It’s time to celebrate Father’s Day again! For some, you may be wracking your brain trying to decide what to get your dad this year. For others, your dad may be just a memory, or you’ve never had a father in your life. Keep in mind, a father can be anyone who is a “father figure,” whether that be a step-father, grandfather, uncle, brother, or even a family friend. I’m sure that the majority of you can think of someone who fits that bill! Fortunately, I had a wonderful father who passed away a little over 11 years ago. I miss him dearly, but have so many fond memories of him that I treasure!fathers_day

Father, Farmer, and More!
My dad was the father of 15 children and with that came many sons/daughters-in-law and grandchildren. He was a German man, very set in his ways, and an extraordinarily hard worker! He seemed to be able to fix anything, and I always admired him for that skill! He was a custom farmer, meaning he owned equipment such as a bailer, combine, tractor, etc. and would hire out to farmers who needed someone to do their stacking of hay, fertilizing, picking corn and all that comes along with being a farmer. In the winter, my dad would plow snow for dozens of residents in our hometown. No matter the time of year, my dad was out of the house before sunrise and typically didn’t come in until sundown, with the exception of late evening meals and Sundays. With many mouths to feed, we had an extremely large garden and learned to appreciate everything that could be grown ourselves.

Always the Volunteer
Dad was an Army veteran, was very active in our church and many other organizations, and played the accordion in the Schmitt Family Band, back in the day. He was always willing to help anyone in need. He married off eight daughters, put all of his children through college, and somehow managed to be a very savvy businessman, all on an 8th-grade education! I respected my father more than anyone in my life. Although stern, he was a “softy” and loved my mom, his children, and extended family more than anyone! He had the most contagious laugh, funniest quirks, ate foods he wasn’t supposed to, never called us by our correct names, and spoiled his grandchildren almost to a fault! He loved to play cards, garden, and loved to visit with any and everyone!! The grandchildren remember him for “horsey rides” on his knee, getting to drive his “Rascal” when they were old enough to reach the controls, and him sneaking M&Ms and licorice to them when he wasn’t supposed to! I could go on and on about the great memories I have of my father, but I think you get the picture!

The Gift of Time
I believe that dads (or father figures) don’t really care about the gifts you give them…it truly is the thought that counts! The older my husband gets, the more he appreciates just having our kids call him or spend time with him on his special day. If the father in your life likes to golf, set up a tee time to hit the course with him. If he enjoys grilling, plan a lunch to cook together and visit while doing it. My husband happens to love baseball so our kids and I are taking a few days to attend the College World Series with him! To my husband, the time we’ll spend together and the meals that we’ll share is worth more than anything my kids could wrap up for him!

Modern-Day Dad
As my husband and I continue to raise our two kiddos, the appreciation I have for my father has grown exponentially! I don’t think I really appreciated everything my dad did for us until I began to raise my own family! It’s really all about loving them and enjoying their presence while they are still here on earth! So this Father’s Day, although gifts are great, go one step further and make sure you express your love and appreciation for the support and guidance they have given you up to this point!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there and to my dad in heaven! Enjoy your day!