Happy Birthday Dad!

Geno, Geezer & Mike

My Dad in the middle, with his high-school buddy Geno on the left, and me on the right!

Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad is truly a one of a kind guy.  He sacrificed a lot when Robin and I were kids so that we could do things that we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to do.  Whenever we would go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Mom and Dad would take us, then Dad would usually drive back home later on would drive back and pick us up, or if needed, we would fly home.  The point here is that most of the time the only vacation my dad ever got was one away from his punky kids! :)

My dad worked most of his life as a self-employed cabinetmaker.  He was very reputable, and word spread for him only by way of word of mouth.  My dad did many incredible projects, all out of our single car garage at my parents home in Northern Virginia, and my sister and I would help him out sometimes when he needed help.

As I said, Dad was a reputable man, based on his upbringing, so he would only take 1/2 of the pay first in order to get the supplies he needed, and then take the rest of the money at delivery.  He also had lower overhead then a lot of big cabinet firms did, so as a result he would charge less — less then he probably should have charged, because he did excellent work, and he didn’t charge enough for the pieces he created.

I know that this will probably sound weird to my dad, because in all honesty, I had no great desire to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and become a cabinetmaker, but some of the best moments we had as father and son were in those times when I was helping him deliver and install the cabinets and other works that his clients asked of him.

I’ll never forget the many times that we rode out to Mr. & Mrs. Boyd’s house near Georgetown.  Mr. Boyd had worked for the DC Police Department before retirement, and he and his wife had a very eclectic house, that was high up on a vista, and had a backyard that sloped pretty steeply right down to the water of the Potomac River.  I loved visiting their house with Dad, and helping him out, because inevitably Dad would let me take a break and walk around outside for a few minutes, examining all of the incredible nooks and crannies of the Boyd homestead.

My Dad did a lot of work that he took pride in, some of it big, and some of it small, and some of it, even that ended up being used around the country and even ended up being featured in publications!  My dad was commissioned once to make a gavel for a lawyer publication, if memory serves me correctly, and the gavel he mad was used on the cover photo of the magazine.

Dad also did some work for United Airlines, who my Grandpa worked for before he retired from the company.  Dad created some special kiosk type cabinets that we transported to the Newark Airport in Newark, NJ, and were used in the main terminal for many years of reliable operation.

After I moved to North Carolina, my dad and I did a few trips together while I was in my single days.  One trip we took to visit my Aunt Ginny in Missouri, stopping along the way and visiting with my Great Aunt in Dayton, Ohio, and having lunch with one of my Dad’s cousins (I know, my cousin too) in Illinois before reaching the St. Louis area.  That was a memorable trip, and one that I haven’t forgotten, all these many years later.

Another trip that I took with Dad was when we went camping down the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway.  Dad was so excited, he read all up on it about how to tie up your food to keep it from bears, where we should stop, and so forth.  We spent three nights camping.  The first night, after we entered the Skyline Drive, we checked in so they knew we were camping, and the first words out of Dad’s mouth were “How far down is Bear Den Mountain?”  He wanted to camp there in case we might meet up with a bear!  Needless to say, we never saw a bear at all…

However, when we got there, we took our gear out of the car and started hiking along the trail to find a spot to camp, and not paying attention, we probably hiked a mile downhill until we stopped to setup camp.  Of course, the next day, we had to hike a mile uphill with all of our gear!  That was not so much fun for us!

The second day we stopped at a spot near the end of the day, and hiked uphill to a spot — but no where near the mile we hiked the first day.  We setup camp on a slightly uneven spot, which ended up being a problem for me because it rained that night — and the rain just happened to drip on my head!  Lucky for me I had my old man there to nag until he fixed it…

On the third night, I think we were both getting sick of camping, so we found a spot that had campsites right next to where you park your car!  That worked for me, so that’s what we did!  Do you spot a trend here?

