Sunday, January 29, 2006

Travelin' Dad

As in most years, Dad came to visit us for a couple of weeks this month, crossing the Pacific in his nomadic way, spending a couple of days in Sydney and Auckland, boomeranging back and forth between California and Hawaii. Every year I find out something new about him. To my utter amazement, I discovered that he read On the Road - Dad is not much of a reader, but that's one he did read. I have always got the impression that he would have been happy "on the road", and having been an airline pilot would have helped that along. I think he's doing that to this day, at 81, still flying around the Pacific. And his nomadic ways would have started when he was about 15 or 16, walking and hitchhiking from New York to Down South to work as a busboy on a cruise ship.

For this year's visit, Melbourne weather turned on the heat, and tropical rain and humidity levels seldom experienced here. This would seem to have less effect on him than us, as he's used to Hawaiian weather and loves the heat: he even went for a 3-hour bike ride on a day of 33 degrees! Dad has only recently had to give up surfing as he injured a shoulder rotator cuff (while surfing). I hope I have his longevity genes - his mother lived to 101.

Dad was an early personal computer user, and built his own computer in the 70s from a kit he ordered by mail. He's been tinkering with them ever since. But as he said when we saw a historical computer display at Melbourne Museum recently, "The fun went out of it when you didn't have to solder the parts together anymore".

Picnic lunch in the Wildlife Reserve at La Trobe.

Dinner at home on the veranda with Aussie Nana (husband's mom), Yankee Pappa (my dad).

Photo album of Dad's visit


Tanya said...

Hi Val. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Regarding your questions about the name (giraffe) - I'm about to post about it... not really that fascinating, but a way to ensure you return to my site :) I loved reading about your dad just now. Inspiring.

Kerri said...

Val, your dad sounds like a very interesting person. Wow, he sure is spry for 81 and doesn't look his age at all. How and where did your mum and dad meet? I'm assuming, from what you wrote, you didn't spend a lot of your growing up years with your dad? My dad was pretty adventurous too. He's 88 and has slowed down now. Lives in Shoal Bay, Port Stevens area of NSW. Nice snapshots of your family! Thanks for sharing them.

Val said...

sorry to have given the wrong impression - maybe I should have explained that the nana is my husband's mother (her story is amazing too). My parents met as 13 year olds, married young, still married! My mom isn't the travelin' type, but she makes up for it in zaniness! I'll tell her story one day soon.

I have had a wonderful close family for so long, feel really blessed about that.