I was able to spend almost the whole day working on my grandmother's family history. I read all the letters that she wrote to my grandfather while they were courting. I posted tons of pictures, news articles, and other things that tell about her life.
I also found pictures of my father when he was just a child. I enjoyed looking at those pictures and imagining what he was like. I knew him as a father, husband, patrolman, pilot, and many other ways, so I know some of his sense of humor and his mischievousness. I could see some of that same twinkle in his face as a child. He was a lot like my grandfather in that way. He has always loved to make people laugh.
He was only 18 when my parents married; only 19 when I was born. Even though he was young, he took his responsibilities very seriously and did everything he could to provide well for his family. We didn't have a lot - patrolmen don't make a big salary - but we had what we needed and then some.
We had a lot of fun family time when I was growing up. Again, we didn't do a lot of expensive things, but we did do a lot of things. One of our favorite family activities was to go on picnics. We often went down to a park in Fayette or to Echo Valley State Park close to West Union.. Our favorite place to go was to Pike's Peak, a state park on a huge bluff above the Mississippi River. We always cooked hot dogs over an open fire, using sticks we pulled from the trees. Mom would usually make a potato salad and we would have chips. Of course, marshmallows always ended the feast once the fire had burned down to the perfect point. My dad was a master at cooking those marshmallows to perfection! We just burned ours, but not him.
He always encouraged us in our church activity. He did not much like that Mom joined the church, but he thought it was great for his kids. He pushed me to get my applications in for BYU early, so I could be accepted and have a place to stay on campus. He insisted that I be married in the temple, rather than in a civil ceremony first, because he felt that it was too important to make it a "second" ceremony.
I have always been a "daddy's girl," and he still makes me feel like I am important to him. I have been very blessed in having such a great dad. My feelings of love have been centered on him a lot today. Love you, Dad, and thanks for a great life!