It's winter Olympics time. I don't like the winter Olympics as much as the summer Olympics. I am only interested in a few events like the ice skating and the curling. Have you ever seen curling? It is a pretty interesting sport if you have the patience to give it a chance.
My dad had some friends who were curlers. Once we went to the ice arena to watch a curling match. It was pretty interesting and my dad loved it. His friends really wanted him to give it a try, but he walked with crutches then and crutches and ice rinks aren't the greatest mix. Finally, though, they convinced him and he headed out to the ice with their help. He really wanted to throw the stone all by himself. So that's what he did. They helped him out on the ice, stood next to him and handed him the stone. He threw the stone and his crutches went flying. He fell, spread eagle, on the ice and slid a little ways. Looking back, it was an absolutely hilarious scene. He was so proud of himself for getting out there and throwing the stone with no help.
We didn't take hardly any vacations when I was a kid. I can only remember three. One was a weekend trip to Grand Haven. We went to the beach on Lake Michigan. I remember it was really cold. My dad was walking with crutches then too. Mostly he sat in a lounge chair on the beach while we played. Finally, he gets up and starts walking towards the water. I watched him as he struggled in the sand and makes it to the water. He goes in until the water is about calf high and then he stops. The cold water is affecting his muscles and he can't move. Also the waves are causing the sand to move and he is sinking as well. He stands there for a while, getting lower and lower. My mom goes out to see if she can help, but she has congestive heart failure and is unable to exert herself at all. I was only 11 or 12 and couldn't do anything. Finally, some men come over and pick him up and carry him back to his chair. He didn't care about that. It was like with the stone. He was so proud of himself for getting out there by himself.
Our husbands can attest to the fact that Anna and I have both inherited, sometimes to our detriment, his "I can do it by myself" attitude. But most of the time this attitude is a good thing because it helps us get through things that are hard. I know that I can do anything. One thing I've learned in my old age though, is that sometimes it's better to ask for help.
Happy Birthday, Dad. And thanks for helping shape me into who I am.