On Father’s Day we all take a few moments to reflect on the fathers and grandfathers that have been in our lives.  After all these years I appreciate my father even more – for his guidance and support, his love and caring, as well as all the little (and big things) he did for me.  I fondly remember a playhouse he built when I was little, the dance and piano lessons that helped shape me, and the horse that he got for me when I was in high school.  The trips we took, his patience in teaching me, and the always available voice on the other end of the phone line…so many things I would love to thank him for today if he were still here.  To all the fathers and grandfathers that build things for their children and grandchildren, and give them the support and love that’s so necessary throughout our lives – thank you.

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Volkswagen Beetle_13525 StaatsI spent this morning wandering the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back to the Fifties celebration – 12,000+ vehicles dating from 1964 and before.  For a photographer, it’s a treat to the eyes with all the colors and details, reflections, and car enthusiasts.  Even though the temperatures were hovering near 90 degrees, there was a plethora of people and families, with many Father’s Day celebrations taking place.  As I was getting ready to leave, I saw these two Volkswagen Beetles, and was instantly taken back to my childhood and memories of my father.  I remember the small light green Beetle he bought when I was about five or six years old.  This was way before children’s car seats, and I would sit on my large stuffed red dog that was wedged over the parking brake between the driver’s and passenger’s seats and watch the world go by.  There was also a small cargo area behind the back seat, perfect for one small suitcase, but it would hold me quite nicely.  My memories of this little car are all good, and it was a welcome delight to reminisce of my father on this Father’s Day.

Dad & me 1960_StaatsHappy Father’s Day to my dad.  I’m so fortunate that he’s been one of my biggest supporters throughout my life.  This photo from 1960 brings back memories of love, caring, adventures, and great times.   He was the one that built a great playhouse for me, complete with French doors.  And he was the one that bought the old upright piano that I first took lessons on, and even took the time to strip all the paint off and refinish it.  Dad took me ice skating, developed my love of the outdoors through camping and fishing, took me canoeing, and even bought me a horse when I was a young teenager.  My dad persevered with me trying to overcome my barrier to math story problems; for hours he kept his patience and worked with me until finally the light bulb went off in my head. So many experiences I’ve had, and so many lessons I’ve learned from Dad, and continue to do so even today.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad – and thanks for helping to shape me into the woman I am today!