Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Ode to Autumn, Travel and My Father

Does anyone else enjoy how autumn comes swinging into season? Yes, the bad pun was intended. I guess it depends on where you call home. For Northern Colorado, it seems to have arrived over night. Colors are changing left and right and and my level of excitement at getting new boots was probably considered inappropriate. Or not, if you're also a sucker for this season and the wardrobe that accompanies it.

Regardless, the crisp air, crunchy leaves, and variety of lattes I probably don't need reinvigorate my spirit like no other time of year. As the equinox came and went this past weekend, it also had me thinking a lot about my father. Yes, there is a connection that will eventually make sense here.

His birthday falls--another bad pun, get used to it--on the first day of Autumn and this year marked birthday number 52 for him. If you're like me, living far away from family means celebrating birthdays with a phone call and an embarrassing gift delivered via post. It takes getting used to and I still hate that I can't be there in person. At the same time, I've come to realize that's it's also a chance to better appreciate these people.

And my father - dorky, stubborn and peanut m&m hogging man that he is - deserves some serious appreciation.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has always been the "lecturer" of the family: get in trouble - lecture; forget to balance your checkbook - lecture; get a dent in your car and try to hide it from him - lecture. To this day, I still get them over the phone or when I come home, and it makes me laugh to no end. This is a man who will never stop sending me text messages that end with "missy" and who I still have to send all my travel itineraries to. He's also the man who know I will always, always be able to rely on.

To say my dad is one of the strongest people I know is an understatement. Both him and my mom have shown me what it means to live life on your own terms, to go after what you want, and to never forget your family and friends along the way. He might look like the 'normal' parent on the outside, but he's really not fooling anyone anymore - he'll laugh at inappropriate jokes even when he thinks he shouldn't and will change an outfit multiple times if his four daughters give him a hard time about it. Poor man - never stood a chance.

Long story short, it seems more than appropriate that my favorite time of year coincides with celebrating my dad's birthday. After all, he's one of my favorite people in the world. But don't tell him that - I'll probably get a lecture about public displays of affection.

I'm not sure whether it's all the sitting in these airports or lack of sleep, but you'll have to bear with me through these introspective posts. While they may not offer Jane Austen themed advice, I hope they inspire you to laugh and smile more with the important people in your life.

So, here's to you dad. Like the way that fall brings so many changes, you continue to change my life every year for the better. I couldn't ask for more.

And don't worry - I'll email you my itineraries right after this ;)

52 years and still a stud with a mile-wide grin ;)