During our travels, though, we experienced some incredible moments — such as the time we had to stop right in the middle of the road because there were literally dozens of wild turkeys just standing in the middle of the road.  I would guess that there were easily 30 or 40 turkeys!

We also ate a great meal in Linville Falls, NC, at a local restaurant there that had the distinction of having signs up in the restaurant telling you when you were entering a different county, because 3 counties intersect in Linville Falls!

Now that I’m married, my travels with my dad are fewer and more spaced out, but we are still able to enjoy some time together.  One time when my parents came down, Dad and I spent some time and went on a photo shoot together.  Dad has recaptured his love of photography, and takes some wonderful photos that have even been awarded ribbons at contests before!  I have an affinity for trains, so I’ll close with this picture Dad took of this wonderful train.  Enjoy!

734 Coming out of Ridgely

Thank you all for reading my long post — I’m sorry that it was so long, but I’ve only got one Dad, and I wanted him to know how much wisdom he has imparted on me over the years. It’s not always easy to write about your loved ones, but Dad, I love you, and I hope you enjoyed your post — and your photo in the post as well!  Happy Birthday Dad!

 

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Happy Birthday Grandpa

My Mom and her Dad, my Grandpa, in 2007.

Today, my friends, is my Grandpa’s birthday!  He would be 101 years old today!  It’s hard for me to imagine that this time three years ago, he had just passed away in his sleep.  My Grandpa was 98 when he was called Home, and he is probably the only person I will ever meet in this life that was called home on the same day that he was born.

I consider myself a very blessed man to have been able to have my Grandpa (and my Grandma, too, for that matter) in my life for as long as I did.  It’s not every person that can say that they had their Grandpa with them until they were 43 years old.  Sophie was 10 years old — she had her Poppy (that’s what she called her Great Grandpa) for 10 years of her life.

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Grandpa surrounded by his three children, their spouses, and one of his granddaughters!

This was a bittersweet day for us — this was the day that we moved Grandpa out of the house that he and Grandma had bought in Florida, and moved him north to live with my Mom and Dad.  It was bittersweet because we had so many great memories from those visits, but we knew that Grandpa couldn’t live there anymore on his own.  This was not long after Grandma had passed away.

 

Canfield Corner Pharmacy

This past July we took my Mom to the pharmacy that my Grandpa’s Dad ran!

Part of remembering Grandpa was in taking a family trip to visit where he grew up as a boy in Connecticut.  My Great Grandfather was the pharmacist that owned this pharmacy, and my Grandpa in his youth was a Soda Jerk!  They had their house just a short walk up the street.  It was a lot of fun visiting that area and meeting the current pharmacist and just visiting areas that I had never been to before!

Happy Birthday Grandpa

This is the Memorial Gardens where Grandma and Grandpa’s ashes are buried. This is at their church in Florida.

Grandpa was buried in the same Memorial Garden that my Grandma was five years earlier.  They both opted for cremation, and this Memorial Garden was established by their church in New Port Richey, Florida.  It is a fitting tribute to the church that despite the fact that Grandpa hadn’t been to that church in five years, there were still members of the congregation that remembered him and my Grandma, and made it a point to come to his service.

My Grandpa was a man of firsts — the first person (along with my Grandma, of course) to take me to Walt Disney World.  The first person to teach me to swim — we actually taught each other!  The first person to teach me all of the different airplanes that he knew from his days working for United Airlines.  Lastly, my Grandpa showed me, through his love for my Grandma, the perfect way to treat your wife, and that is something that I will never, ever forget.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Three Things Thursday!

mdod-2

Today we are taking the lead from my friend Heidi over at Heidi’s Head, and we are sharing a new post called Three Things Thursday!  This post is just a little whimsical one that will give you a glimpse into who I am.  I hope that you will like it, and perhaps learn a little bit from me that will help explain why I am the way I am.

