Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

My dad would have turned 104 today. That is just amazing to think about – I can barely imagine 1911 in northern Idaho. Sadly my father only lived to be 59 but every year I think about him on this special day. Actually I think of him far more often than that, but his birthday is extra important to me. My dad set a marvelous example for his five daughters and in that way he lives on through us and I hope I am passing some of his excellent characteristics on to my children and grandchildren.

While there are many, the two finest traits of my dad were his determination to accomplish whatever he decided to do and his strong belief in the value of education. The first trait led him to some problems, as you can imagine, as he was far sighted and could visualize the possibilities long before they occurred to others. He planned ahead and prepared for the future while others were content to dawdle along in the present. Yes, he enjoyed the present but with foresight of what would come next.

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In his younger years he spent summers out lumberjacking with my grandfather and so he knew how to work hard and how to create. He and Grandpa built our log cabin, completing it in 1939. It has served my family well all of these years. My dad was an educator, having taught or held administrative positions in schools for almost 40 years. In education he taught math which he loved and during his first years he also taught everything else: English, physical education, history, and science. That is one example of his determination. Yes, he had the background knowledge to teach all of these subjects and the diligence to make sure he was fully prepared for every lesson and the needs of every student.

My dad recognized educational possibilities in every situation. When we traveled we played word and number games, studied and memorized license plates to identify the counties from which they came, stopped at parks and historical sites to gather more knowledge, and then at the end of the day, rounded it up with a short daily exam. For birthday and Christmas I always received educational gifts. One year we built geometric configurations with pegboards and colored string and study the flow and mathematical rhythm of each. Another year we completed multiple algebraic questions concentrating on formulas and checking with proofs. Some years we read and evaluated authors and text. When we skied we engaged in math such as dividing the number of runs into the price of the ticket to determine price per run. We then stretched that by adding meals, gas, snacks, and so forth to complicate the mathematical problem and process and then decided on what it took to have a good deal. Had we factored in the fun we had, every trip would have been a tremendous bargain.

When we stayed at our cabin we always had projects to complete such as building a dock or painting the boat or filling in potholes in our forest road along with chopping wood, cooking and cleaning, and plenty of fishing and swimming. We would work together to establish our calendar of events, carefully balancing work and play with the number of days we had. No one ever left our vacation anything but exhausted, and yet happy as we planned our next outing there.

By rahul