As I wrote about on Mother’s Day, my parents have always been very supportive. So today for Father’s Day, I’d like to thank my father for helping nurture my diverse interests.
Before retiring, my father worked a variety of jobs. The jobs ranged from a fishing boat to a wineries, a bookstore, a carpentry shop, and a variety of others, but the one he did longest was gardening. An even wider range of hobbies have included various kinds of art, archery, beading, sewing, black powder, atlatls, whittling, and way, way more than I could ever hope to list. It wasn’t that he did them all at once, so much as they were phases where he dove deep before moving onto another one. He also was usually running a side business of some sort, and I learned a lot helping him with those.
Joyfully embracing a variety of interests is something he helped nurture in me. I remember him telling me that some people look down on constantly changing interests as a lack of commitment, but ignore them and do what you love, even if it changes. One day we were discussing the adage, “A rolling stone gathers no moss” and he said it was always told to him with the meaning of he should stay put and settle down, stop changing. All he could think of though was, “why would I want green stuff growing on me?”
Art is one hobby that the two of us often did together. We’d stop by the local art store to pick up supplies for that weekend. We’d also sometimes stop by the game or comic store together, but perhaps our most common stop was the bookstore. Both being bibliophiles, we could spend an inordinate amount of time just browsing, and it was a usual occurrence for us to each pick up a few books. I tended to finish most of the books when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, I still buy with the of best intentions to read, only to have it languish on my bookshelf. There’s a great term for this in Japanese– “tsundoku” (積ん読) which means exactly thatー to buy books, but not read them. The fact that this word exists reassures me that I’m not alone in this proclivity.
With regards to gaming, I haven’t played any RPGs or similar games with my father, but we had many a afternoon or late night of 500 rummy. I also used to play Magic: The Gathering with my stepmom on the weekends. She got quite involved as well, go as far as having her own cards and reading about various strategies.
In my mid-teens I got into Warhammer 40K and we’d occasionally go pickup some miniatures at the store together. He was more interested in historic figures, though, so he’d pickup a few like a camel caravan and paint with me. One episode from the gaming store was when I was in my early teens. I saw the BattleTech box set and asked him for it. I said something along the lines of it containing everything I’d ever need to play, so I wouldn’t need any supplements. The owner of the store heard this and just started laughing– he knew quite well that it’d be just the beginning. He was right, too.
Our summer tradition growing up was to go on a road trip, and we covered most of the states west of the Mississippi together. Whenever we rolled into a new town, I’d often flip through the phone book looking for a bookstore and if I was really lucky, I’d also find a game store.
I could go on reminiscing, but I think you get the idea already. I really appreciate all that my father’s done and continues to do. Thanks, Dad!