"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad

     Birthday years that end with a zero require a deep breath and a firm step while turning the corner. At least that is the way it has always seemed to me.  In our family this year there are several people who earn the big applause: Joel D. and Sophie I. --10, Jason and Jennifer D. --40, James D. - 60, and Dale (a.k.a. Dad, Doc, Bill, Grandpa or Great Grandpa) turned 90 last month. Here we are, 'the Dotter kids' as we were referred to in Okeene, with Dad. We are hardly ever all down at Dad's at the same time so this was a red letter day in two respects. We are not in familial order for once, because I wanted to have an arm around Dad.  Yep, that's me, always touchy-feely.

             Back L to R: Scott, Mark and Jim. Front L to R: Ann, Dale and Deb.
     Have you ever thought, when looking at a picture, that it is much more than a picture? When we look at a picture of someone else's family, we see images of people captured in one second. When we see pictures of our own, we see the entire lives of our loved ones. Everything we know about each person plays through our mind.  Pictures and home movies are virtual time machines.
        On Friday, our project was rebuilding the stairs at the apartment. They were unsafe and are now splendid.  We also picked up pecans, remembered when, looked at old photos and had a great visit with Doc Lagan. Ann and I dusted mom's beautiful vases and such, admiring the shine. (We do this.) The house is large enough that you can wander off and have personal visits with each person. It's important to come together and equally important to have spaces in which to be apart and focused on individuals. 
       We almost always have some sort of project when we come home. I'll bet Jim sometimes wishes he had never learned carpentry, but we're all thankful he did. I know Dad loves it that one of Jim's many talents is carpentry because Charlie, Dad's grandpa, was a master Finish Carpenter. All the threads keep reappearing in the weave and warp of family.
     Our family tapestry, like those of every family, is colorful and unique.  We  are architects, athletes and artists, writers, realtors, and warriors.  We are inventors and engineers, policemen and poets. We are doctors and dancers, farmers, nurses and carpenters. We are lawyers, teachers and musicians. We work in technology and business, politics, energy and the environment. We create, we inspire, we heal and comfort. We invent and design, direct and restore, lead and serve. We are like every other family and unlike any other.



Brenda Cohorn said...

And the beat goes on....

Kathryn said...

Lovely words and a wonderful photo. I so wanted to make it up there for Granddad's birthday - I would have run myself into the ground had I done so; that was the weekend right before I had three conventions in a row. Then I absolutely had to stay home over Thanksgiving, because my housemates were gone, no friends were in town to feed/medicate the cats, and there was a string of burglaries just two streets north of us, 3 days before Thanksgiving.