Tuesday, May 6, 2008


last thursday my father-in-law turned 84 years old. he's just 5 years shy of the age of my grandma, and he's definitely more like a grandfather to me than another "dad." he and my mother-in-law adopted my husband when they were 44 and 38, respectively. he had already retired from the navy and was working another state job, which he would also eventually retire from.

pop (his real name is ray but i could never seem to call him this because it just seemed awkward since he is more my grandma's age) is the sweetest man his age that i have ever met, i think. he has never, to my knowledge, said an unkind word about his wife. he loves my entire family unconditionally (even marley, and he doesn't even like dogs). he is incredibly giving. and he is very easy to please, low maintenance, easygoing. give the man a TV and a big stuffed chair where he can take a nap and he's happy.

we celebrated his birthday on saturday, along with our friends warren & angie and two couples who are friends of pop's. and one relative came as well. our kids were the only ones there, and we came armed with a DVD player and our entire library of movies so they could stay occupied in the bedroom while the party was going on. i had been warned that one of the ladies didn't really like children--well, that's not true, she just thinks they are noisy. so i wanted to do everything i could to make sure mine stayed quiet. and if you have a preschooler, you probably know the drill: turn on a disney movie and get two hours of quiet. hooray! (and i said i would NEVER EVER be this kind of parent...ha.)

there were some interesting conversations during the party. for instance, the woman i just mentioned began describing how the children at her church act on wednesday nights: "they run up and down the aisles in the sanctuary and are so loud--like a bunch of wild Indians; it's really terrible." nice, right? i kept my lips buttoned on that one. it's wrong on several levels, not the first of which is the fact that it's RACIST. yikes.

and there was some slightly heated discussion (for older people) about hating the government. surprisingly, even though i would say the older people in the room were very conservative (maybe even ultra) they were saying that we should stop the war and fund health care. nice! will never happen, but still nice.

then there was also talk about how a fence "will never keep all those people from coming over our border; it takes manpower, people standing guard to make sure those people don't cross over." yikes again.

while this was going on, pop was sitting in his chair, tuning everyone out, reading the books we gave him for his birthday: one about the history of country music (it's really cool!) and another that is a color photography book documenting World War II (which rick's dad served in on a naval ship).

here's to a great man in his 84th year...


Amelia Plum said...

love how you end the post with pops looking through the books while tuning everyone out, that's priceless. there's someone in our neighborhood with a bumper sticker about how they support the minute men patrol, makes me shake my head every time I see it.

cookie said...

sounds like a lovely man, a lovable man, and a kind man.