Don't get me wrong. I miss my dad every day of my life. But Father's Day is a tough one. A picture of him taken on his last Father's Day with us, sits in my living room. His ever-present smile beams back at me and my heart smiles in response.
Isn't it funny how I know there were scowls and frowns when I said something or did something wrong, but for the life of me, I don't remember them? I only remember his blue eyes twinkling mischievously as he told a joke, the way he pinched my 50-year-old cheek like I was three years old and how he seemed to really enjoy life.
Dad was never comfortable with us buying him gifts. He use to say that he had everything he needed and yet when his birthday or Father's Day came around, I just wanted to buy him something to let him know I appreciated him. His last few years with us, I finally got the hint and bought him only things that he enjoyed that could be consumed like his favorites of Pepsi, nuts, peanut clusters and cigars. Sometimes we threw in a T-shirt with a saying or cool picture that we thought he'd enjoy.
So what are you getting your dad for Father's Day this year?
I looked up what would be some of the most popular gifts to buy and this is what I found.
Coffee mugs, sports theme items, wallets and ties rank up there as the top items.
But here's a few off-the-wall gift ideas that might be just the ticket for your dad.
The BBQ Sword. This grilling tool is a dual fork, (great for dueling) with a Musketeer Rapier Sword handle and for spearing those hot dogs and steaks. Dads can sizzle sausages in a swashbuckling style and toasting marshmallows has never been so Errol Flynn. Just try to separate this tool from your father's meaty paw.
Adjustable grill light. Keeping with the grilling theme, every dad should have one of these. According to its marketing ploy, grilling in the dark just isn't smart because you can burn your food, or worse, yourself. Not only is it practical but it's "green" too. You can help your dad be conservation smart because it's LED.
Cigar gift sets. Yeah, I know. Like why would we buy something that can give cancer to a man you supposedly love? Yet, I did just that. Dad loved his cigars. Never was without one. So shoot me.
T-shirt of the Month Club. I wish I had known about that one when Dad was still here. I would have probably signed him up. Dad was known for his T-shirts. A volunteer fireman for the Kunkletown Vol. Fire Co., he was there every first Sunday of the month to help at the breakfast and people always looked forward to what was on his shirt that day. One of my favorites was a picture of a Redneck kind of guy with his hat and boots on and nothing else, soaking in a bathtub, smoking a cigar and holding a bottle of beer with the words, "Saturday Night in Kunkletown." So Dad.
Holster for his beer bottle or a universal remote control with a built in bottle opener. I didn't make these up. They really exist.
Magnetic wristband. If your dad is the handyman kind of guy, then he'll love the magnetic wristband. He'll never have to hold a nail or screw in his mouth again or have to climb down off the ladder to retrieve a fallen nail or screw because this handy dandy little magnetic wrist band will keep them all within his reach. It would save me from having to stand next to Harry with the nails or screws in my outstretched hand, wishing I was anywhere but there.
And my favorite ... a needlepoint Whoopee cushion cover. What dad wouldn't love a warm homespun cover for his Whoopee cushion?
Better yet, a warm homespun needlepoint Whoopee cushion with one of his Dadisms stitched on it. You know, one of his favorite expressions.
Dad had a few favorites he used, like, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," or "Cripes all fish hooks!"
I thought I'd try to gather up some other well-used "Dadisms." Here's the list. Do you recognize any that your dad says or said?
"When I was your age ..."
"A little dirt never hurt anyone."
"Go ask your mother."
"You don't know what hard work is."
"I'm gonna count to 10 ..."
"The Lord loves a working man."
"Just do it. It's make your mom happy."
"Keep your eye on the ball."
"The brake! The brake! Hit the brake!"
"As long as you're under my roof ..."
"Straighten up and fly right."
"Get with the program."
"Don't spend it all in one place."
"You call that noise music?"
"I've got news for you, Buster."
"Use your head. That's why it's on your shoulders."
"Wipe that smile off your face."
"Shape up or ship out and there's ain't no boats leaving."
"A little dirt never hurt anyone."
"It builds character."
"You're grounded until your 30!"
"We're not lost. I'm just not sure where we are."
"I brought you into this world, I can take you out, and make another one that looks just like you."
"What do I look like? The First National Bank?"
"Pull my finger."
"I'm just resting my eyes."
You want to guess which phrase is the one that every kid longs to hear from their dad, no matter what age they are?
"I'm proud of you."
It ranks right up there with "I love you."
Kids, I bet your dads feel the same way.
Happy Father's Day to all you Dads.