Sunday, June 19, 2011

To my father, with love

Debora and DadMy parents have a dear friend, Hakon, whom they adore. Hakon is from Norway and is a combination of Paul Bunyan and MacGyver. They’ve told me so many stories of this man, the time when as a boy, Norwegian royalty was about to visit his home and he saw all the food laid out for the visitors and ate it. All. I’ve heard tales of him scaling a mountain that was also a tourist site. After days of climbing, he and a date reach the top. The date, Jean, angrily realizes that this spot could’ve been reached by car in about twenty minutes. This same woman later marries him. My parents went camping with Jean and Hakon and came across a detour. They could’ve driven some ungodly distance around it, but Hakon thought it would be faster to build a bridge and drive over a river or stream to save time. And it worked.

My dad was always a big fan of the TV show, MacGyver. If you don’t know “MacGyver is a resourceful agent able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.” My dad is very MacGyveresque and carries a Swiss Army knife. I was with my parents and they were about to get on a plane. My dad realized at the last second, he had the knife on him and it would get confiscated at the airport. He gave it to me and told me to mail it back to him. It was so comforting to have my dad’s knife on me - I had a hard time getting to post office to mail it back. I'd either arrive at the post office too early or too late.

While my dad hasn’t scaled mountains, or built bridges he has patents. I remember finding out my dad has his name on multiple patents. He was very humble about it. My dad has supported me when I choose the ungodly place of Menomonie WI to go to college. He faithfully drove the 300 some odd miles twice a year to deliver me and my car full of goods. We’d nearly always stop for lunch at Grandma Smrekars in Millston, WI. It was rare for him to eat at a place that would also butcher game. Maybe that was reason. He’s a woodworker and my parent’s house has many pieces of furniture that he’s built. Instead of going to IKEA to buy my sister a fold up bed, he decided to make one. At one point in my childhood, he constructed a geodesic dome in the backyard. Once he let us buy one of those cool mylar balloons so he could dissect it and study the seal on.

This Father’s day, my parents are having dinner with Hakon and will hopefully get more tall tales. While it would be cool to have a dad like Hakon and his crazy adventures, my dad is hero enough to me. I love you dad, Happy Fathers's Day.

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