ESCANABA - Without a doubt, one of the very best God-given gifts that I received is...my dad!
Everybody knows my dad, Jim Rose the retired Harnischfeger employee, carpenter, builder, craftsman, woodsmen, trout fisherman and pretty good cribbage player.
As far as dad's go, he's one of the best.
Karen Wils photo
Biking with Dad...me on the trike, Dad, Jim and Mark.
So, what kind of Father's Day presents have I brought him over the years? Some of the most bizarre, off-the-wall, unique, and downright disgusting items have been given to him as "gifts."
When my mom and dad married back in 1955, the house on Sheridan Road already had the pitter-patter of little feet, and medium-sized feet and teenaged feet!
My mother's folks died by the time she was 17. My mom was busy caring for her younger brothers and sisters. There was a built-in family, a leaky roof, a drafty backroom and lots of noise and laughter to welcome my dad.
In no time at all, I'm told my dad patched the roof, fixed the walls and started to add to the number of smiling faces around the table.
It was like two families blended into one. It was a wonderful way to grow up for me the third born of the six children of Jim and Lu.
When Father's Day rolled around, not only did my siblings and mom try to find perfect gifts for Dad, so did my aunts and uncles.
I'm sure the first gift I ever purchased for him with my own paper route money was red handkerchiefs (perfect for work or deer season at camp).
Sir Walter Raighe pipe tobacco in a can (let him out) was not only a joke, but also a very common Father's Day gift for my dad for many years. My dad smoked a pipe, read the newspaper, drank coffee, ate meals, went to church and took his family to camp like clockwork. Everything was on schedule.
Tools were an excellent idea at Father's Day. My mom would even get a catalog of hard to find and unusual tools to try to find useful gifts. One time she bought him a drill bit sharpener. He hated it and eventually traded it for another tool with his brother.
One year, my sister-in-law (who lives on Washington Island) smoked a whole bunch of fish and sent it to Dad for Father's Day. That was way better than the drill bit sharpener.
Dad has a hankering for unusual snacks. Pickled pigs feet, blood sausage, and some pipe smelling beer case cheese, were tasty appreciated gifts.
As we got older, my siblings and I often went together on "bigger" gifts for Dad. Lumber for camp, fabric so that he could make camp curtains and drapes (yes, my dad is a great tailor too) gravel, recliner, solar panels, hunting and fishing stuff and the rottenest gift of all...a certificate for a free outhouse pumping! How practical can that be! We love you, Dad!
Spend some time with all of the Pa's and Grandpa's out there. Happy Father's Day.
Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.