer. Camping. Citronella candles. Moths. Need I say more?
5. You took just Julie and me camping. We stayed in the blue tent. What a brave dad to take two small girls and an army of stuffed animals camping!
6. You have a few signature dishes that I will always associate with you: stir fry, eggs benedict, twice baked potatoes, and milk, bread, and sugar.
7. I always felt like the daughter of royalty whenever we traveled. No matter where in the world we went, people always knew you (in the airports, at least) and treated you with respect and warmth. This realization came to me after one of your work acquaintances recognized you in Venezuela.
8. Once when Julie and I were fighting, you punished us by making us sit on chairs in the living room right in front of each other with our knees touching until we could be civil to each other.
9. I have many memories of you doing special things for Mom like taking her to a hotel for your anniversary or getting tickets to Les Miserables. Or even going to all over town trying to find the perfect ibuprofen bottle.
10. You introduced me to the joy of dominoes!