Mickey's first birthday, '69

Even as a one year old, I have always been excitable…I remember the time my Grandma got me a hot dog and told me to hold on tight to the hot dog so I wouldn’t drop it — well, the story goes that I held on so tight that the hot dog shot out of the bun and landed on the floor!

008_5

My Grandma and Grandpa were the ones that took me, my Mom, and my sister to Walt Disney World for the first time, in 1979.  Additionally, I would spend the summers visiting them as a kid, and my Grandpa and I learned how to swim together in the neighbor’s pool by checking out library books on a particular swimming stroke we wanted to learn, and then reading a chapter and practicing at the pool.

My Grandma was 93 when she passed away, and my Grandpa passed away on his birthday at the young age of 98.

Sophie: From Beautiful Baby to Birthday Girl

Cindy and I have been married for thirteen years now and counting, and we were blessed with our little angel Sophie in June.  When Sophie was born, she was only 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and was only 17 1/2″ long.  Her whole hand, as you can see, could grip one small section of my index finger.  Cindy and Sophie are the light of my life outside of God.

Thank you for stopping by today!  Please head on over to Heidi’s Head to see what other entries she has for you, and thanks!

Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa!

Grandma and Sophie, 2006

Grandma and Sophie, 2006

Grandpa, 2006

Grandpa, 2006

In a slight diversion from what we normally post on My Dreams of Disney, today I’d like to take a moment and tell you that today is my Grandma and Grandpa’s 74th Wedding Anniversary.  While they are both now in Heaven, I still count the anniversaries, because they are both still alive in my heart, as well as the hearts of all of my family.

The next pictures are just ones that mean a lot to me — thank you for indulging me by looking at them!  I hope you feel all of the warmth and love in them that I do.  Thanks for stopping by!

Grandma and I enjoying one of her favorite past times -- playing card games!

Grandma and I enjoying one of her favorite past times — playing card games!

Grandpa enjoying one of HIS favorite past times -- taking a nap!

Grandpa enjoying one of HIS favorite past times — taking a nap!

My Mom with her Daddy, after Grandma passed away in 2007.

My Mom with her Daddy, after Grandma passed away in 2007.

Dad, Uncle Roger, Stephanie, Aunt Sadie, Grandpa, Mom, Uncle Bob, Aunt Bette -- one of the last pictures I took of Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Dad, Uncle Roger, Stephanie, Aunt Sadie, Grandpa, Mom, Uncle Bob, Aunt Bette — one of the last pictures I took of Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me.  I remember every moment of those pictures, which was why I started My Dreams of Disney — to take note and remember the trips I’ve had over the years.  Thanks for stopping by, I hope it brought a smile to your face like it did mine.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friendship Friday – Dad

Geno, Geezer & Mike

My Dad in the middle, with his high-school buddy Geno on the left, and me on the right!

Welcome to this week’s Friendship Friday post!  Today’s post is dedicated to my dad, Joe, who celebrates his birthday this Sunday!  Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad is truly a one of a kind guy.  He sacrificed a lot when Robin and I were kids so that we could do things that we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to do.  Whenever we would go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Mom and Dad would take us, then Dad would usually drive back home later on would drive back and pick us up, or if needed, we would fly home.  The point here is that most of the time the only vacation my dad ever got was one away from his punky kids! :)

My dad worked most of his life as a self-employed cabinetmaker.  He was very reputable, and word spread for him only by way of word of mouth.  My dad did many incredible projects, all out of our single car garage at my parents home in Northern Virginia, and my sister and I would help him out sometimes when he needed help.

As I said, Dad was a reputable man, based on his upbringing, so he would only take 1/2 of the pay first in order to get the supplies he needed, and then take the rest of the money at delivery.  He also had lower overhead then a lot of big cabinet firms did, so as a result he would charge less — less then he probably should have charged, because he did excellent work, and he didn’t charge enough for the pieces he created.

I know that this will probably sound weird to my dad, because in all honesty, I had no great desire to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and become a cabinetmaker, but some of the best moments we had as father and son were in those times when I was helping him deliver and install the cabinets and other works that his clients asked of him.

