This is a photo from Father’s Day last year — my father on the left, and his grandfather, my great-grandfather, on the right. We all met up for lunch of chicken fried steak and pie and then went driving the backroads looking for the perfect swimming hole that Sunday afternoon. My great-grandfather just turned 98 last week, and I’m hoping with all my heart that my dad inherited his longevity. I know for certain he inherited his stubbornness.
And from my dad, who I have so much to thank for, I have learned so much: how to properly smoke a cigar and shoot a pistol, how to choose a strong scotch and drive a tractor. How to put family first and include loyal pups in what we call “family,” too. How to tell a good story (although I still haven’t mastered that one), and how to drink my coffee black. How the disciplined pursuit of truth — an hour each morning before sunup, for as long as I can remember — can develop into a gentle, sturdy faith. How to balance reading five books at a time and how to strike up conversation with strangers. For all this and more, Daddy, I’m so grateful. Happy Father’s Day to you this year and for many more to come.