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Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesdays!

After a much-needed “regrouping” I am now going to attempt to get back into some kind of rhythm with my posts. Since Father’s Day is coming up, I couldn’t think of a better way to re-launch this weekly feature than to talk about one of my favorite people: my Dad.

This list is by no means comprehensive or in any particular order. Just some things that came to mind while I was forming this post in my mind earlier this week.

10. His voice

Years of working in the deafening oil fields have probably contributed to the loud nature with which he speaks at times, but it’s so much a part of who he is, I couldn’t imagine him any other way. 

He has, what I consider, a southern gentleman’s accent. It’s not exaggerated, he simply speaks with intelligence and humor and that unmistakable twang of someone from the south. 

He speaks well, especially publicly. His voice commands attention. And he sings! Oh the man can sing! From Gospel to Bobbie Gentry, my dad can move you to tears with his beautiful pitch. I haven’t heard him sing in a while. I think I’m going to make him do that next time I see him. 

9. His sense of humor

We don’t take ourselves more seriously than necessary in our family. Life is just too damn short for that nonsense. 

Dad loves to laugh and it’s that sense of humor that has helped sustain him over the last 62 years.

We have so many inside jokes in our family, and life just wouldn’t be the same without them. 

I would definitely call my father a joyful person. And it can be contagious when in his presence. 

8. His physical presence

There’s an old country song called, “Daddy’s Hands” and it’s always made me think of my own father.

“I remember Daddy’s hands, workin’ til they bled, sacrificed unselfishly just to keep us all fed…..

I remember Daddy’s hands, how they held my mama tight. Patted my back for somethin’ done right.”

This describes his physical nature better than I could even try. He’s worked hard all of his life and that much is evident in the callouses on his hands and the scars he carries on his body. 

But for all the roughness, the tenderness he has always displayed with his affection has been my saving grace.

I don’t know how people grow up without a father that didn’t love them and show them that they loved them with hugs like my dad gives me. In this, I know that I am beyond fortunate. No matter what life has thrown at me, I have found comfort in his embrace so many times. 

Whenever I think of how my Heavenly Father loves me, I think of those tender, enveloping hugs of my Dad. Where all that is wrong is made insignigificant. Because I am loved.

7. His cooking

I’m not entirely sure, but I think he might have made a deal with the devil because nobody, nobody, grills like my Dad. Period. End of story.

6. His tenderness

More than the physical affection, my dad just has a tender heart. I think he’s where I get my emotional side. Which is ironic because he’s always pushed me to be a logical thinker. But he feels just as deeply, and gets just as passionate about things as I do. 

There are some men that you’ll never see shed actual tears. I’ve seen my father cry. 

That might not seem like a big deal, but I’m here to tell you: it’s made all the difference in my life. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I think it’s because it shows his depth. His ability to be moved. His security in himself. 

5. His flaws

When I was a girl, I thought my Daddy was perfect. And then I grew up and realized he wasn’t. 

Dad always expected a lot out of me and my sister in terms of our behavior. Nothing unreasonable, but we were held to high standards. I held him to high standards too. 

Too high.

I do that with a lot of people, not just him. It isn’t fair. Nobody is perfect.

When it really hit me that my father was every bit as flawed as myself, it was kind of a jarring experience.

And then I became a parent. 

And I was oh so thankful for his flaws. Because it was then that I realized that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t destined to fail at parenting because of imperfection. And I understood why he always set the bar so high for me: because we want the best for our children. 

4. His zest for life 

Whether it’s a newborn calf, or petting his dog, or a perfectly grilled burger, or a bowl of banana pudding, or the hug of a grandchild, or a kiss from my mama: Dad appreciates the little things like nobody else I know.

I could say that this came from a serious illness he contracted several years ago and the possibilities that it put before him. But Dad has always appreciated the little things. I think they’re just that much sweeter now.

3. His ability to stay young at heart

I love that my Dad would play games with us when we were kids. Board games, basketball, badminton. He would race us, chase us, and just have fun with us. 

Since his retirement, he’s done things I never thought he’d do. Like go to the State Fair. On purpose. And ride the rides with his grandkids. On purpose. I’m so glad there is a part of him that refuses to grow up.

2. His love for the land

My dad was an environmentalist before it was “cool”. He’s taught me all my life about the importance of nature conservation. Wildlife, timber, soil. And don’t ever let him catch you littering. You’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

1. His huge heart

My dad isn’t just a father to me, he’s a father figure to a lot of people. Not because he was ever trying to be. It’s just who and how he is and people respond to it. People with crappy dads of their own as well as those who have good fathers. 

His willingness to help other people and his thoughtfulness have always been examples of selflessness that I try to emulate. He is a fierce friend and the kind of person you want on your side. 

I’m so thankful he’s always been on mine. And remains there. Always.