Father of Mine

Lately I have really been into Zac Brown Band. I am not a super huge country fan, but there are a few groups that I do enjoy listening to. The song that has hit me the most lately is "Highway 20 Ride." It brings back so many memories for me and I can't help but wonder if that is how my Dad felt as he drove Southwest every other Friday to pick up my sister and I from Belmond. He would then drive us back to his home in Mason City to spend the weekend with him. Every time I saw my dad he gave me a big hug that said, "I missed you son, and I love you." He didn't need to actually say it, but we both felt it. He did make sure to tell me how proud he was of me, always encouraging me to do my best.

Those weekends were so special to me. They were my time with my Dad. We did all sorts of things together as a family: Rented movies, video games, ordered pizza, played catch, went camping, fishing, sledding, bike rides, road trips. I also remember spending countless Saturday nights at the YMCA playing basketball, swimming, and playing racquetball. We had such a great time hanging out together. I am so thankful for everything that my Dad has done for me. All those hours in the car couldn't have been fun. It sure wasn't easy for him to travel to my sporting events after working all day either. Every game was an away game for him, but he managed to make it to most of them.

I remember when I was 13 and we were on our way to Mason for the weekend, he pulled over on the highway and said, "It's time for you to learn how to drive." Of course this was illegal, but he had a valid point, that I needed to learn to drive at some point before I got my permit. I remember him teaching me to look ahead down the road and not to focus right in front of the car. Ease into the accelerator. He had me practice slowing down and coming to a stop. "I want you to slow down and stop at that no passing sign up there." Because at that age when someone says 'brake' you probably would just slam on the brakes and stop within 50 feet. Valuable lessons that I carry with me today.

My Dad is such a handy man. I have yet to stump him with something that I need fixed. I had the idea of building a wall under my deck for storage. I had thought about it for a few months and asked him to come down for a weekend to help me figure out how to make it work. When he got here he took a look at it and had a plan together in about 10 minutes. We got the supplies that night and spent a mere 8 hours putting it together the next day. Superdad.

Mechanic. Oh yeah. My first car saw a lot of time in my Dad's garage. The cars I have had over the years always had something that needed to be fixed. Coil springs, carburetor, tie rod, fuel injector, brake pads, fuel filters, spark plugs and wires, mending cracked front ends, air conditioner blower. What a list (I am sure I am forgetting somethings). Nowadays he has proved to be a very useful phone mechanic as he has guided me through a few car repairs that I have attempted on my own.

Now that I am 26 we have an even more special relationship. I enjoy visiting my dad and step-mom at their campground near Rock Falls. They have a permanent spot there and it pretty much a 2nd home for them in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. I guess you can't really call it camping anymore they way they do it. ;) I think he went

through a bit of a mid-life crisis a few years ago when he bought a 4 wheeler. We both really enjoy tearing around on that thing at the campground. He has also taken up golfing which we like to do together. I am excited to be able to go visit him next weekend as I haven't seen him in a while. When I drive to see him now, it makes me think of all those hours he spent driving to see me when I was younger. Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you.