Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is Dad's 74th Birthday. He's already passed his "three score and ten," so considers every birthday after that as bonus time here on earth.

Dad was born and grew up in Wisconsin. He is one of 6 children (1 brother and 4 sisters).

Dad went to college with the intention of becoming a Lutheran minister. An illness during college set his studies back and so he got his degree as a school teacher. His first teaching job was in Chicago, Illinois at St. James Lutheran School where he met and married my mom.

When I was about 3 years old and less than 2 weeks after my sister was born, Mom and Dad packed up the family and we moved to Wykoff, Minnesota, where Dad became the principal at St. John's Lutheran School.

Last year, Dad celebrated his 50th anniversary as a Lutheran school teacher. Dad is officially retired now, but still works at school as an administrative assistant. All of us kids had Dad as a teacher during our grade school years.

Dad is a pretty snazzy dresser and gets dressed up for work every day. He has an extensive collection of neckties!

Back in the late 90's, I used to take my knitting to Scandinavian craft festivals, and Dad would go along as my show assistant. The festivals were during his summer vacation and we had lots of fun at these shows, listening to fine Scandinavian music, eating great Scandinavian food, and visiting with all the nice people who stopped by my table.

Here's Dad chatting with a Viking at the Hjemkomst Festival in Moorhead, Minnesota.

A few years ago, Dad discovered a lump in his neck that turned out to be a cancerous tumor in a salivary duct on the right side of his face. (Dad was a smoker for many years.) Surgery was performed and after recovery, Dad had to undergo many weeks of radiation therapy. This was really hard for all of us, but especially hard on Dad, and there was a while where we thought he might not make it.

Mom and Dad have a strong Christian faith, so in addition to their prayers, many of their friends at church, his own kids, and his "kids" at school, spent much time praying for Dad's recovery. God heard our prayers and Dad recovered from most of the complications of his surgery and radiation. We are very thankful to still have him with us.

In January, Dad had a hip replacement. He still walks with a walker, but doesn't have the pain he experienced prior to that surgery.

Charlie (Phil's little boy), Brother Phil, and Dad at the Sacramento airport getting ready to come home from our visit to California.

Dad is slowing down a little bit now, but wow, 74 years! I can only hope to make it that long. So, Happy Birthday Dad, and because I don't say it often enough, I Love You!

Here's a sweater I made for Dad a couple years ago. It was a very cold spring and he got to wear his new sweater on Easter Sunday!


Body Soul Spirit said...

What a nice tribute to your dad. My parents are both 75 this year, and I do appreciate them. My girls went to a Lutheran parochial school and got a really good education, religious and secular. Nice sweater! You are talented.

Lynne said...

This is a lovely post for your Dad. Your brother sure resembles him! I've learned that we really can't say "I love you" too much.

You really are a talented knitter! Can we see more?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ruth.
Thanks for the kind birthday blog, it is awesome.

Larry said...

Glad your dad is still around for you. Happy Birthday to him!

Mary said...

Ruthie, this is very special for your Dad. It sounds as if he's going to have many, many more birthdays to come!

And, you are a great knitter! You'll have to show us more of your projects.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks to you all for stopping by to share in my Dad's birthday. He's a good Dad and I'm lucky to have him (except for that time he had to give me a "D" in 8th grade math)

Anonymous said...

When did you ever get a D in math from your Dad? I don't remember you ever getting anything less then a B.

Valedictorian-Class of '79 said...

I think I was the one who never got less than a B!!

RuthieJ said...

It was in 8th grade, Mom....probably the quarter where we studied algebra. But that was so long ago that the paper the report card is printed on has probably disintegrated. Trust me, it really happened!
Yes, Sissy, I believe you're correct as far as grades go!

Anonymous said...

Oh, to have Charlie's hair.