He tolerated years of being greeted upon his return home after a long day at work not with hugs, but with daughters who would attach themselves to his legs, sitting on his feet, forcing him to drag them around.
He made Barbie furniture for us. Beds, as I recall.
He spray painted the taillights of my purple pedal car bright turquoise.
He introduced us to music such as Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash; A Boy Named Sue, also Mr. Cash; White Sports Coat by Marty Robbins; and The Streak by Ray Stevens. He told me once that he listened to BOTH kinds of music when he was a teenager---Country AND Western.
When he was teaching me how to drive, and I closed my eyes the first time I met cross traffic---on a curve no less, he only commented very mildly, "Don't do that."
He gives awesome hugs.
He tells terrible jokes. Yeah, okay, he also has an equal number of good ones.
He has this awesome grin. I call it his "sh*t-eatin' grin"---it's totally naughty little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar...AND, my oldest son seems to inherited this EXACT smile. The kid flashes it at me, and all I can think is how much he looks like his Grandpa, and that just squeezes my heart. In fact, I see a lot of my Dad in his first grandson.
I couldn't begin to guesstimate the number of carnivals he took us to or how many roller coaster rides he went on with us. One trip to Marriots Great America in So Cal, he and I went on a brand new roller coaster called "The Tidal Wave." I really wanted to ride it. I'm not sure he really wanted to go on it, but I was young enough there was no way I was going to be allowed to ride it on my own. (As I recall, Mom was kinda green at the notion of riding it.) I still love roller coasters to this day. My husband doesn't like 'em, so I'm the parent who'll ride the coasters and go on the nifty shake you up, down, sideways, spin you around and around rides with any kid who wants to try the ride.
He's traveled to visit us (a 9 hourish drive) just to watch a grandson play baseball. (A couple of times.)
When we were little, part of the tucking ritual involved him holding us in his arms and flinging us up, down and sideways before he'd drop us onto our mattresses. *Grinning*. That was just awesome. And he was willing to "Do it again, Daddy!"
Date Nights with Dad. Just Dad and one daughter. Mostly I remember going out for pizza.
Baskin Robbin's. You know you live in a small town when the most exciting thing to happen is a Baskin Robbin's 31 Flavors opens...and Dad takes the family out for ice cream. I think BR still makes those silly clown cones.
Evening drives, mostly when we were younger, that ended up at Dairy Queen.
He's got a big heart---big enough for 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, 7 grandchildren (5 grandsons/2 granddaughters), and, most importantly, MOM. And he taught us to have big hearts, too.
Quite simply...he's Daddy.
Master of the BBQ.
I love you lots and lots.