Saturday, June 18, 2011

Unconventional Dads.......

In honor of Father's Day, I'd like to say a word or two about unconventional fathers. The dictionary defines unconventional as: "Not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed."  I'd like to think of this as a good thing. We can all tick off a list of items that will generally describe most fathers; played baseball with me, likes to tell jokes, brave, took me fishing, taught me to ride a bike, etc. There's not a thing wrong with any of those traits, but what I want to talk about are the traits that make your dad, your dad, and no one else.
      Growing up, my father's job did not allow for a normal 9-5 schedule. Instead it was more of the 7-3, 3-11, 11-7, and back again schedule. Because of this, he missed a lot of school functions, parties, holidays, etc. But in the big picture of life, I can barely remember myself the things he wasn't able to be there for. I remember instead the things that made him who he was. Here's a few of them......
  •       He relocated to Northern NY with our family, because he loved the outdoors and nature. Instead of a standard house, he built us a log cabin (Laura Ingalls anyone?), all while working a full time job.
  •       He planted a mass of flowers and hung bird houses all over our property. He taught us the names of all those flowers along with the birds that filled the houses. 
  •      When other families flew to Florida for a family vacation, we rode the train to get there. I'll admit there were times when I wondered why we weren't flying for convenience sake. However, I realized that in the two days it took us to get there, we could just hang out and spend time as a family. We got to experience views of the Eastern Coast of the US that we might not have seen otherwise. I'll admit that going through Washington D.C. in the middle of the night, getting to see all the monuments lit up, was a pretty cool sight.
  •      He was a stickler for working hard in school, but he would be willing to set us free for a day if a teachable moment presented itself. That moment came in driving to Canada when one of the space shuttles was going to be on display for a day.
  •     He loved giving unusual gifts, especially in the form of food items. If he found out you liked a certain food, you got A LOT OF IT. :) Sadly I can no longer eat Kiwis or Fruity Pebbles, but you can't say he wasn't thinking of you. I'll never forget the Christmas my mom opened a jar of pickled herring from :)
  •    After retiring he decided to go back to work as a substitute teacher as he felt he still had something to teach....did I mention this was while I was still in High School? (I'm still recovering by the way.)
     All of these things made my Dad uniquely who he is and I am the better for it. I'd love to hear what made your father (or the father figure in your life) the unconventional man that he is!
         - Adrienne

PS. Dad - I'm still really sorry for raising my hand in class that time you asked who there didn't know you...really...really...sorry..... :)


  1. Adrienne,
    If your dad is up for adopting an older "child", I would be first in line. You are very lucky to have such a tuned in parent. He sounds wonderful.
    Jotter Girl

  2. @ Catherine - I'm sure he'd be fine with that....just don't tell him what kind of cereal you like. :)

  3. well to say the least my dad was different! he was quiet hard working...and stubborn...and yes i do know where I get it from! he was as nice as could be and would help anyone out ...but if you crossed him...well...let's just say you wished you wouldn't have. I got that trait from him too. and..he was funny...but not in the way of telling was his accent. and it was never funny until i got older and started to realize how much he made me laugh...just being him. His thick Italian accent even I couldn't understand sometimes!!! i'll share a few... the simplest were just the words he couldn't pronounce...swim and sweet became sqwimmy and sqweet! I ate sparticus for wasn't until I was a teenager that I found out it was called asparagus!! One time he said "shaally" (that's how he said Charlene), " go getta me a-rench". So i went down stairs in his tool box and was looking for a wrench. after about 5 minutes he yelled for me again. I screamed, "I'M LOOKING...I CAN'T FIND ONE" after about 15 minutes of confusion...he grabbed an orange out of the fridge held it up to me and said," a-rench!" the look on his face was like "DUH". lol even thinking about it now ..I giggle! ok i've said enough....I'm going to make some sparticus!

  4. @ Char - You are killing me! Sparticus! What a great story. :) My grandfather had a very strong German accent but I never realized it when I was little. It wasn't until I heard a tape of him speaking after he had passed away that I realized was a wonder I ever knew what he was saying to me! Thanks for sharing Shaally.... :)

  5. I see you are remembering your own "teachable moments." :)

    Your mom and dad must be very proud of these first two posts. But then again, they are always very proud. One of the reasons they're so wonderful!

    Unconventional about my dad, hmm. He was involved in every aspect of parenting. You don't always see that. London as an 18th birthday present, yeah, that was my favorite. (Alright, I saved up for the ticket and begged and begged, but still.)

    Disclaimer- the Father's Day post on my blog will not be as funny, as I tend to go for the Hallmark quality.

  6. @ Apple - I'll say London is unconventional! I always loved how much you and your Dad did and still do together. You have such a cool relationship. I usually go for Hallmark too but this time I thought I'd try more of the Shoebox greetings. :)

  7. What a wonderful relationship you have. You're a very lucky girl. I would love to take the train down the coast! I love train travel and if we ever get the excellent kind they have in the rest of the world I'm buying a year long pass.

    Nice post!

  8. @ Barbara - Looking back it was a pretty cool experience but as they say youth is wasted on the young so we don't always realize these things when they're in front of us. I hope you get to experience that train ride someday.... :)

  9. It's nice to hear that another Dad goes overboard on "favorites." I thought it was just my dad. I high school we were overwhelmed with pomegranites. In college I made the mistake of saying I liked seafood salad so everytime I came home there was a ton of it. Now we're on to bread stuffed with roasted garlic pieces. There's a fresh loaf in the house every time he knows I'm coming over. I, too, have to be careful to say how much I like something.

  10. @ Sara - Oh dear I thought it was just me. :) I'm pretty sure my sister was cured of her love of froot loops by him as well. Could you tell your Dad I really like chocolate?

  11. You can say I was cured.....can't stand eating the stuff now...too sweet!

  12. @ Jackie - Maybe this is why I no longer like cereal??? Mmmmmmmm.......??