I’ll never forget the many times that we rode out to Mr. & Mrs. Boyd’s house near Georgetown.  Mr. Boyd had worked for the DC Police Department before retirement, and he and his wife had a very eclectic house, that was high up on a vista, and had a backyard that sloped pretty steeply right down to the water of the Potomac River.  I loved visiting their house with Dad, and helping him out, because inevitably Dad would let me take a break and walk around outside for a few minutes, examining all of the incredible nooks and crannies of the Boyd homestead.

My Dad did a lot of work that he took pride in, some of it big, and some of it small, and some of it, even that ended up being used around the country and even ended up being featured in publications!  My dad was commissioned once to make a gavel for a lawyer publication, if memory serves me correctly, and the gavel he mad was used on the cover photo of the magazine.

Dad also did some work for United Airlines, who my Grandpa worked for before he retired from the company.  Dad created some special kiosk type cabinets that we transported to the Newark Airport in Newark, NJ, and were used in the main terminal for many years of reliable operation.

After I moved to North Carolina, my dad and I did a few trips together while I was in my single days.  One trip we took to visit my Aunt Ginny in Missouri, stopping along the way and visiting with my Great Aunt in Dayton, Ohio, and having lunch with one of my Dad’s cousins (I know, my cousin too) in Illinois before reaching the St. Louis area.  That was a memorable trip, and one that I haven’t forgotten, all these many years later.

Another trip that I took with Dad was when we went camping down the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway.  Dad was so excited, he read all up on it about how to tie up your food to keep it from bears, where we should stop, and so forth.  We spent three nights camping.  The first night, after we entered the Skyline Drive, we checked in so they knew we were camping, and the first words out of Dad’s mouth were “How far down is Bear Den Mountain?”  He wanted to camp there in case we might meet up with a bear!  Needless to say, we never saw a bear at all…

However, when we got there, we took our gear out of the car and started hiking along the trail to find a spot to camp, and not paying attention, we probably hiked a mile downhill until we stopped to setup camp.  Of course, the next day, we had to hike a mile uphill with all of our gear!  That was not so much fun for us!

The second day we stopped at a spot near the end of the day, and hiked uphill to a spot — but no where near the mile we hiked the first day.  We setup camp on a slightly uneven spot, which ended up being a problem for me because it rained that night — and the rain just happened to drip on my head!  Lucky for me I had my old man there to nag until he fixed it…

On the third night, I think we were both getting sick of camping, so we found a spot that had campsites right next to where you park your car!  That worked for me, so that’s what we did!  Do you spot a trend here?

During our travels, though, we experienced some incredible moments — such as the time we had to stop right in the middle of the road because there were literally dozens of wild turkeys just standing in the middle of the road.  I would guess that there were easily 30 or 40 turkeys!

We also ate a great meal in Linville Falls, NC, at a local restaurant there that had the distinction of having signs up in the restaurant telling you when you were entering a different county, because 3 counties intersect in Linville Falls!

Now that I’m married, my travels with my dad are fewer and more spaced out, but we are still able to enjoy some time together.  The last time that my parents came down, Dad and I spent some time and went on a photo shoot together.  Dad has recaptured his love of photography, and takes some wonderful photos that have even been awarded ribbons at contests before!  I have an affinity for trains, so I’ll close with this picture Dad took of this wonderful train.  Enjoy!

734 Coming out of Ridgely

Thank you all for reading my long post — I’m sorry that it was so long, but I’ve only got one Dad, and I wanted him to know how much wisdom he has imparted on me over the years. It’s not always easy to write about your loved ones, but Dad, I love you, and I hope you enjoyed your post — and your photo in the post as well!  Happy Birthday, Dad!

As you all know, the inspiration for Friendship Friday came from my friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head.  Stop by her post by clicking on the button below and see what great friend she is focusing on today!