Today is my father’s 83rd birthday. People hear, “83,” and probably think he’s an old guy sitting in a chair somewhere. Not my dad. My dad is incredibly healthy and active. He’s a farmer, which explains it all, right? Our family grew apples and peaches and raised cattle, so Dad’s work week averaged at least 55 hours. Of course, there were spring nights when he, my brothers and other family members and employees would spend all night in the orchards lighting “smudge pots” so the trees wouldn’t freeze. And the Christmas mornings that started late because those crazy cattle decided Christmas wasn’t a reason for them to skip breakfast. And the summer nights when Dad would get home from work at 6, only to go to the garden and work until dark – which was around 9 p.m. So many of his work weeks were much longer than 55 hours. Barring emergencies, he always took Sundays off. The only Sundays I remember him working were when there were cattle to feed in the early morning, and no one else could get to the barn because of snow, so paths had to be plowed.
These days, Dad complains that he can’t do what he did 30 years ago without getting tired. Dad, a 20-year old can’t do what you did 30 years ago without getting tired! I think about what you did 30 years ago and get tired. You’re an amazing man – and I love, respect, and appreciate you more each day. You and Mom are such an inspiration for all of us! (Quick “aside” about my parents. Mom has to have a knee replaced in a couple of weeks. She was happy that they can do the surgery now so she’ll be completely healed and can help Dad bring in firewood this fall. SERIOUSLY??? They do realize they have kids and grandkids who would love to help, right? Yes, they do realize it. But they don’t want to be a bother. And, of course, if they had to depend on us and weren’t “allowed” to do what they wanted – as if we could “allow” or “forbid” them to do anything – they’d probably not stick around very long.)
So, now that I’ve blown my nose and wiped my eyes (thinking about how awesome my parents are always causes me to choke up a little), here’s the card I made for Dad.
One would think, because I used designer series paper and just one sentiment, that this was a very easy process. One would be incorrect. This is the third or fourth “try” at this. Two ended up in the trash. One is going to be a challenge card in a few weeks. This one made it through.
I wanted it to reflect Dad’s personality, but still be beautiful – yet manly. (Yeah – tall order.) I’ve used Lovely as a Tree more times than I can count for Dad’s cards, so I really didn’t want to use it again. And the “ship” cards, while nice, and perfect for my husband, just aren’t “Dad.”
As I flipped through the Adventure Bound designer series paper stack, this one seemed perfect. Dad loves the woods. After my brothers and I all finally moved out for the last time (ok, I was the only one who kept coming back!), he and Mom built their “house only really big enough for two” in one of his favorite spots – next to the woods.
I stamped the “Happy Birthday” (from a recently retired Sale-a-bration set) on vellum card stock so the photo image wouldn’t be covered. This stamp was happy, but not silly or too whimsical for the photo. And I love that I could pull in the Garden Green by coloring “Birthday” with a Stampin’ Write Marker. I hid some Stampin’ Dimensionals behind the colored “Birthday,” and under the Neutrals Candy Dots.
See? He’s in his overalls, because he had been outside working. But that little girl brought him in. (And, of course, it was almost lunch time. Farmers don’t miss lunch! Or breakfast or dinner. They may eat late, but they can’t afford to miss meals!)
Thanks for stopping by Stamping with Buffy. May your day be filled with love and laughter!