You have heard about my mom and her crazy antics and thought you might like a little background history about my dad. Growing up, my house was THE house that friends wanted to come to. We had a pool with a diving board and slide, sugar cereal, and lots of soda and snacks in the house all the time. My mom and dad were fun growing up and I think my friends thought that they were bit on the strange side. My dad especially. He grew up in a very small town in the mid west and he has the most amazing stories about when he was a kid. Like, how he used to kill black birds because they ate the crops. Then they would take the birds feet to the local store and get money for them. While this story always had me mesmerized, it was more the nature of how they killed the birds that was the essence of the story. They used to catch them in the barn and stuff them up the tail pipe of the car and turn the car on. When they pulled the bird out, it would not be breathing so they would give the bird CPR (I swear this is true, I couldn't make it up) until it came back to life. They continued this process until the bird would no longer come back to life and then chop off the feet. As an adult, this story is horrifying but, as a kid...SO COOL!!!
He swam with us, let us drive on his lap, and he would take us up to his school and let us roller skate in the gym. He used to tell us that if he unscrewed out belly buttons our arms and legs would fall off. It drove him CRAZY when my sister and I used to argue or act up in public. I remember being in a store when I was little and I was running like a crazy monkey and he looked me square in the eye and said "Little girl, where are your parents?" He was dead serious. He continued with this until we left the store, going as far as to ask other people if they knew where my parents were. All the while, my screaming tantrum continued.
I think secretly (although he would never admit this) he wanted a boy. He was a jock growing up and he coached football, wrestling, our softball teams, etc. He is pretty competitive and I got that trait from him. I remember being about 12 years old and my dad was thrown out of one of my softball games by the poor 17 year old umpire that made, what he thought, a bad call. I guess that is why I get mad when I lose at Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders...those games are all about chance anyway.